On Jan 31, 2011, at 3:57 AM, Cassandra K. wrote:

> Hello.  I am trying to teach myself Ruby.  I have no background in
> programming, or experience... only interest.

Good on you for learning new things.  We all need to do more of that.  =
Welcome.

> I have armed myself with Pragmatic Programmers Learn to Program, as =
well
> as Koans.  I am running into walls trying to learn these things =
myself,
> because I get discouraged when there is no one to turn to when I have
> any questions.  I get stuck; I wander off.  This is no good.  =
Obviously
> there is slow progression, when any.

My first suggestion is not to feel bad.  It's a lot to learn and it can =
be pretty counter intuitive at times.

We all had those moments when we were learning to program.  I definitely =
doubted if I could ever do it at times.

It other words, everything you are experiencing is totally normal.

> The issue, then, is where do I turn when I have these (obviously =
simple)
> questions?  It seems both embarrassing and unnecessary to post on such =
a
> place as this, for simple issues in learning (for example, getting =
stuck
> on ruby koans).

Don't be afraid to ask things here.  Very few of us bite.  Most of us =
try to be patient and polite.  If you aim for the same, I bet you'll be =
surprised at how we can get you over the humps.  We enjoy helping.

> Should I try to dig up a "Ruby mentor", so to speak?  And how would =
one go about doing something like that?

A mentor and/or study group sound like great ideas to me.  Why suffer =
alone when you can suffer with others?  :)  Mentors can be a great =
resource for helping you learn to think like a computer.

You might have a look at Ruby Mendicant University:

  http://university.rubymendicant.com/

I believe it aims to help people in your position.

Don't give up!  Knowing you need help is a great sign!

James Edward Gray II