Best Rails Resources

Carole Stephens
• Friday, 06 November, 2020
• 7 min read

There are a ton of books, videos, podcasts, and courses for learning Rails. It’s an intro to the core programming ideas you’ll need to know.

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It teaches you a small part of Rails that will prepare you to take on the harder resources. If you already know a few other languages or frameworks, check out the free Getting Started with Rails guide.

Once you know the basics, there are two bigger books that will fill out your Rails knowledge. We use it at work to teach devs without Rails experience, and like most of the rest of the Pragmatic Bookshelf books, it’s very good.

It walks you through most of what you need to know to build a fully functional example app. Once you’ve gone through one or two of these books, it’s pretty normal to feel confused and frustrated.

My book, Practicing Rails, will help you solve the most painful problems you’ll run into as you start your programming career. In Practicing Rails, you’ll learn how to debug your code when it breaks, pick up some processes you can follow to turn the ideas in your head into real features, and discover how to write tests without getting stuck.

And Programming Ruby is the best book I’ve found to get comfortable with the language. Books and websites are my favorite way to learn new things about Ruby and Rails.

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But if you prefer watching to reading, there are lots of great screencasts and courses you can check out, too. The Cablecasts haven’t been updated in a few years, but they’ll still show you great answers to common web problems.

You can find a few free sample videos on the site, but they’re all great. The Destroy All Software screencasts aren’t specifically about Ruby and Rails, but watching them will make you a better developer, whatever your language.

This list contains resources I have used over the years while learning and writing Ruby (on Rails) professionally. My goal is to keep this list up to date as I discover (or am recommended) new resources.

Feel free to recommend any useful resources to me on Twitter @leighchalliday. Below I'll list my favorite books starting with the ones covering the Ruby language itself, then covering how to write Ruby code well, and lastly some books around Rails and testing.

Black: The Well Grounded Rubbish (3rd Edition) This is the brand new (not released until July) version of this tried and true title. Ruby has a specific style which comes from its dynamic, meta programming nature, lending itself to DSL (which are covered).

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Although this book is from 2011, the language of Ruby moves much more slowly than Rails, so it is still a valuable learning resource. #ruby Sand Metz: Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby (2nd Edition) This is an absolutely fantastic book which will change how you think about writing object-oriented code.

#ruby #design Sand Metz & Katrina Owen: 99 Bottles of OOP This is another fantastic book by Sand Metz and Katrina Owen (who is behind exercise.Io), covering how to write object-oriented code well. This book is practical, covers TDD, and will leave you a better programmer.

Avid covers 32 patterns for writing confident code. For me the “guard clause” has made a big improvement in how I code.

A special focus is put on the dynamic aspect of Ruby including meta programming. It has been updated multiple times to keep up to date with major Rails releases.

This isn't a tutorial, but a guide on how to write Rails code well, following the most recommended patterns in the community. Noel covers all this and more in a book that I highly recommend if you want to take testing your Rails app seriously.

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#ruby #testing Noel Rapping: Take My Money: Accepting Payments on the Web This is a very comprehensive guide covering all things' money related. It covers speed techniques + how to monitor and debug your app's performance.

It's hard to say which is better, so I recommend doing the free parts and then making a decision. A subscription will cost $25 per month, but you can start with a 7-day free trial to see if you like it first.

Codecademy has a great interactive Ruby course where you can access most of the content with a free account. One Month Rails is a course where you build a Pinterest clone app from start to finish.

Exercise is a great tool to practice your Ruby (and tons of other languages) development through a set of small exercises. They give you the challenge, and it's your job to write the code to get the tests to pass.

If you are a native Spanish speaker and want great content in your own language, definitely check out Plate. Coursera: Ruby on Rails specialization Consists of 6 courses covering everything from ActiveRecord to the frontend (with some Angular).

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Daniel Shoe: Learn Ruby on Rails 5 Is great for new and old programmers alike. The first book is free but there are paid subscriptions starting at $19 per month for additional content and videos.

Pragmatic Studio: Rails Consists of 4 courses/modules, starting at $124 for the first course. Hosts have switched over the years, but it continues to produce weekly episodes with top quality guests and content.

The Bike Shed by Thought bot This podcast covers Ruby, Rails, and rocket ships. The hosts are Derek Prior from Thought bot and Sean Griffin from Shopify (and core Rails maintainer focusing on ActiveRecord).

Very few people let you peak at their production code, so it is incredibly interesting. 5by5 Ruby on Rails Podcast hosted by Kyle Dangle from GitHub.

GORSUCH Videos of the talks from this New York based Ruby conference. This specific one covers Ruby, but there are other guides for different languages both for the backend but also for frontend frameworks like React/Apollo.

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Mackenzie Child A free series of videos which build full “clone” style apps. Dev Scoop A Jewish Ruby newsletter now in its 10th episode, covering news, tutorials, updated gems, and more.

Brandon Hilbert A newsletter with Ruby and Rails tips sent twice per month. schemes Richard Sherman works at Heroku and produces a lot of good Ruby & Rails content.

Backed by a dynamic group of supporters, Ruby on Rails is used by more than half a million websites, among which Airbnb, Shopify, and last but not least, Phrase. If you also happen to have a unique app idea that you would like to implement without spending a fortune, then it is time to learn Ruby on Rails.

RubyTapas is a website that offers informative screencasts on Ruby and Rails produced by Avid Grimm, author of many tutorials and a couple of great books. Brogues is a podcast held by the WeChat platform covering various topics related to Ruby and Rails development.

Cablecasts is a platform created by Ryan Bates, author of popular solutions such as Cancan and LetterOpener. This address provides informative, short, and to-the-point screencasts, covering various tips and tricks on Ruby on Rails.

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Pluralsight is a popular technology learning platform with tools that can evaluate your skills irrespective of your knowledge level and help you find solutions to almost all your Rails problems. Code Academy offers online courses on Ruby on Rails, including lessons, quizzes, and projects to help you get started.

The book features 52 exercises for Rails developers and quite valuable pieces of advice from an experienced programmer. Its Ruby and Rails section hosts numerous “how-to” articles that would be interesting both for newbies and experienced developers.

Goals is an online platform publishing Ruby on Rails guides, screencasts, and tutorials for web developers, and much more. Rails Girls is a non-profit volunteer community focused on strengthening women’s engagement in technology and providing them with the necessary tools to craft their ideas.

Code wars is a collective effort by its community, where users teach each other various techniques and solutions and comment with constructive feedback. It is a huge Q&A community, where starters intending to learn Ruby on Rails will find answers to almost anything related to it.

The Phrase Blog is designed for developers and product managers dealing with software localization and internationalization and offers tons of tutorials as well as interviews with industry experts. Outflow is a community blog covering all things Ruby and Rails so take your time to roam around and find your favorite article.

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Tender love Making is the personal blog of Aaron Patterson, a well-known Ruby developer who loves writing about his job and coding in general. Ruby Land is a news and articles aggregator where you may find lots of interesting reads on Ruby and Rails.

Ruby Weekly is a mailing list to which you can subscribe to receive periodic emails with the latest news, interesting articles, and more! Awesome Ruby by Lib Hunt is an aggregator with lots of useful articles covering popular open-source solutions on a daily basis.

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