Ruby on Rails has really come into its own over the last couple of years as more and more developers flock to it to design their websites. It’s now the framework of choice for major websites like Shopify and AirBnB, and is increasingly popular amongst start-ups who want a fast way to build responsive websites.
If you’re finding yourself wishing you got on the Ruby on Rails train earlier (pun intended), don’t despair: there are plenty of ways to learn how to use this framework from the ground up. Alternatively, if you’re already familiar with Ruby and just looking to catch up with recent news, we’ve got you covered too. What follows are the best places online to learn about Ruby on Rails and to keep up to date with this exciting new trend.
If you’re looking for a solid education from the ground up, you’re probably best off looking into online courses. Some of these are provided free and others come at a small cost, but all will provide you with strong foundational knowledge in Ruby on Rails.
The go-to place to learn all things code, Codecademy is a great option for absolute coding beginners and those who already know some languages. There are a number of free courses on offer which help you work your way up from basic HTML, though you can jump right to Ruby on Rails if you are already familiar with the beginner’s lessons. Plus, there’s a strong network of support in the form of forums, Q&As and glossaries so you can look up and revise concepts as you go.
Udemy is a great option for more guided teaching if you can afford to invest in your Ruby learning. Unlike Codecademy, Udemy’s courses aren’t free, but they are relatively cheap — the cheapest will set you back about $12 — and you get a lot of bang for your buck: videos, articles, and other course materials, along with a certificate to show off once you’ve completed the course. On top of that the learning materials are available to you forever, even after the course finishes, so you can go back for a refresher at no extra cost. Course content is also compatible with smart TVs and mobile devices.
Coursera provides you with access to teaching from institutions of higher education for free, so it’s great for learners who appreciate a more traditional style of teaching you get in colleges and universities. There are lots of options for Ruby-related courses on Coursera, so you have a choice of options depending on what you’re going to be using your Ruby on Rails for. Bear in mind that, as the original college courses were designed to build off one another, you’ll probably need some level of base knowledge about common terms to make the most out of your Coursera classes.
Don’t let the name fool you, this is actually a great way to introduce yourself to Ruby on Rails. This site takes its name from a book and recycles its 52 exercises for free online. Each exercise is laid out in simple text and images and the whole ‘course’ can be taken in your own time, but many complete it in a few weeks.
Forums & Communities
Maybe you’re already familiar with the foundations of Ruby on Rails and you’re looking for particular advice or specific expert knowledge. If so, there are plenty of online communities and networks built by coders for coders to help spread solutions to Ruby challenges, common and expert alike.
Let’s start off with the overwhelming favorite place for asking questions and sharing expert knowledge online. If you’ve spent any time as a developer you’ve probably come across Stack Overflow before and you won’t be surprised to know they have plenty of discussions on Ruby, helping you to solve specific issues with community help.
“This community is specifically for women interested in working in tech, created to provide them with networking and support. Even in 2020 women are severely underrepresented in development and tech, so some Finnish developers created Rails Girls in an effort to represent women in the industry, help with building skills and promote gender equality,” explains Dana Adams, a tech blogger at Essay services and Boomessays. They have an active blog and learning materials sections on their website and also host workshops and networking events.
Another thriving community of fellow Ruby on Rails developers lives on Reddit. Reddit might seem impenetrable to someone who hasn’t used it before, but under the surface it’s just a community of like-minded individuals brought together by the love and fascination with one subject; In this case, it’s Ruby and Rails. Engage with other developers, ask questions of experienced users, or just follow for news and updates.
Bloggers & News
If you’d rather absorb than engage, there are plenty of news sources to follow Ruby updates and bloggers who write about their personal experiences with Ruby.
If it’s updates you’re interested in, Ruby Weekly is the place for you. There you can subscribe to a weekly newsletter filled with articles on changes and developments in Ruby on Rails, for the low low price of free-fifty-free.
This blog, run by Heroku coder Richard Schneeman, is a source for personal experiences with Ruby from an expert and fanatic. He gives tips on years of experience managing Ruby Buildpack and advises on the most basic programming practices to improving performance and debugging.
What better place to learn about Ruby on Rails than from the horse’s mouth, so to speak? The official Rails blog, run by Roque Pinel, has the most up-to-date information on releases and also provides plenty of helpful tips and tricks to get the most out of Ruby.
Videos, Channels & Podcasts
Once you’re tired of reading, there is a huge number of videos on Ruby, along with whole channels and podcasts dedicated to the language. These come in the form of tutorials on specific elements or deep-dive discussions.
This DevChat podcast has already run to over 450 episodes, talking Ruby updates and features with special guests three times a month. You can go through the archive, all available online, to find specific topics that interest you, or follow for discussion on new developments as they happen.
If it’s video tutorials you’re after, there’s few better places to go than RubyTapas. “With over 600 free episodes featuring screencasts of Ruby development, the site describes itself as somewhere for ‘the busy Ruby on Rails developer who is ready to reach the next level of code mastery’. Episodes are released regularly by the site’s author and fifteen-year ‘veteran’ of Ruby, Avdi Grimm,” explains Harry Mitch, a Ruby blogger at Revieweal and Simplegrad.
Worthy os special mention is RailsCasts, once run by Ryan Bates of CanCan and LetterOpener. This is another source of screencasts featuring hundreds of videos, and though it’s unfortunately no longer maintained, all the videos are still up and available for free.
These are only a few ways of learning Ruby on Rails, but which you pick depends on how you learn and what works best for you. Try out a couple and see how it can expand your Ruby and Rails knowledge!
Beatrix Potter is a professional writer at Bigassignments.com and Eliteassignmenthelp.com. She has been involved in many web development projects throughout the country over the past 20 years. Beatrix is a tech editor at Custom paper writing services UK.