The Woes of Gem Installation in Rails

The initial part of installing gems has become almost second nature, even after only a few weeks into building my second web application with The Firehose Project. Overall, I have found the initial part of adding the gem to my web applications, (including running the bundle-install), to be a fairly simple process, (after having some minor difficulties the first time doing so). But, when it comes to adding code or methods to various files after the initial installation process, I found it to be a bit challenging. This was the case when it came to my installing a pagination gem into a web application.

As a web developer newbie, the Getting Started section of the installation instructions seemed to be almost cryptic. In the gem installation guide, there appeared to be incomplete, (and or in-concise code), that may not work without further knowledge or experience. The entire process of getting the code right for the gem to work began to feel like an endless cycle of second-guessing what to write and where to begin.

The code shown in the gem installation section was found to have very little instructions to follow. So, to a web developer with little experience, the vague instructions seem almost incomprehensible. Questions arose as to where to put the code and what adjustments, if any, needed to be made within the web application files.

But as I followed the self-guided lessons within The Firehose Project Program on gem installation, I was able to make it through the muddle of confusion and what is assumed to be already understood procedures on how the gem was to be installed and used. I was able to gain a better understanding on how to resolve specific installation issues. I was also able get a sense of how I should think about the given information that I am presented with and learned how to use what I have. Through this experience, I also learned that the next step in the installation process may not necessarily be in that particular installation procedure, and that I may need more than one installation resource to complete the task. Overall, I am slowly gaining the tools needed to become a knowledgeable web developer.

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