I Choo- Choo- Choose you Ruby

Mining for gems

A few friends have mentioned some interest in getting involved in Ruby and Ruby on Rails to see what all the buzz is aboot.

I was originally going to write a long and well thought out post, then I realized how helpful Michael Hartl’s guide was to me in getting set up and spooled up.

Rails Tutorial Dot Org
Rather than reinvent the wheel check his tutorial for…

1. Installing Ruby [use RVM!]
2. What is MVC
3. Setting up a super minimalist blog as a hello world.

The first time I read thru it it seemed like most of it was overkill, but after more and more tinkering, it’s r

eally valuable. As much as I usually glaze over for cookbook tutorials, this one is VERY informative.

A few other resources:

If you haven’t heard of this

yet… wait… honestly?
Ask questions thoughtfully and include as much code as is neccessary.

irc.freenode.com #ruby or #rubyonrails
It’s kind of hit or miss who’s online and willing to help, but I’ve gotten some great feedback.
Often I figure it out myself once I’ve taken the time to ask the question well.

Ryan Bates has done a great job doing video walkthroughs of common issues with Rails.
Be careful though, some of his solutions are for older versions of Rails.

Ruby Koans:
If you want to try and learn more about ruby syntax and behavior I highly recommend Ruby Koans
It’s more of a guided exploration rather than a cookbook tutorial.

Learn code the hard way:
I came across “Learn code the hard way” as well. Haven’t checked it out, looks very cookbook tutorial.

Project Euler
If you’re looking for some problems to chew on with ruby try out Project Euler. You’re on your own with the ruby side, but the problems are tractable enough for a noob. I prefer to learn my development on an ad-hoc basis with google and stackoverflow.com so this is what I’d prefer.

That’s it.

Right now I’m battling problems with Rails more than Ruby.
Track my progress here:


Edit after SWBoston:

Some of the guys recommended Rails For Zombies.  Haven’t tried it, seems interesting enough.
Tangential but related…

960 Grid System:
A beautiful way of laying out a website using a grid. Definitely more programmer friendly than auto-generated stuff from Dreamweaver and the like.

Twitter Bootstrap:
Like 960.gs but with some JS libs built in to give you a lot of the functionality of jquery without all the weight.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Give RBenv a shot instead of RVM


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