getting started with ruby on railsSo you’ve decided to start working with Ruby but aren’t sure where to begin?

In this post I’ll show where to learn Ruby on Rails for Free with some of the top online resources available. This post focuses on free and low cost resources.

Start With A Ruby On Rails Tutorial

The first step you should take as a new Rails developer is to start with a comprehensive tutorial.

Tutorials give you a hands-on, code-along approach that will help you get up and running quickly.

By far the most popular Ruby on Rail tutorial is the one written by Michael Hartle, available for a free download here.

This tutorial walks you through the initial setup process to make sure you have everything installed on your computer correctly, and then takes you step by step through the development of a sample application, using TDD, or Test Drive Development principles.

The tutorial is constantly updated to adapt to new software versions and releases, with archived versions available as well.

In addition to the free PDF, you also have an option to purchase a video course to accompany it. If you have no previous experience with programming, I recommend you consider the video option, since you’ll be able to code along with the examples in the video, which makes for an easier first-pass through the material.

Hone Your Ruby Skills

Once you’ve gone through an intro to RoR with a tutorial, I recommend you take some time to focus just on your Ruby skills, and then reintegrate them into Rails.

Some great resources for that include:

CodeSchool: My #1 recommendation for free courses. Excellent, modular videos and self-grading exercises. Free for a month and then membership is just $20.

Codecademy: often billed as coding with training wheels, this is a good resource that holds your hand as you learn about basic Ruby syntax.

Ruby Koans: systematically work through different programming concepts using self-grading examples.

RailsCasts: RailsCasts is an excellent video-blog put together by Ryan Bates and has grown to cover just about every Rails topic imaginable. Most videos contain a free and paid version via a site membership. If you’re serious about learning Rails the premium membership is a must-have.

I hope these resources help you get started with Ruby on Rails. Ruby is a fun and exciting language to learn, and I wish you the best of luck as you progress!