My Learn Ruby on Rails List

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while and kept getting distracted. This evening I sat down and finally hammered it out. The goal is to share some of my favorite Ruby on Rails learning resources with the community. Let’s get started!

Ruby, is an incredibly versatile programming language and is the 6th most popular programming lanuage on GitHub. By extension, Ruby on Rails is a powerful web application framework that powers some cool sites: GitHub, AirBnB, Funny or Die, Groupon, Hulu, Square, and Urban Dictionary are a few of a pretty cool list. Neat.

If you’re interested in getting started in learning Ruby on Rails, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite online tutorials, books, screencasts, and courses to get you closer to becoming the Ruby and Rails expert you always dreamed of being.


cover-web.pngThe Ruby on Rails Tutorial

Michael Hartl’s course is probably my goto resource for learning Ruby on Rails. You can read an online copy of his book for free, but buying it means you get acess to the answers guide and optionally screencats.

I’ve worked through this book when it was written for Rails 4 and I learned a lot about the basics of Rails. It covers just about everything including MVC, testing, databases, and deployment.

Coming November 2016 is a print version of the book. If you’re a fan of print material, this one should definitely be on your list.

Learn Ruby On Rails For Web Development

John Elder is a veteran programer at Codemy and his book is a killer resource for the absolute Rails beginner. Learn Ruby on Rails For Web Development covers a lot of the same material as Michael Hartl’s book, but if you can’t wait for a print version, I’d grab this one. Plus, if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, the book is zero dollars!

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.31.03 PMLearning Rails 5: Rails from the Outside In

If you’ve ever read an O’Reilly book in your life, you’ll feel right at home with the familiar single-color cover theme and interesting animal choice. In this case, Learning Rails 5 rocks a horse-looking animal but don’t let that deter you. Mark Locklear and Eric Gruber guide you starting with the simpler components of Rails and gradually introduce you to complex topics.


Code Academy

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.34.31 PM

If you’re like me, you enjoy a good online course. Code Academy provides just that with a five hour introduction to Ruby on Rails. If you learn well by doing, this might be just your thing. Code Academy teaches you the basics using various projects to highlight components of the Rails framework.

Code School

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.40.17 PM

If you’re looking for more in-depth online course learning, Code School is your answer. Each of the courses here are more in depth and cover more complex topics. Don’t worry, though. Code School covers the basics, too. You’ll find yourself spending a lot more time here, vs Code Academy.

Rails Casts

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.50.28 PM

While new videos haven’t appeared in a few years, the information is still relevant and new videos are coming soon, according Ryan, the site’s creator. To date, there’s roughly 400 videos to watch, though most require a subscription ($9/month).

Coder Manual

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.48.49 PM

While it bills itself as a coding bootcamp, I’d say Coder Manual closer to a regular online course. Coder Manual is incredibly in-depth and the videos are cut up into small chunks to make them easy to consume. You can follow along with your own project as well as get the materials used in each section.

On the flip side, beyond rails knowledge, you’ll touch on HTML, JavaScript, and even job hunting. It’s a bit on the pricey side but for the material and education you receive, I’d say it’s worth it.


Coding Dojo

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 5.00.32 PM

If you’re looking for a more serious, structured course, a bootcamp will likely meet those needs. Coding Dojo’s 20 week program teaches you not just Ruby on Rails, but Python and Web development fundamentals. If you’re up for it, you can learn on site, too.


Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 5.13.18 PM

I’ve always been a huge fan of Bloc. It’s pricey, but they have financing options and the courses are some of the most in-depth I’ve found. You’ll meet with someone at least once a week as you work through the program and get the opportunity to build real applications that do what you want them to do.

Launch School

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 5.07.47 PM

If the idea of paying a ton of money up front doesn’t sound appealing to you, you’re not alone. Launch School offers crazy in-depth courses including front-end, back-end, APIss, and career assistance for $199 a month. If you’re like me, you spend half of that on complicated coffee drinks every month, anyway.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments, below, if you have any great resources you think I should add here.

After Three Weeks

I started the Bloc Rails Web Development bootcamp three weeks ago and I’d like to go over my experiences so far.

The last few weeks have been pretty great, actually. There’s a lot of material to cover but it’s done in such a way that it’s broken down into small chunks. Assignments extend on the material being taught and incorporate material learned prior. Each assignment builds on the one before it and the beginning project walks you through the entire process.

Future projects are more open-ended and require the student to call upon what was learned in order to succeed. I am only a few weeks in after all so I haven’t been able to relfect upon the open-ended projects. However taking a cursory glance at them tells me they’re not overly challenging but they do require dedication and that you paid attention to the introductory courses.

I look forward to the next three weeks. With Christmas approaching, I don’t suspect I’ll be as active in the program (I’ve progressed much farther than the minimum states). After the first of the year, I predict I’ll be into one of the open projects and what I’ve learned will be tested. A challenge never hurts.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

It’s easy to miss the small picture when looking at the big picture. Thinking about what I have ahead of me in terms of the next year at Bloc gives me two thoughts: it’s going to take a long time and it’s easy to not see the forest for the trees.

Bloc is a long program. It covers a lot of material in great detail. For the un-initiated, it can take quite some time. I’m told that based on my 72-week track, I should be doing five “checkpoints” per week. It’s Tuesday and I’ve killed seven. I know it might not always be like this and the first weeks are always the “yeah let’s do this!” weeks. As time goes on, the sheer size of the program will really start to show itself but the one thing I’ll need to keep in mind is that no matter how many different *things *I still have to do, I need to just focus on one at a time.

Before I know it, I’ll be done.

page 1 of 2