Rubies. A girl's best friend.

Ruby. On. Rails. It seems to be the big thing in web development these days with almost every new Internet company on the planet picking it as their development platform of choice. And when you read about RoR start-ups like Groupon being valued at $20 billion it's easy to see why. Indeed, as it's popularity soars and the community grows and the demand for it increases, there's never going to be a better time than now to start learning Ruby on Rails. Which is what I'm doing. So there.


Anyway, as a new Rubyist I figured it would be worthwhile sharing some of the great resources that I've been using to help me get to grips with the Ruby language and the Rails framework in the hopes that knowledge will be spread amongst the masses and other studious individuals, i.e. you, will benefit too. Enjoy, my pretties, enjoy!


1. RailsGuides

If there's a single site that's aided me the most in my quest to master Rails then it has to be RailsGuides. Their guides are simple, effective and to the point, pretty much condensing the same knowledge you get in an entire book into a single site. Not only is it a great resource for when you first start learning RoR but pages like their command line guide are excellent for when you just can't remember that specific command line syntax...


2. Rails For Zombies

The first online resource I looked at when learning Ruby on Rails was the fantastic Rails for Zombies from EnvyLabs over at Code School. Not only are the series of tutorials incredibly informative, educational and practical but the style of delivery is a lot of fun, really helping to keep draw you in. The intro music is also kick ass.


3. RailsCasts

Whilst perhaps not so useful for the immediate beginner, I find myself using RailsCast more and more. It's a fantastic resource for little snippets of detailed information with great screencasts and accompanying code for a whole range of activities and functionality. It has casts on everything from the basics of Sass and CoffeeScript to creating PDFs and updating your Rails installation.


4. Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Why's (poignant) guide to ruby is a very eccentric and eclectic online book that describes and teaches the Ruby language itself. A thoroughly enjoyable and charming read, this resource will have you a perfect Ruby programmer in no time. The illustrations are also rather funny and adorable.


5. NetTuts

Whilst not a Ruby on Rails site per se, NetTuts has a whole range of excellent RoR related articles. The one I've linked to above, for instance, describes everything you need to get set up and started with Ruby.


6. RailsLab

A hugely deep resource with some really interesting videos from some of the big players in the Rails community. Covering everything from practical topics like caching and scaling to more conversational subjects such as interviews and discussions, the videos are definitely worth watching and a great way to learn more about the language and the community behind it.


7. Ruby in Twenty Minutes

If you're like me, you probably jumped straight into learning Ruby on Rails without actually knowing anything about Ruby itself. While it's easy enough to pick up, resources like this small and straightforward guide are a good way to quickly solidify your knowledge of the language.


8. RailsAPI

API listings are always a great resource for when you need to look up something up and RailsAPI is about the best I've found offering both a downloadable version and an online version.



For when you just absolutely, positively have to get a list of every single gem ever created.


10. GitHub

I really had to end with GitHub because, if you're at all interested in learning RoR, you really need to get familar with using it as pretty much all of the community resources, projects and gem developments are housed on it. And chances are your project will be too.


Oh, I should probably point out - as if you don't already know - that I am relatively new to learning Rails myself so if there's any other great guides or resources that I've missed, feel free let me know.


This article was written by Gordon McLachlan, co-founder of Primate. To view the article in it's original context and for more articles on the web, visit 8 Gram Gorilla –  A rather awesome, informative and witty blog about all things web.

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What on earth? Why have I never heard of RailsLab!? Thanks for this!



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