Update - My Progress on the Path to Learning Ruby

August 19, 2014

If you have been reading my blog posts, you will know that I am learning Ruby and Rails. I created a plan a few weeks back and thought it was a good time to give a progress update on how my learning is going.

So firstly since my last update here is what I have done or am busy with, and we can dig deeper into these items:

Michael Hartl has an excellent book and set of videos on building a Rails application. Michael takes the reader through creating a Twitter clone. You learn how to build a Rails application using TDD, custom authentication model and user profile images are also part of his tutorial. I enjoyed it from start to finish, if you want to read my review here it is.

Railscasts are a collection of videos created by Ryan Bates. They are usually between 5 - 12 minutes and cover various topics in Rails. Many of the videos cover older versions of Rails, but there is a ton of videos that are as relevant as always. I have been watching a Railscasts every morning on my ferry ride to work.

I wrote a series of posts on the ActionMailer, Mail, Pony and the Standard Library’s email functionality. It was a great way to go through the different gems and compare them. In the end, I wrote down my suggestions and all the code I used for these posts are public Gists. If you would like to read my thoughts here are the posts for ActionMailer, Mail, Pony and Standard Library.

Code School, I subscribed to Code School after watching an episode of Feature Focus, and I can honestly say the price paid for a subscription is money well spent. So far I have finished Try Ruby, Ruby Bits, Ruby Bits Part 2, Rails for Zombies, Rails for Zombies 2, Try Git and am 76% finished with Rails 4: Zombie Outlaws. Gregg Pollack and his team have done an excellent job, and the way they teach is just plain awesome.

I also started converting a C# database migration tool over to Ruby and while its been great I haven’t done as well in posting on how the migration process is going. The coming weeks I hope to restart those posts to share with everyone how I rewrote an SQL Server migration tool.

When I first started learning Rails, I bought The Rails 4 Way. The Rails 4 Way is not a book for a beginner; you should get some Rails under your belt before reading it. Only after completing the Rails Tutorial and the Code School courses do I grasp what is going on in The Rails 4 Way. The book is a gem though and is definitely worth buying.

Finally, I would also like to mention the Rails Guides, the Rails Guides are excellent! There have been various times when I just needed some examples that I jumped into the Rails Guides and found much more info than I needed. The documents are maintained by a passionate bunch of people, and I hope they continue doing an excellent job. If you are learning Rails bookmark the Rails Guides website and reference it all the time.

In closing I am happy with my progress, I am feeling more and more confident in my Ruby and Rails ability as each day passes and most of all I am enjoying the learning experience.


Discussion, links, and tweets

My name is Deon Heyns and I am a developer learning things and documenting them in realtime. Python, Ruby, Scala, .NET, and Groovy are all languages I have written code in. I appeared in the New York Post once. I host my code up at GitHub and Bitbucket so have a look at my code, fork it and send those pull requests.

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