How did you learn Ruby on Rails?

I curious how everyone here learned Ruby on Rails?

Screencasts? Books? Tutorials? Just playing with it? Classes? Mentor? Blogs? Divine knowledge? Other?

This should be interesting.

-Adam

Adam -

Coded a blog in PHP and a friend showed me the infamous 15-minute rails blog tutorial (now outdated). I coded the blog in Rails and I was amazed at what it does.

Adam wrote:

I curious how everyone here learned Ruby on Rails?

Screencasts? Books? Tutorials? Just playing with it? Classes? Mentor? Blogs? Divine knowledge? Other?

This should be interesting.

-Adam

Screencasts? Books? Tutorials? Just playing with it? Blogs?

Still learning.... always learning.

I followed a few tutorials and screencasts. They gave me a little sample of the power of Rails, but they were of more promotional value to me than education.

I purchased and read the first several chapters of Agile Web Development with Rails. That really demonstrated the speed with which someone who knows how to use Rails can make useful things happen. It did not, for me, really guide me. I'm sure it was great for a lot of people, but it didn't talk to me the way the next book did.

RailsSpace was a fantastic book. That's the one that really taught me Rails. Even the Rough Cuts version, which I bought in PDF form, was fantastic. It wasn't just the normal content of the book that was so helpful, but some of the commentary and special sauce the authors provided.

I did a couple of production sites following closely the methods from RailsSpace. The actual full-site development, along with the fantastic book, gave me a good solid understanding of Rails.

That being said, there's still a TON for me to learn about Rails (and I get frustrated at times at the difficulty in finding answers to some of my questions). I do wish that Rails had an active IRC group like Plone does. The Plone IRC channel is awesome.

That's a meandering answer :), so in summary I suggest "get the book RailsSpace", and probably also get the book "Agile Web Development with Rails".

i applied for a job in the internet business (after being an application developer with experience in Pascal, VB, C++ and basics in HTML & JS) send them an email, was asked if i knew Ruby on Rails (i didn't) got the job anyway and started learning by doing (my boss being in the US for the first three weeks i started learning, so couldn't help me in that time), following some tutorials and books but then had to jump into real world programming very fast to get a job done for a customer. had my first web-app online after around two months

i was lucky of course, since working with experienced programmers helps a lot with the "best practices" part and doing things the Rails way.

Hi --

I curious how everyone here learned Ruby on Rails?

Screencasts? Books?

Yes to books -- specifically, writing one :slight_smile: Believe me, you learn a ton doing that. Same with developing training materials and curriculum. It's not just a brain-dump; you really have to study the stuff and think about it a lot.

Tutorials? Just playing with it?

Yes to both.

Classes? Mentor?

Re: classes, see above about developing training materials. Doing the actual training is also an on-going learning process. (If it were just a brain-dump, I'd be bored to death with it by now, which I'm not.)

No single mentor but lots of discussion and exchange with friends and colleagues involved in learning and developing Rails and Rails apps. I think we've all benefited from the availability of a lot of people.

Blogs?

Yes.

Divine knowledge? Other?

Answering questions and reading other people's answers on mailing lists.

David

Well, if David won’t pimp his book “Ruby For Rails”, I will. :slight_smile: It was my first book in this area and a great one at that. Getting to know ruby closely before doing the hard-core rails stuff was great for me.

Then, get yourself “The Rails Way” by Obie Fernandez et al. RailsSpace is also spot on.

And don’t forget http://railscasts.com and http://peepcode.com - invaluable advice from the masters.

George

Adam wrote:

Other?

Many feeb attempts, over ~10 years, to build gee-whiz websites using pathetically inferior tools, followed by building a nice website from scratch using raw Ruby!

By:

- reading (AWDR2, tutorials) - watching (RailsCasts, Bala Paranj) - coding - discussing (camps, this list).

Cheers, Sazima

i applied for a job in the internet business (after being an application developer with experience in Pascal, VB, C++ and basics in HTML & JS) send them an email, was asked if i knew Ruby on Rails (i didn't) got the job anyway and started learning by doing

Tell that to my bosses. We currently specialize in hiring PhP coders and teaching them on the job via pair-programming.

So another bullet point for Adam is:

  - pairing!

