I'm currently sitting my BSc exams, but will finish late May. I will have a window of about 6 weeks where I shall not be working, but need to occupy my time when I'm not out drinking. I can commit a few hours a day as a minimum, but this could rise depending on the level of the challenge.
I have decided that I'm going to spend that time to get a grasp on the basics of a web development programming language. I have all but chosen rails at the moment, but if opinions are strong enough, I could change. I don't know any programming languages, but my HTML, CSS and MySql knowledge are all ok.
My questions are:
1) Is rails a good choice given my position
2) Is 6 weeks a realistic time frame?
3) What level should I use as an objective to meet?
After the six weeks, I'll be starting a placement in a medical company. I hope to change their website to make it database driven. All of the data, designs, graphics have already been created by me. I'd ideally like to be able to change the static site to make it dynamic.
I think learning Ruby along with Rails is quite plausible. You may have to bang your head against a wall when you don't know how to do something in Ruby, but you'll pick it up quickly. Think up a project, and execute it. Keep it simple. You'll learn more by making 2 or 3 smaller projects instead of one large one that spirals out of control.