Classy Web Development with Sinatra

An admission: I didn’t really do as many awesome things during the Bush administration that I would have liked to. So, now that we have a new president, I’m going to start off right by showing you something awesome.

While it may seem like I’ve had my head up in the clouds of physical computing, urbanism and monads, I’ve been nose down in something else. I’m super-excited to tell you, I’ve just finished the first two episodes of “Classy Web Development with Sinatra”, a screencast for the Pragmatic Programmers.

h2. The Particulars

Sinatra is a great subject. As I point out in the first episode, I think it’s very special in how it puts the smallest possible language over HTTP. Taken with the fun of building your own framework up from scratch, Sinatra apps are a ton of fun to write. Further, Sinatra really shines when you want to write micro-apps or services. Building an API for your Rails app by standing a Sinatra app up next to it to serve the API is a great approach for many applications.

If you’ve known me for a while, you probably know I had at one point aspired to write a book for the Pragmatic bookshelf. That didn’t work out (for the better, I think), but I still wanted to produce something to get the good word out there. I’ve enjoyed the screencast format from the beginning, and I enjoy teaching people interactively, so the format seemed well suited to me. Plus, I’ve always loved the sound of keys clacking in a screencast. Now you can hear my keys!

h2. Shout-outs

Lately, Ryan Tomayko has been absolutely kicking ass with his contributions to Sinatra and Rack. He was kind enough to review the script before we recorded and even put out a maintenance release so that we wouldn’t have to talk around a couple bugs that snuck into the latest release. The finished product is much better for his feedback and guidance.

From the beginning, Mike Clark has been a great mentor and guide through the process of producing a screencast. He helped me write to the beginner’s perspective and avoid speaking in a monotone. Throughout the process, he’s been more helpful and supportive than I could have ever imagined. Needless to say, he’s the foundation that all the goodness of the Pragmatic Screencasts series is built upon.

h2. I want to go to there

Go give the sampler a look, then buy the episodes! If you have questions, drop a message in the forum. And don’t forget to grab the example app and service off GitHub.

Adam Keys @therealadam