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.

Books

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.

Online

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.

Bootcamps

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.

Bloc

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.


How to Fix Misspelled Column Names in a Ruby on Rails Database

I came across a small issue this afternoon while building out one of my first Ruby on Rails apps. When I generated the database table, I misspelled a column name. Luckily for me, it’s easy enough to fix and this is how I did it.

1. Create a New Migration

At the command line from within your Rails application folder, run this:

You’ll be generating a new database migration with the name FixColumnName (which interprets to `[timestamp]_fix_column_name.rb`) inside the `db/migrate` folder inside your rails application. Open that `.rb` file and update it so it looks something like this:
`:table_name` – the name of the table in question

:old_column – the misspelled column name

:new_column – the correct column name

If you have multiple columns you need to change, introduce additional rename_column functions:

Keep in mind that after this migration, you’ll need to update your references to the column everywhere within your app.

Seems like a simple fix but as someone who’s relatively new to Ruby on Rails, this saved me a load of time figuring out what to do and preventing me from starting over.


Future Ruby on Rails Developer

“Rails Developer” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

In my hunt to figure out where I want my career to head long term, I keep coming back to the idea of software development. I’ve told stories about how I had a rare opportunity a couple years back and I didn’t take it. Well, this time I’m the one creating the opportunity.

Right now I’m working on a self-paced course through Coder Manual and I’m having a great time. However, it may be billed as a complete “bootcamp” but the next stage for me really needs to be one-on-one with a touch of free-wheeling. It’s easy to follow along and build the same stuff the instructor is building. Where the real learning takes place is when free flowing creativity starts to happen.

This is where Bloc comes in. A long-term coding bootcamp, Bloc covers front end, rails, and full stack development with the end goal of being job-ready as a junior ruby on rails developer.

I’ve considered other languages like Python, Java, Swift and Objective-C, but none of those really hit home for me what I want to do. Rails as a platform allows developers to build complex and fully-featured web applications that can do amazing things while not having to focus on the medial.

Looking forward to what’s ahead.


page 1 of 1