Did you know that Ruby is not the same as Ruby on Rails? In this week’s installment of our Top 50 Series, The Top 50 Websites To Learn Ruby, you’ll find out many quality places to learn from.
Oftentimes in the world of web development, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is talked about more than Ruby itself.
Ruby is an open-source programming language that has been designed to be simple and easy to understand. Ruby’s syntax is much more natural than some other programming languages. This means that it’s much easier to read and understand. That’s part of the reason why so many recommend Ruby as a starting language for aspiring programmers.
For more insights on learning Ruby, check out Code Conquest’s Ruby training section.
What is Ruby on Rails, Then?
Ruby on Rails is a development framework that has been built using the Ruby programming language.
A framework — or a web app framework — can be used to build web applications that require dynamic database driven solutions. Essentially, if you’re working with a database, Ruby on Rails is the framework you would use.
Here are some kinds of sites that have been built with RoR:
- Social networking sites
- And even some blogs or content management systems
Which Should You Learn First?
It’s easier to start with and learn Ruby, the programming language, and then move on to Rails.
Learning the language that powers the framework first means that learning Rails will come with greater ease. You’ll have a better understanding of how functions, commands and different parameters work provided you start with the language and learn the fundamentals.
Why Learn Ruby?
An estimated 600,000 websites were created with Ruby or Ruby on Rails, including high-profile sites like:
Ruby is one of the fastest growing languages around today, thanks to the vast amount of developers and community-based support. There are hundreds — if not thousands — of resources available for anyone that wishes to get started with the language and the framework.
Where Should You Start?
The thing most people don’t realize about programming is that it’s fairly easy to teach yourself. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars by heading back to school.
You can easily hone your skills is through practice.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a huge list of resources that will either show you how to get started with Ruby or broaden your skillset if you already know the fundamentals.
Top 50 Websites to Learn The Ruby Programming Language
Before diving in, keep in mind that the resources are not listed in any particular order.
1. Ruby Foundations Course
This online course through Treehouse is an excellent starting point for any new coders that want to get more familiar with Ruby. You can check it out with a free trial, but you will have to pay for access to attend the full course.
Price: Starts at $25/month after a 14-day free trial.
2. Try Ruby
This is perhaps one of the best introductory resources period for any programming language. Why? Because it’s incredibly thorough, easy to follow and there’s an inline coding environment right on the page. Yep, you can practice the lessons right in the same window. This is ideal for beginner to intermediate coders. Obviously, the lessons are much too simplistic for experts to find anything of value. After your experience with the platform, if you’d like to move forward with your education on Ruby there are plenty of additional places — like this list — where you can find resources to teach yourself the language.
3. Ruby In 20 Minutes
This tutorial on the official Ruby portal — by the team behind the language — will teach you the basics in about twenty minutes. When you’re finished, you won’t exactly know how to build a fully functional web application, but you’ll know enough to get started. If you pair this resource with one that’s more comprehensive, you’ll be coding in no time.
4. Code School Ruby Path
Code School’s Ruby Path is a full fledged Ruby tutorial from start to finish – you can write Ruby code in your browser, and the result will display. Code School’s lessons are in depth as they include videos, too.
Price: Free for introductory lesson, starts at $29/month for full access
5. The Odin Project
This Ruby Programming tutorial will teach you the language by showing you step-by-step how to create some pretty cool web applications and programs. You’ll build a Tic Tac Toe game, Hangman game, a web server and more. Along the way you’ll learn the ins and outs of the language, making you feel “a whole lot more like a real programmer” as the site claims.
6. Ruby Programming for Beginners
This Udemy course by Huw Collingbourne is for coding novices and intermediate programmers.
RubyMonk is another great interactive tutorial site where you can practice using Ruby right in your browser. The courses are free and there are several spanning from beginner to intermediate topics. You can sign-up for a free account if you wish but it’s not required.
This website is for those new to programming and the Ruby language. There’s a complete tutorial to introduce newbies to the fundamentals of the language. There are also a bunch of study notes to use while working with the language. They serve as great resources later on and are ideal for intermediate to experienced developers too.
