Learning Ruby / Rails

I'm often asked about where to go and what to read to learn about Rails. In fact just the other day, so I'm going to outline some details here so to not repeat myself in the future or even forget! This is not a definitive guide but rather some links to things you should read and think about.

Learn Ruby

Sure you can go on right ahead and start with Rails and start building a web application but if you're unfamilar with Ruby then please take the time to learn the basics, it will help considerably.

There are quite a few places you could learn about Ruby, books being one of them, here are some of my favourites.

Test Ruby

Most guides on the web don't include tests. And what I mean about tests is using rspec, test unit, cucumber to progamatically test your application. Not having someone click through the site or pages. The importance of testing isn't directly required to learning about ruby or rails BUT will help you in understanding what's going on (like the Ruby Koans) and get you into a good practise when developing your application.


To learn about the rails framework and it's make up check out these sources, there are some great screencasts you can now watch.

News and updates

I found it helpful to follow some sources for updates on what gems are out there or new gems that do something clever. Here are some that I followed for this and still do.


On twitter @taylorbuley comments to see also Codeacademy.com which seems to be for learning javascript - might eventually have some Ruby, still worth a look if you want to understand javascript.