The book Agile web development with rails is great. I'm reading it as of right now after many frustrated attempts with the free tutorials around the web. The thing you have to be careful about is that rails 2.0 is quite different from the 1.x version the tutorials are usually written against. So I had tons of problems going through the tutorials since I like to always download the latest and greatest of anything. The free stuff rarely mentions about the rail version differences. Also if you're working on Windows. Download InstantRails. It'll get you up and running in no time. I never imagined building a shopping cart in a couple days. And I'm a full-time working mom.

Adam wrote:

Adam wrote:

I curious how everyone here learned Ruby on Rails?

Started with an off-hand comment by one of our software architects about "programming by convention" and "Ruby on Rails"...

Then a tutorial from the web.

Followed by an "Oh cool..."

Then AWDWR in Beta PDF...

then 2 more books, and lots of sleep-deprivation.

Adam wrote: > I curious how everyone here learned Ruby on Rails?

The first book I bought was Ruby for Rails by Black and as much as it is a good book, it was just over my head for someone that never touched either. I then decided to build a site with rails and used Beginning Ruby on Rails E-Commerce and learnt by doing. I since also bought AWDWR, Rails Space, Learning Ruby and The Ruby Way to read and use as well. Also, many people have helped me here and other forums when I had some troubles.

The first book I bought was Ruby for Rails by Black and as much as it is a good book, it was just over my head for someone that never touched either.

I'm glad someone mentioned this book. Its the first Rails book I read as well. I think this is the best book to learn a little introductory Ruby in the context of Rails. Its a poor book for learning Rails itself (AWDWR is much better for that) but its pretty good at teaching you Ruby without overwhelming you.

A huge part of the book is actually learning Ruby. At times it was even frustrating b/c I wanted to learn something about Rails and I was running of pages. Most of the Ruby books I have read are really overwhelming. IMO you can do plenty with RoR and only know the key 20% features of the language.

So I recommend a solid Ruby intro book plus AWDWR. Rails Way is also very good but not for beginners.

Sean

Getting a job in Rails and them teaching you more as you go is always good too.

Specialize? That's hilarious. Someone who can't even teach themselves something as simple, well documented, and well commented as PHP should probably consider a career in something other than software development. Being a programmer means being able to solve problems, with teaching yourself new concepts, almost daily, being the very least of that set of problems.

I think he meant hire PHP programmers and train them up in RoR.

Hi --

The first book I bought was Ruby for Rails by Black and as much as it is a good book, it was just over my head for someone that never touched either.

I'm glad someone mentioned this book. Its the first Rails book I read as well. I think this is the best book to learn a little introductory Ruby in the context of Rails. Its a poor book for learning Rails itself (AWDWR is much better for that) but its pretty good at teaching you Ruby without overwhelming you.

A huge part of the book is actually learning Ruby. At times it was even frustrating b/c I wanted to learn something about Rails and I was running of pages. Most of the Ruby books I have read are really overwhelming. IMO you can do plenty with RoR and only know the key 20% features of the language.

Do you know the other 80% thoroughly enough to be confident about that? :slight_smile:

BTW I agree with you that R4R isn't a Rails manual. I might word it differently than you did :slight_smile: But it definitely isn't supposed to be, and never was meant to be, anyone's one and only Rails guide. People have gotten lots of different mileage out of it but on the whole I get the impression that its sweet spot for a lot of people is as a second book. Or maybe a 1.5th book :slight_smile:

David

Do you know the other80% thoroughly enough to be confident about that? :slight_smile:

I guess I don't know what I don't know so its hard to say. :slight_smile: My point is only that while I constantly find myself learning more about Ruby each day, I am still very productive in Rails. IMO if you tried to pick up one of those massive Ruby language books (The Ruby Way in particular but also Pickaxe) then you could find yourself a little bit overwhelmed.

BTW I agree with you that R4R isn't a Rails manual. I might word it differently than you did :slight_smile: But it definitely isn't supposed to be, and never was meant to be, anyone's one and only Rails guide. People have gotten lots of different mileage out of it but on the whole I get the impression that its sweet spot for a lot of people is as a second book. Or maybe a 1.5th book :slight_smile:

I didn't suggest that it was supposed to be a complete guide to Rails. That's exactly why I'm recommending people buy your book to learn just the right amount of Ruby and then AWDWR to learn Rails in detail. I'm actually a fan of the book so hopefully that came across in my earlier post.

David

Sean