JP Boily

Founder of Metrics Watch

Jack of all trade SaaS consultant (but mostly code, analytics & marketing)

June 23, 2013

Resources to learn or keep up to date with Ruby and/or Ruby on Rails

June 23, 2013 - JP -  

People get in touch with me quite often to ask me how to learn Ruby and/or Ruby on Rails, get better or updated with their craftsmanship. Here are some resources I think are awesome, some paid, some free.

Official Rails guides

Well, the name tells it all: it's the official source to learn the basics of Rails. It's also a good idea to revisit them from time to time.

Here it is.

Code School

They provide courses online, some free bust most are not. Still, this is an awesome set of learning resources. You can get a subscription for 25$/month (sometime less, with full year commitment and deals). All their courses are awesome: split into multiple chapters, each starting with a video (roughly 5 to 15 minutes) followed by in-browser exercises. Those are of a really high quality! Rails for Zombies is free, Try Ruby too (this is the only one without videos), but they have some awesome resources for testing, Rails Best Practices and Rails 4. They also have courses for other stuff like Backbone, jQuery, SASS, Git and some more.

Subscribe here with my referral and I will get a few bucks or here directly


UPDATE: Ryan Bates has "disappeared" from the internet, there wasn't any new Railscasts in a long time now.

This is not to learn the basics, but Ryan Bates have more than 400 (yes, 400!) screencasts about Rails and it's ecosystem. His work is awesome and often enlightening, all that, in 10 to 15 minutes. One of those resources you'll be glad to pay for! Some screencasts are free, but most are paid nowawadays but well worth the 9$/month!

Railscasts is a resource you really want to pay for.


Avdi Grimm is preparing 3 RubyTapas per week. They are short screencasts about Ruby (rarely, if ever, Rails specific) of a few minutes. They are really short and to the point: no excuses not to watch them all! He is a well known developer in the Ruby community and author of books you should read (I should too, they are sitting on my e-book shelf, still. Shame on me.). He is also speaking at some conferences.

Some tapas are free too. More information here.


UPDATE: this is now Go only and there isn't any free episodes as far as I know.

Mark Bates (also an author and often speaking at conferences). His screencasts are for Ruby and Ruby on Rails developers most of the time. I just subscribed a couple of weeks ago, but until now, I am really satisfied. He did some about Ruby Motion too and a serie about Ember, among others. Another 9$/month well worth it. Some are free, by the way.


I barely tried it but heard good things about it, plus, it's free! As far as I know, it is mostly for beginners. A bit like Code School but without the videos. If you are not a fan of videos, this one might be for you!

I actually learned Rails with it. Different style and he is keeping up to date with newer versions of Rails but I read it years ago now. Can't tell you more, it's been a long time. From what I remember, I was mostly satisfied. You can buy the book, the screencasts or read it for free online Follow the guide.

You are more a book reader than anything?

Fine. There are some great ones:

Podcasts and screencasts

Conferences and user groups

Get out at conferences and meet some awesome people, kick the ass of the introvert in you and get out. (Side note: I will be at Burlington Ruby Conference in august 2013 and possibly at RubyConf in Miami in november 2013, come by and say hi!)

You can also watch a LOT of great talks online, mostly on Confreaks. If you want to know what talk are fun, useful or provide food for thoughts, get in touch with me on Twitter, I could probably suggest you a couple ones.

Blogs and newsletters

Official documentations are great sources of knowledge, too!

Want training?

On a final note, please make you a favor and get your hands into testing quite soon in the process. I love RSpec, but you can go with minitest, or even Test Unit if you want. Code School courses again, are awesome to get yourself into testing.

Anything else comes to mind? Feel free to post in the comments.