9. Learn Ruby the Hard Way
This eBook is available online — in an HTML version — for free. It uses the same teaching style as Learn Python the Hard Way. It’s designed to teach absolute beginners how to code with Ruby, and no prior knowledge is necessary. Intermediate coders may also find some useful information here, but experts should probably look elsewhere.
This unique portal allows you to learn by doing, that is by putting your knowledge to practice. An inline coding tool allows you to participate in exercises and challenges right within your browser. There are a variety of languages available to choose from, one of which is obviously Ruby. As you progress — competing against a large community of like-minded developers — you’ll earn achievements and ranks that display your prowess.
11. Introduction to Programming with Ruby
This is a full-length eBook, hosted on Tealeaf Academy. It’s actually required reading for the Ruby course hosted on the site but it’s also a great resource for anyone interested in getting started with the language. Intermediate to expert coders may want to bookmark this reference too.
12. Learn Ruby with the Neo Ruby Koans
The Koans will teach you the language of Ruby, related syntax, structure and common functions. A “koan” is basically a series of unique practice exercises that are setup to help you learn the fundamentals of the language. You’ll participate in a series of tests, after you install Ruby and cover the basics, of course.
13. Ruby Stack
This is not an educational resource at all. Instead, it’s a portal that offers an extremely convenient and complete, ready-to-run development environment for Ruby. It includes the latest release of the language, RVM, Rails, SQLite, MySQL, NGINX, Apache, Memcache and Varnish, Git and Subersion, phpMyAdmin, PHP, and Sphinx. You can deploy — read: install — the environment on Windows, Linux and OS X in just a single click.
Railscasts is a weekly screencast series on the framework Ruby on Rails. There are free casts available that deal with lots of diverse Ruby on Rails topics, and a Pro level set of casts that cost a few dollars to gain access to. There should be more casts added very soon so check back to this site soon!
Price: Some free casts, $9/month for Pro casts.
15. Learn Ruby In Y Minutes
This tutorial will teach you how to program with Ruby through code. Seriously, check it out. The entire tutorial is written via an inline coding window. If you follow it closely, there’s a lot of good information here especially for the average novice. If you have experience working with Ruby, look elsewhere.
16. Ruby Warrior
Forgot learning by poring over lengthy text documents, online tutorials and boring exercises. Ruby Warrior is an online RPG game that will teach you how to code with Ruby. As you progress you’ll level up your custom character and gain valuable knowledge you can use to develop with the language. Intermediate to expert coders won’t learn much from this game, but it’s a lot of fun!
17. Practicing Ruby with Gregory Brown
Practicing Ruby is a community for Ruby developers of any skill level. You do need to subscribe for $8 a month to gain access, but once you do you’ll have access to useful insights from Gregory Brown, an experienced dev. It also serves as an active forum for aspiring Ruby developers.
18. Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby
This comprehensive tutorial is made interesting thanks to the small code-related cartoons you’ll find spaced throughout. It’s a lot of fun to read, particularly because of the tone the writers adopted. It’s great for programmers of any skill level.
Ruby Steps will not only teach you the language, it will offer you a glimpse at the average workload of the average professional. If you’re the type of person that likes to plan ahead, yet knows little about Ruby currently, then this is the place for you. It offers plenty of advice on finding jobs once you’re more experienced, and it will help you reach that point with lots of in-depth tutorials and guides.
20. Learning Ruby by Daniel Carrera
This online plain text guide will introduce you to Ruby and walk you through using the most common functions and syntax. If you wish to view the content offline, you can download the entire tutorial onto your device of choice.
21. Ruby Documentation
If you’re wondering why this resource is further down the list, it’s because it isn’t quite as user-friendly — at least when compared to some of the other options in this list. That said, it is a comprehensive documentation portal for the Ruby language.
22. Learn Ruby Subreddit
Reddit is a social media forum with a wide variety of subreddits — or sub-forums — dedicated to every topic you can think of. The Learn Ruby subreddit is a community where novice developers can congregate and discuss their experiences. It’s unique in that you’ll be interacting with lots of other developers who are trying to learn the language right alongside you.
