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rubyonrailstutorialWhen it comes to building web applications, Ruby on Rails is a hot technology. It presents numerous advantages as a development technology– Rails applications can be put together very quickly and can flexibly respond to any changes in requirements as development progresses and the project evolves. Rails also produces notoriously reliable software, making use of a principal called continuous integration. This basically means that as development takes place, tests are developed along the way. When a new piece of code is written, all the existing tests are run to ensure that the new functionality doesn’t inadvertently break something elsewhere. Learning Ruby On Rails can be complex, but luckily there are a ton of great resources out there. For example, check out this course teaches you Ruby on Rails from scratch.

Before we get going you’ll need to have a clear idea of what Ruby on Rails is exactly. Basically, Ruby on Rails refers to the program’s two distinct components: Ruby and Rails (as the name suggests).

Ruby is an object-oriented scripting language that has been around since the 1990s. An object-scripting language, such as Ruby (other examples include Python and Perl), enables object-oriented programming. In object-oriented programming concepts are represented as “objects” that have data fields and associated methods.

Rails is a framework written in Ruby. A framework is a method of web development that takes common design patterns, such as database handling, and provides a set of standardized functionality that new applications can hook into. This is a lot easier than constantly re-writing things from scratch and this method is also much more accurate and much less error-prone. Rails is also incredibly standardized, so it behaves the same way between all applications and all developers.

Overall, Ruby on Rails is definitely something worth learning, especially if you’re involved in web development. To get started, take a look at this step-by-step guide.

1) Master the basics of programming.

If you’re not a programmer, you will definitely need to learn at least the basics of programming and it is definitely ideal to have an in-depth understand of programming languages and concepts. You might want to check out this great course on programming for non-programmers. Keep in mind that when it comes to effective programming you will want a solid understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. And remember, Ruby is an object-oriented scripting language, so you will want to specially focus on object-oriented programming.

2) Learn Ruby.

Before you learn Rails, you need to master Ruby. After all, Rails is Ruby. Rails does simplify a lot of complex coding things, so at the beginning it might not seem necessary to have too much knowledge of Ruby. But resist the temptation to dive into Rails without first learning Ruby. Once you get going and get involved in more in complex things, it is necessary to have solid Ruby base. And jumping ahead will often result in incorrect codes and bugs and nobody likes debugging. Learning Ruby from the get-go will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Beyond it’s relevancy to Rails, Ruby is well worth learning. It’s an excellent multipurpose programming language with a vast array of uses so it is definitely a good thing to have in your repertoire.

Luckily, Ruby is pretty easy to learn, popular among developers for its simplicity, readability, and flexibility. Though, it is still important to keep in mind that learning any new programming language can be a challenge so if you’re a beginner you might want to check out a Ruby for beginner’s course, which explains how to learn Ruby programming in ten simple steps. Alternatively, if you’re already an expert there is still room for improvement. Check out this advanced Ruby programming course that offers ten simple ways to master your skills.

3) Start out with simpler web frameworks.

Once you feel confident in your Ruby programming, it is a good idea to put your skills to the test with more simple web frameworks before jumping straight into Rails. Sinatara is a Ruby framework that is much simpler than Rails, for example. It can help to introduce you to the basic concepts and processes of a web framework without all of the complexities that Rail brings to the table.

4) Get acquainted with Rails.

Once you have a solid knowledge of Ruby and more basic web frameworks, it’s time to learn Rails. Remember, Rails is not a programming language (that’s what Ruby is) or a CS. It is web framework that helps you create web applications.

When it comes to learning Rail, the order is crucial. You need to learn the right things at the right time and the right depth, as concepts tend to build on one another. So basically, you can’t jump into more complex stuff without first mastering the basics.

5) Read the Rails tutorial.

When it comes to learning Rails, the Rails tutorial is definitely a great resource. It’s a step-by-step walkthrough that teaches you how to create a Twitter like application. The Rails tutorial was developed by the Ruby on Rails community and is available on the Rail’s website. And, as an added bonus the Rails tutorial is totally free.

6) Check out a guidebook or take a course

To hone your skills, it is a good idea to check out a Ruby on Rails guidebook or take a Ruby on Rails course. Agile Web Development With Rails, is an excellent guidebook option, as is “Rails Three In Action”. There are also tons of course out there for beginners, like this Ruby on Rails tutorial for beginners.

7) Get involved in the Ruby on Rails community.

Ruby and Rails are both open-source, which means there is a whole vibrant community of users. If you run into a problem, someone somewhere has likely solved it at some point and can offer you advice— a huge resource.

Page Last Updated: February 2020

Featured course

Ruby on Rails Foundations

Last Updated October 2015

  • 6.5 total hours
  • 73 lectures
  • All Levels
4.7 (397)

An in depth tutorial for learning the Ruby on Rails web framework, from basic principles to advanced coding techniques. | By Jordan Hudgens

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