Recommendations for learning path


I am looking for recommendations how to approach learning Rails.

The application I am working on right now is primarily web-based, so API considerations take a backseat for the time being. It will be internally-hosted with not more than 10-30 concurrent users. Data volume will be less than 10 MB right now, but might go up to an estimated 500 MB over 2-3 years.

I have a Java SE and application architecture background with a bit more than 25 years working primarily on the back-end side for mission-critical transaction systems. So I know how to do things in my old environment, which is a Java-based proprietary application server. But I struggle with the most basic things in Rails at the moment.

What I have done so far:

  • Watched various YouTube videos, but not surprisingly that was more entertaining than educational by a wide margin. So I mostly stopped this.
  • Worked through the “Ruby on Rails Tutorial” from Michael Hartl. Good stuff, but left a lot of things open for me.
  • Looked at various guides from the Rails website, which somewhat helped.
  • Started reading this forum, which so far seems the best way for me personally. That is how I learned the best in the past (ranging back to the BBS days in the 1990s).

If there are additional resources you can recommend, I would be most grateful. They do not have to be focused completely on the use-case mentioned above.

Are there e.g. any books, online course, etc. that you like?

Thanks a lot!


List the things you struggle with? I can’t come up with anything else to ask.

This book is the one I learned from and others I hired learned from:


If you learn well from more synchronous discussion, there are rails slacks too. For example

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The official Pragmatic book is the best book, probably followed by Hartl’s Rails Tutorial.

For an online course, there is none better than the Pragmatic Studio Ruby and Ruby on Rails courses. They are high quality and worth every penny.

While you learn, also watch the old Railscasts. Even though many are dated, even the oldest videos are still very relevant and show you great Rails conventions and “tips/tricks” in ten minutes.


Hi there,

Specifically, I would strongly recommend this page

It is a very nicely structured free tutorial on hotwire, which will of course guide you through learning that specifically, and along the way other “more basic” rails knowledge is shown, albeit not always explained.

Generally, I’d advice to do three things:

  1. Write code: try to build something that you care about using rails, do it the TDD way (because your knowledge will evolve drastically throughout the learning process, and the 3rd step in the TDD loop is to refactor. that will mean lifting-up parts of the code created with your previous more-imperfect knowledge)

  2. Read code: from some bespoke [projects|blogs|people]

  3. Pick one or two books/sites as guides: lack of available knowledge is not the problem, the problem is the over-abundance and lack of compute power to find the right one to choose.

    3.1. Agile Web Development with Rails 7 is a nice one

    3.2. Layered Design for Ruby on Rails Applications by by Vladimir Dementyev is also noteworthy. Substantially more time consuming and intence than 3.1.'s

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Thanks everybody! That really helps :grinning:

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