Resources for Starting to Learn Ruby

Published: 2014-07-15

As with learning anything new, you "don't know what you don't know", so here is a short list of resources I have discovered while learning Ruby, that I hope can help get you started as well.

First make sure you have Ruby installed.

Free

Try Ruby - The interactive site will have you typing ruby from the very start and it is a great place to get started. They keep the concepts simple and straight forward and you can play around with the commands to get a good feel for Ruby.

Ruby in 20 Minutes - The official Ruby site has a pretty decent starter tutorial, though I find it goes pretty deep, If you are a beginner, don't let this put you off.

Just Enough Ruby to Get By - While not at beginner level, this book/web site has a great layout that allows you to quickly see how things are done in Ruby. Great to use as a reference as well.

Learn Ruby The Hard Way - Don't let the name fool you, this book/site is a great concept. They give you the code to type in (do type it in, copy/paste defeats the purpose), they show you how it should like when it is run successfully and its up to you to figure it out and make the code run with lots of helpful tips. The 'extra credit' sections are great and worth doing. It's might be getting a bit old by now, but is still great.

Comming from another language? Check out Ruby from Other Languages, this is a handy rundown of the differences between Ruby and Perl, PHP etc.

Paid

Learn Ruby The Hard Way - Same as above, just worth buying, especially if you have an iPad so it can stop you from wanting to copy/paste.

Code School - The creators of the Try Ruby course above, Code School have an 'all you can eat' system where you pay a flat price per month and get access to all of their courses related to Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Javascript etc. A great one stop shop.

Helpful sites

It won't take long before you start having questions, so here are a few resources to help:

The official Ruby website - lots of great resources are linked to from the site.

Stack Overflow - Great question and answer site that has answers for just about everything you can think of.

iwanttolearnruby - Big list of other Ruby learning resources out there.

Ruby5 podcast - Great podcast that keeps you up to date on what is happening with Ruby & Rails.

Ruby Weekly - The one (and only) newsletter that you need to subscribe to. Peter does a great job of curating what is happening in the Ruby community.

Lots more out there

This list is deliberately short and by no means exhaustive. I just wanted to share the resources that worked for me when I was getting started and a few I found along the way. If these styles don't work for you, there are plenty of others.

The one bit of advice I have is to build something you need, it might be a little script that does something simple. Having a task means you will know when it is 'done' (or done enough) and can move on. I find that is why I like the approach of Learn Ruby The Hard Way.

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