Short “Road to Rails” update today. This might be the longest I’ve ever stuck to a New Year’s resolution. A documented 58 days as of today. I think I pinpointed the secret to sticking with them though: you have to actually enjoy doing them! To be honest, working on Ruby on Rails has been an extremely pleasant experience; the community is great (in my experience, the MINSWAN concept is still in full effect), the language is expressive, and there are tons of resources available if you get hung up on something. I’m almost finished with my first Rails project of a URL shortener. I’ve implemented the URL generation, I’ve added simple analytics to see browser information, time, etc., and I’ll be adding user authentication and authorization next. After that I’ll clean up the front-end some, focusing on making a pleasant user experience, then we “ship”! When I first started learning back-end web development, I didn’t really have clear projects that sprung to mind. My idea was, “I’ll pick up the skills necessary to create a social network since social networks are a thing that is popular now.” Now that I’ve been at it for a solid two months, that viewpoint has evolved into “AUTOMATE ALL THE THINGS!” Every day presents challenges that make me further realize just how pragmatic learning a language is, even if you don’t plan on “building the next Facebook”. From watermarking images to parsing a CSV and generating reports based on the data, there are tons of reasons why picking up a language would benefit your workflow in most any job.