Top 10 Best Resources to learn Ruby on Rails

I have a lot of people ask me about resources to help them learn and come up to speed on rails. I found this list of resources on Quora recently and thought it was worth reposting here to give it a wider audience. I’ve also annotated the list a bit to say something about each entry.

Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby is a classic. It’s done in an the format of a graphic novel and contains a lot of fun and interesting material. It was done by Why the Lucky Stiff, a cult figure in the ruby community that you should know about.

Rails for Zombies by EnvyLabs

A fun and entertaining guide to ruby on rails. Be careful, you may find yourself craving brains and entrails for lunch if you finish this one — though your rails skills will be better off for the effort.

Try Ruby!

An easy to use place to begin learning about Ruby (Not so much about rails, tho). It’s a great place to start if you are literally starting from scratch.

Ruby on Rails Tutorial

This is a non-free resource, but is well done and may be worth investing in if you are serious about learning the material. Highly recommended.

Ruby Koans

Ruby Koans is an interesting and insightful set of lessons on Ruby (not rails) that focuses on teaching through a set of unit tests. One of it’s strengths is that it introduces you immediately to the value and practice of unit testing — a critical skill and a core value of the ruby community.

The Rails API Docs

If you’re going to be a rails programmer, you need to have this url handy. Have a question on the :belongs_to statement? Want to understand the call-back lifecycle for active record model classes? It’s all here. Not for beginners, but definitely required before you’re ready to call yourself a master.


On of the best and one of my favorite resources on rails. Railscasts are an important resource for the entire rails community. They are a series of free — and very useful — videos on various topics in rails development, complete with source code. Want to know about Ajax calls? Want to understand the latest in authentication libraries? It’s all here.


RailsBridge is an effort to build community around helping people learn rails. It’s people helping people. You can find a mentor there, get involved with something in your community, learn by volunteering time to a non-profit. It’s a valuable resource.


Ruby Learning is a site put together by Satish Talim, a senior software consultant based in Pune, India. He’s done a thorough job of providing lessons on many aspects of the ruby language. The site is a bit over-done with adsense and other advertising, but there’s a lot of meat there too.

Peepcode Screencasts

Peepcode Screencasts are another well-known resource in the rails community. Similar to Railscasts, they publish a regular series of videos on different aspects of rails development. The screencasts aren’t free, but considering the time they could save you they could be a great investment in terms of getting you up to speed fast. They’re widely known and recommended.

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  • James Chen

    Cool list! Personally I found railscasts a really great weekly resource to learn something new.

    Watching and reading good opensource projects on github will help a lot too.

    There’re also some good books covering more deep topics:

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