23. Learn Ruby by Example
This resource is self-explanatory. It teaches you how to work with Ruby through practice exercises and quick examples. Due to the nature of the content, it assumes you have prior programming knowledge. Absolute beginners will want to get some more experience under their belt before checking this out. Novice to intermediate coders will feel right at home.
24. TutorialsPoint Ruby Tutorial
This tutorial has been designed from the ground-up for beginners to deliver the necessary basics for working with the Ruby language. Like some of the other resources on this list, when paired with a few other options you’ll be programming web applications in no time.
25. SitePoint Ruby Tutorials
SitePoint is a community-based tutorial portal. You’ll find a wealth of guides and advice on the site for more than just Ruby. Of course, the Ruby section is loaded with useful content.
26. Mr Neighborly’s Humble Little Ruby Book
This free and remarkably quirky eBook will walk you through the basics of Ruby. Some of the exercises and practices are comical, giving the lessons more of a fun and delightful tone. If you find yourself bored with most of the options on this list, then check this one out. The book is available as a PDF or HTML format file for free, or you can purchase a physical print copy if you so desire.
Price: Free (online) or $9.97 (print)
27. A Ruby Story
If you like cats and advice offered in a more casual or conversational tone, then A Ruby Story fits the bill. All manner of programmers will find tips and tricks, tutorials, guides, and advice on both Ruby and Ruby on Rails.
28. Learn Ruby at Codecademy
This full-length Codecademy course on Ruby will take you from absolute beginner to seasoned dev in no time. The platform can run your code on the site, so no additional installation is required (until you’re ready to move on your own).
29. Launch Academy Codecabulary – Learn Ruby
This set of Ruby-related cheat sheets provide great references for anyone that is already ingrained in Ruby development. Keep in mind, there’s not enough content to be helpful to beginners. However, intermediate and experienced coders will find the site bookmark-worthy.
30. Chef Documents Ruby Guide
Chef is a cloud infrastructure framework that was built with Ruby. Therefore, anyone looking to work with the platform must first learn the language. That’s why Chef Documents has a great learning resource for anyone getting started with Ruby.
31. Ruby Essential Training with Kevin Skoglund
This in-depth course is offered via Lynda.com, which means it’s not free and you’ll have to pay for access. Luckily, you can check out a free trial to see if it’s your style before you plop down any money. It starts with the basic introductory concepts, shows you how to setup a Ruby dev environment and then progresses through nearly every concept of the language.
Price: Starts at $19.99/month after free 10-day trial.
32. One Day Rails
Even though this course is for Ruby on Rails the framework instead of the language, and it costs $16 to access the content, it’s still incredible because of the premise. You can learn Ruby on Rails in 91 minutes flat, or over the course of a single day. In today’s hyper-active world where everyone has places to go, things to do and people to see, it’s a valuable resource.
33. Thenewboston Ruby Video Tutorials
We’ve included thenewboston YouTube channel on nearly every one of our massive resource listings for the many different programming languages and dev applications. That’s because it’s an exceptional portal, end of story. The Ruby tutorials are no exception to that rule. Since every lesson is delivered via a video or screencast, it’s ideal for anyone that’s more of a visual learner.
34. Learn Ruby on Linux
Are you running a Linux distro? Do you want an easy-to-follow guide on setting up a Ruby development environment and one that details how to get started with the language? Learn Ruby on Linux was designed specifically for devs who prefer to work on Linux.
Price: $25/month, group rates available.
35. Techotopia Ruby Essentials
This is yet another free online book that tackles the basics of Ruby. Although, you’ll find this reference goes much further down the rabbit hole, teaching a lot of advanced functions and syntax. It is for that reason we recommend this resource for coders of all skill levels.
Price: Free online, $8.99 to download in PDF/EPUB.
36. Should I Learn Python or Ruby
This project on GitHub will allow you to see the differences and similarities between Ruby and Python. It will show you the basics of each language and help you decide with is the right for you when it comes to starting your programming career. If you’re already a Ruby developer, it’s a great way to get acquainted with Python as an alternative.
37. Mashable Ruby on Rails for Beginners
This article by Jolie O’Dell from Mashable is just a single resource. However, the insights you’ll find discussed on the page are absolutely valuable for coders of any skill level. A large handful of professional developers — who regularly work with Ruby — offer advice on learning the language.
