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I’m a fairly new developer, I went to school for computers and I’m learning developing on my own. I did well in school so I figure I can do it. Why is it that whenever I find a tutorial it never works to completion?

Has anyone else had this problem? idk, it just seems like maybe I should give up, maybe I’m not smart enuf, idk. experienced people share your experiences, I would really like to hear them, cause this is ridiculious. I never meet developers, so I really don’t have anyone to talk to about this.

How much time did you put into it to become good?

Are the free tutorials just made to get us interested so we can buy books?

what is it?

Start with online tutorials like codeacademy, then paid online ones like code school and tree house. Often blogs and tutorials are “right” but only for a certain setup, certain OS, certain version, certain language version, certain library versions, etc. There are so many variables, one of the skills of a professional developer is being able to take a tutorial that’s “sorta right” and make it work. People are sharing their work for free, so they have no particular responsibility to QA their work.

Start meeting developers. Go to meetups, try hacker hours or even something more serious like hacker school. Don’t learn to develop on your own. If you’re not in a city, get on mailing lists, go to conferences. Meet programmers. It’ll make your progress much faster.

Best Wishes,


I don't have time to check the entire guides each time it is changed so I can't help you if you don't provide us enough details on what part of the guide is not working for you and what were your specific changes that caused any errors.

Also, while I find the Rails guides one of the best available resources for learning Rails (even when compared to some books on the subject), there are also other free resources (including books) on Rails available in the Internet, like this one:

Good luck,

Hi Michelle,

Ruby and Rails move fast so tutorials become stale quickly. Best bet is to check what version of Ruby/Rails the tutorial was written for as well as the operating system (Mac OSX/Windows/Linux) and make sure that you have as close as possible. If you need help finding resources, feel free to hit me up on Skype or IRC as emachnic.


Evan Machnic

I had pretty good success with the Pragmatic Programmers book: Agile Web Development with Rails. The whole book takes you step-by-step through a rails project.
There’s a lot to learn… you need Ruby, Rails, probably some javascript, git, rubygems. Are you familiar with object-oriented programming? (I wasn’t, and that was a challenge for me).

Stick with it and don’t become disheartened. Most of us who have become proficient in RoR love it, and probably you will too.

I, too, learned in complete isolation, I don’t know any programmers, but when you’re really stuck the forums are always a good resource.

all people here have sound advice and as well as have free courses that work.

That said, part of programming is troubleshooting your setup as well as differences due to framework upgrades and the like, so you’ll never be free of these kinds of problems.

Searching for reasons your program is failing, is a part of a programmers toolkit, so get familiar with sites like or framework specific forums/mailing lists/irc and in the case of the guides, you’re also welcome to ask when you have a specific problem.

  • Henrik