How BJ Clark went from zero Ruby programming knowledge to hiring Rails developers in just four years
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How do you go from front-end designer with no Ruby programming knowledge, to scaling one of the highest-traffic Rails websites in the world, to a Senior Director of Product responsible for hiring Rails developers, in just four years?
My long-time friend BJ Clark shares how he did it in the premiere episode of the Rubysteps podcast.
- [01:20] Welcome BJ Clark!
- [04:45] BJ hears about Rails
- [05:50] Pat hates Ruby
- [06:40] Rails goes from hype to open source
- [09:30] BJ starts learning Rails…
- [11:20] beginning with TDD and pair programming
- [12:50] BJ gets the hang of Rails programming
- [13:40] BJ gets a remote job doing front-end work on Rails apps
- [14:38] BJ makes Rails work for him
- [18:35] Fast-forward to now: BJ works as Senior Director of Product at Goldstar Events
- [20:30] BJ hires Rails developers… four years after learning Rails!
- [22:20] Filling in the gap: BJ enters the startup game
- [25:32] BJ learns how to scale Rails… for wiki inventor Ward Cunningham
- [28:38] BJ tries to move an application to the cloud. Emphasis on tries.
- [29:59] BJ starts using memcached and watches NoSQL enter the consciousness
- [30:58] BJ can’t fit a database on AWS
- [33:45] BJ writes his famous blog post on database choices for scaling Rails
- [35:25] BJ has to figure out this stuff on his own
- [37:20] BJ explains the difference between a junior and senior developers
- [39:00] BJ sets the record straight on figuring out errors
- [41:32] How long does it take to grok error messages?
- [43:50] BJ breaks software problems down to a manageable size
- [48:03] BJ on how to get hired: “show me the working software you’ve written!”
- [51:44] BJ ships quality software… 10 times a day!
- [56:00] BJ looks for people who play the “ship working software” game
- [57:00] BJ distinguishes candidates who get hired from those who don’t
- [59:46] We recap BJ’s career so far
- [61:40] BJ’s advice on how to build a remarkable career
- [62:57] Thank you BJ Clark! How do we get ahold of you?