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Best Online Resources to Master Rails

Dive into Rails and pick up the skills you need as you go with these helpful resources list.

After a neat list of the top free online Ruby tutorials, we've coined a collection of useful resources for mastering Ruby on Rails. Dive straight into Rails and pick up the skills you need as you go with these helpful resources. Ready, steady, code!

Rails for Zombies

Rails for Zombies starts from the principle that everything is more fun when zombies are involved. Using zombie-themed videos and interactive quizzes, this CodeSchool course introduces five key aspects of learning Rails. While it helps to have some experience of Ruby before embarking on this course, it's definitely aimed at first-time Rails developers. There is no charge for the lessons, so it's a great way to get a first taste of working within the Rails framework from the comfort of your own browser.

Rails for Zombies Part 2

Once you have mastered the basics by completing Rails for Zombies, then you can enjoy more zombie-themed lessons with Rails for Zombies Part 2. This is a paid course, so you will want to be sure it is right for you before you sign up. Rails for Zombies Part 2 covers the fundamental aspects of Rails version 3.1, which is very similar to Rails 3.2 and also contains many principles that apply to newer versions of the framework, such as Rails 4.0. Whereas Rails for Zombies instructs students to write code in their browser to test their knowledge, Rails for Zombies Part 2 starts by teaching you how to install Rails on your own machine, which you will need to do if you want to use Rails for your own web development projects.

Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl

Released as an online book, the Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl is a classic resource for learning Rails. It teaches beginners everything they need to know to get started. If you don't know any Ruby yet, then Hartl's tutorial will be very useful, as it covers the basics of Ruby, as well as instructions for using the Unix command line and some basic HTML, CSS, Javascript and SQL. Having some previous experience of HTML or other form of programming (not necessarily Ruby) is useful but not a must. If you prefer to get out of the browser, the book costs $49.00 for a DRM-free copy, but it's a comprehensive resource that you'll likely refer to over and over again.

Learn Ruby on Rails: the Ultimate Beginner's Tutorial

Created by web developer Patrick Lenz, Learn Ruby on Rails: the Ultimate Beginner's Tutorial is a detailed Rails tutorial that includes plenty of explanation to help beginners understand what is going on. This tutorial is free and will help you come away with a better understanding of web development using Rails.

Upcase

Upcase by thoughtbot provides resources for new and experienced Rails developers who want to improve their skills. There are three levels of courses - beginning, intermediate and advanced - so no matter how much Rails you know, you can benefit.

Codeschool: Rails Best Practices

Rails Best Practices is designed to help people who already know a little about web development in Rails to brush up their skills. This paid course focuses on developing good programming habits, which will help you build better web applications that are easier to troubleshoot.

Agile Web Development with Rails 4

Agile Web Development with Rails is a classic book for learning Rails. The fourth edition includes syntax and best practices that are relevant to Rails 4, the version of the framework released in June 2013. Download the ebook for $27, or purchase a paper copy if you prefer.

Udemy: Learn Ruby on Rails by Building Projects

Learn Ruby on Rails by Building Projects takes a practical approach to teaching Rails. This paid Udemy course is not for beginners; rather, it allows experienced Ruby developers to brush up their Rails skills. The instructors recommend that students taking the course use the Linux operating system, either as a main or virtual OS, to complete the projects.

Backbone Rails

Backbone Rails introduces Rails developers to Backbone.js, a useful Javascript library. The first three lessons are free, but you will have to pay to access the second half of the course.

TutsPlus: Build a Store With a Payment Gateway in Rails

Build a Store With a Payment Gateway in Rails course at TutsPlus teaches students to create a simple Rails-based web store with a payment gateway. The main focus is data model design and on integrating Rails with Braintree to process financial transactions. You'll need to subscribe to TutsPlus for $15 a month to access this course.

TeamTreehouse: Rails Development

Rails Development by TeamTreehouse is an online resource that teaches students to build websites and apps. There is a fee to use this service, but it will teach you far more than just Rails. If you are starting from scratch, then the library of more than 1000 videos on coding, HTML and web development could be invaluable. The Rails track covers also essential skills like Git basics, Javascript foundations or the intro to Ruby.

Engineering Software as a Service

An free course by The University of California teaches the fundamentals of software engineering using Agile techniques to develop Ruby on Rails-based Software as a Service. The class consists of short lecture videos followed by programming assignments, standalone exams/quizzes and "check-yourself" questions. The course requires a solid background in another object-oriented programming language such as Java, C#, C++, Python, or Ruby. Familiarity with Git, GitHub and Heroku will also be helpful. If you found the course enjoyable, don't forget to subscribe to the second part from the series.

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