How to Learn Ruby

Starting to learn a new programming language or a new framework every person faces a problem — what should I start studying with? In this article I will outline the basic resources, which I consider to be the best for Ruby on Rails beginners.

To begin with, I would like to share my experience in learning Ruby. I had tried programming in Python, C, C++, C#, Pascal, Assembler, before switching to Ruby. To be honest, at first I did not take Ruby seriously. Clear, simple, understandable — how possibly could a programming language be like that?

At some point I had a choice: to master my skills in Python or to go deep into Ruby. After a little research, I found out that I could clearly see a Ruby career path. So I have decided to go for it! Now I see that Ruby is not so easy as it seemed at the first glance. But it is definitely the most fascinating language I have ever studied.

So I have delved into Ruby, and then moved to Ruby on Rails. Personally I strongly advise getting acquainted with Ruby before Ruby on Rails. Ruby documentation is a complete reference for beginners. Studying Ruby will provide you with a base, necessary for the deeper understanding of the Rails framework. In my opinion, the best thing about the current Ruby on Rails ecosystem is that there are plenty of learning resource options. It is easy for anyone to find the ones suited to their needs. I tried out a lot of different resources, but the ones that have worked the best for me are the following:

1. RubyMonk

This splendid interactive tutorial will jumpstart your learning process of Ruby as a programming language. CodeMonk is a great place for learning programming in a fun and engaging way. I highly recommend this tutorial for beginners.

2. Rails For Zombies

My second favorite Ruby on Rails introductory course. It is an online tutorial that provides you with 5 labs with video lessons each followed by exercises. In this course you can code right in your browser. I like Rails For Zombies for clear explanations and briefness to say nothing about great interface. However, my advice is to use it as an addition to some serious course.

3. Metaprogramming Ruby by Paolo Perrotta

Ruby is a dynamic programming language, so metaprogramming is widely used in Rails. I think that one definitely should read this book for a deeper understanding of Ruby on Rails. It is not aimed at the beginners, though they can use it as a reference. But the description of the material in the book becomes more sophisticated at some point. So if you feel that things get too complicated, go back to RubyMonk.

4. Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn From Scratch

This is a new Udemy reference guide that can also be used as a Ruby on Rails learning resource. As a Rails beginner, you can use this tutorial for searching solutions for the common issues.

These are my favourite resources which I have used when I started to learn Ruby on Rails. This tutorials and a book will definitely jumpstart your Ruby programming career, if you become as fascinated by Ruby as I am. Currently I have dipped into studying metaprogramming to understand the language better. At this point of time I am not using any particular resources, prefer to use documentation as a reference, as well as my own experience.