38. Anyone Can Learn to Code Ruby Screencasts
On this site there are a handful of video-based lessons — screencasts — on the Ruby language. All the basic and major concepts are covered, so by the time you finish watching the final screencast you’ll know enough to jump in and start programming.
Once you start working with Ruby building your own applications, you might want to look for modules or existing packages that you can use in your projects. RubyGems is the place to go for that. Experienced developers have created thousands of modules you can use to bolster your own work — without doing the dirty work yourself. If you wanted, you could even reverse engineer some of the modules to learn how they were created.
40. Official Ruby on Rails Guides
This is the official documentation or tutorials for the Ruby on Rails framework. Obviously, once you move past the fundamentals of working with the language and are ready to learn Rails, this is the first place to go.
41. IronShay Learning Ruby In 15 Minutes
The IronShay blog — maintained by Shay Friedman — hosts a variety of code snippets, guides and tutorials. The particular article linked, will show you how to work with Ruby in 15 minutes. You won’t be building any premium applications anytime soon, but you’ll have a firm grasp of the fundamentals.
42. Man with Code
Man with Code is a great portal to find coding tutorials on any language or programming topic. The Ruby tutorials section has a small handful of easy-to-follow lessons for anyone interested in learning the language.
43. Kids Ruby
Kids Ruby is a learning development environment for young, aspiring coders. It’s designed to make the coding process more fun. Although it’s obviously tailored to kids with little to no prior experience, don’t write it off. Adults could learn a bunch using this software too, especially if they’re absolute beginners.
44. Ruby on Rails Tutorial
This online eBook is premium, so you’ll have to pony up $39 to access the book alone. If you choose one of the more expensive packages you’ll gain access to more useful materials like screencasts, online (HTML) access and more.
Price: Freemium: free to read the book online, starts at $39 for offline use.
45. The Pragmatic Studio
You’ll have to pay $169 to access the premium course content on Pragmatic Studio’s site. Once you do, you’ll have a growing library of material on Ruby and Ruby on Rails at your fingertips. This particular course aims to make you more familiar with the language and is tailored for those with previous experience.
46. Test First
As the name implies, Test First encourages aspiring developers to learn a language — in this case Ruby — through a rigorous self-testing program. It’s not all tests, however, as there are plenty of exercises to help you get more familiar with a particular topic or function before diving into the more serious stuff.
47. Learn Ruby on Rails as you Modify a Craigslist Clone
Yes, we know this resource is dedicated to learning Ruby on Rails and not Ruby. The exercise — which will show you how to create a classified ads site like Craigslist — delves into Ruby because of some of the things you’ll need to do. Beginner to intermediate coders will find it most helpful.
48. Ruby Rogues
This online portal of webisodes or podcasts offer weekly panel discussions about programming as well as Ruby. It’s a great resource for anyone that has already dug into Ruby and works with the language (slash programming) on the regular.
49. Green Ruby
This website is essentially a news and resource aggregator for anything related to Ruby and many more languages. You can subscribe to the weekly email newsletter to get updates, monitoring for content that may be relevant to you. It’s not specifically a place to learn Ruby or Ruby on Rails, however sometimes there are useful links to tutorials and guides. Due to the nature of the platform, it’s ideal for developers of any skill level: beginner to expert.
50. Ruby for Web Designers
Since Ruby is primarily used to develop web applications and websites — or work with databases — it makes sense that this resource was tailored for web designers. You’ll learn about using the language through practices and exercises that walk you through building web pages.
That’s a Massive List of Ruby Websites and Resources!
You should be able to find at least one website or resource on this list that will help you get familiar with Ruby and Ruby on Rails.
Stay tuned as next week we’ll cover The Top 50 Websites To Learn MySQL!
Recommended Training – Treehouse
Although this site recommends various training services, our top recommendation is Treehouse.
Treehouse is an online training service that teaches web design, web development and app development with videos, quizzes and interactive coding exercises.
Treehouse's mission is to bring technology education to those who can't get it, and is committed to helping its students find jobs. If you're looking to turn coding into your career, you should consider Treehouse.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.