Beginning Ruby on Rails

06 Jul 2007

Are you just getting started with Ruby on Rails? A year or two ago you'd have been SOL because there weren't many easy ways to get familiar with the platform. There were a couple of screencasts and a PDF or two - but aside from that you either had to buy a book or read the documentation online. Yeah. Real fun weekend activity right there.

Fortunately we've come a long way. Those few resources in the beginning are all out of date now but we've got loads of new stuff to help you introduce yourself to the platform. Here is a by no means comprehensive list of the best resources for starting to learn Rails. If you could leave some links in the comments I'd love to fill this list out a little better:

Free Resources

  • Google - There's finally enough blog posts by developers that Googling most errors will turn up a solution
  • RailsCasts - Ryan Bates gives direct, simple and excellent lessons on navigating Rails
  • RailsForum.com - Much of your Googling will lead you here. 20K+ posts of folks trying to figure this stuff out.
  • Ruby-Forum.com - A great place for figuring out how the language works outside Rails.
  • Techno-Weenie's code - Arguably the best way to learn is to see code that others have written. Here's a bunch of real-world apps that thousands of people use every day.
  • The Rails Docs - Hard to read (and ugly!) but always the highest authority on what's going on with Rails.
  • RubyForum.com - Hard to read (and ugly!) but always the highest authority on what's going on with Rails.

Non-Free Resources

  • Agile Web Development With Rails - Considered to be the bible of beginning Rails development, this book will take you from a blank screen to a full e-commerce website.
  • PeepCode - Geoff, a fellow Seattleite, takes you through individual parts of Rails that are often tough to grasp. Each episode costs $9 but it's PACKED with helpful instruction.

What am I missing here folks? What do you find most useful for a beginner?

  • Ryan said: Beginning Ruby on Rails ECommerce also has a lot of good information for beginning Rails developers and focuses on tests very early. I've been using both books and it's going fairly smooth at this point.

Please if you found this post helpful or have questions.