Shame and migrations

1 07 2010

It turns out then, when trying to bootstrap a Ruby on Rails application after pulling it down from a repository, it is really important to set up a database for the application before you try to start it. Yes, like a pony and pony food, any web application needs a database to function properly. Before you start, run

rake db:create


rake db:migrate

The create command will create a new MySQL database on your local machine, unless you specify otherwise. The migrate command will configure the database with all the tables and relationships that are needed for it to work properly. The configuration instructions are in the applications model and migration files.

That way, everybody is happy and you don’t look like a complete noob in front of half the development team for two weeks. Not that, uh, that has ever happened to me.


Advantages of being an intern

4 11 2009

It seems like most people in my position, those who are just a few short months from graduating from college, are looking for a real, full-time job. However, if their experience is anything like mine, they find themselves feeling unprepared and under-qualified. I plan on getting into some type of development. Ideally, I would like to work for University Information Technology Services at IUPUI. Like most employers in this area, however, they require a year or two of experience. This leaves me with a Catch 22 to contend with.

Internships offer a great opportunity for students or recent graduates to get real-world experience. I apologize if that sounded like a line from a brochure, but it’s true. Earlier this year, I did a four-month internship at Mobi and I learned a crazy amount of stuff in that time. Many of these internships are paid internships and they may or may not provide enough income to live on your own. In this sense, an internship can provide the best of both worlds from a regular job and school. You are essentially being paid to learn and gain real-world experience beyond what any class can ever provide. Internships are a pretty good deal for students.

The advantage is not entirely the intern’s. The company providing the internship can have someone to perform tasks that do not require a high level of expertise, allowing them to delegate more experience employees to more challenging tasks. At the end of the internship, they will also have a person on their hands who will probably be in the workforce for the next forty years and will be well-trained in recent technologies and will be familiar with the company’s policies and customs. Internships are a pretty good deal for employers.

I am looking around for a second internship before I move into the regular workforce to build up my skills a little more. If you are about the graduate, start looking for internships in your career area. You will not regret it.

Positions at UITS
List of Job Boards from the IU School of Informatics at IUPUI