Ruby Roundup 4

Try Ruby: If you’ve never touched Ruby before, this is a great place to start. Try Ruby is a simple and pleasant in-browser tutorial that will take you through the first steps of learning Ruby. It will give you a taste of Ruby without the hassle of setting up a development environment.

Bastards Book of Ruby: This colorfully-named book resembles a collection of blog posts, divided into four sections: Fundamentals, Supplementals, Design and Theory, and Projects. While the Fundamentals section is well-written and concise, I generally prefer the more in-depth intro in Chris Pine’s Learn to Program. What makes this book unique is the later sections, which are full of exciting beginner Ruby projects that don’t rely on Rails. One quick note, though--before you skip over the Fundamentals section, make sure to read the chapter on Style, Conventions, and Debugging. It will arm you with a great strategy for handling unfamiliar error messages.

Zetcode Ruby Tutorial: What’s the difference between a variable and a literal? Can you define polymorphism? Or recognize a sigil? Computer science has a language all its own, and for the sake of simplicity, most practical resources leave out these academic terms. Eventually, understanding these terms becomes important as you try to follow conversations between more experienced developers. Zetcode Ruby Tutorial is light on practical instruction, but can be a great vocabulary-booster. I recommend starting with the chapter on Ruby Lexical Structure.

Hartl's Rails Tutorial: Creating web applications with the Rails framework is the most popular way developers use the Ruby language. Once you’ve built a strong foundation in Ruby and tried out one of the less-complex frameworks, such as Sinatra or Campfire, it’s time to dive into Rails. Hartl’s Rails Tutorial will show you step-by-step how to build a micropost app (think Twitter). It covers every part of the process, including setting up a development environment, saving your work with Git version control, testing your code, and deploying with Heroku.

Sandi Metz: All the Little Things (Video): I’m throwing in this last video because it features my personal idol, Sandi Metz. This is her talk at Rails Conference 2015 about writing better code by using smaller methods and smaller classes. Sandi Metz is famous in the Ruby on Rails community for her book Principles of Object Oriented Design in Ruby. Once you’ve mastered the basics of Ruby, you should definitely consider buying a copy of her book. Even if you’re new to coding, her videos will help you start thinking about good design.