Nicolas Alpi, Web developer

A blog about productivity, startups and me.

Rails Rumble 2008, Finally Manage to Finish Sheepfit

Rails rumble, this competition where Ruby on Rails developers were invited to code a web application in 48 Hours, is now over. Since today 00:00 GMT precisely.

I participated this year, and managed to develop a personal stretch reminder, called Sheep Fit. You can visit the application for the beta use here. The blog, with all the creation step was maintained during these 48 H by Nathalie Cacahuete.


How was it ?**

Very hard. I was alone for all the development and the design and the deployement process. So just a bit** **wired not to finish in time.

Because there were contestants from all over the world, the competition started at 00:00 GMT in the night from Friday to Saturday, and finished 48 hours later.

The first coding night was ok, but I was really too tired on the second night.

Lots of trouble with the app, with timezones (finally I had to go in rails 2.1 instead of 2.1.1 …) and with the Linode server. I really thanks Matt for the good advice he gave me**** : Go to bed 5 hours and come back to finish your application.

What did i learn ?

I have to write test …. really. I don’t write full application test usually, just a few and then that bores me. But this this experience made it clear to me : Tests are the key to develop productively. If you don’t write them** **you’ll lost and waste too much time resolving bugs which should not be there.

I’ve downloaded the 3 RSpec Peepcode videos and I’ll take time to look at them carefully.

Other developers were really cool. When I shared on twitter my fears about not finishing the application, I had plenty of messages pushing me to keep going and not to stop. Thanks you all.

**What was the best part ?


  1. Nathalie’s gingerbread :D
  2. Deploy the application and saw it live
What about the other applications ? You can find a list of rails rumble applications at and at burm’s blog Some are really awesome. Personally : What about the future ? Well, I’ll see with the time if the idea of Sheep Fit can move into a new product. However, we are going to work now on 2 other projects. One project will be announced in next week, so click here to subscribe to the RSS *feed.**


Really big thanks**** to Nathalie who supported me all the weekend … brave girl ;)

Photos ?

Nathalie’s gingerbread :

Man at work :