Resources for Learning Ruby
Getting started with Ruby or Ruby on Rails may initially seem like a steep hill to climb but there are countless resources to help you.
The list maintained at the Ruby Lang Website is a great place to get started, of course there are many peripheral technologies that you'll need to become familiar with if you want to get anything done.
Here's the off the top of head list:
- OS: We (and most Rubyist) will recommend you go with a flavor of Unix (Linux, MacOS). If you are stuck in Windows then at a minimum use Cygwin or use a virtualization product like Virtual Box
- Shell scripting (bash, zsh): Try Steve Parker's Tutorial (Ugly site but good tutorial)
- Version Control/Revision Control: A favorite of the Ruby community is Git and most Rubyists use GitHub
- Relational Database: Once you get things going you'll likely want to put and get data somewhere. Rails uses SQLite by default. Requires no install and is simple to use. Brush up on basic SQL and you be good to go.
A great approach is to build something simple that has some value for yourself (so you don't get bored and abandon ship half way through). Then find simple Ruby Gems that have reported issues or bugs and go on a bug hunt. Find one or two projects, grab 2 or 3 simple bugs and give it a try. Of course for this you will very likely need to get proficient at using Ruby's testing tools like Test::Unit, RSpec and Shoulda.
Now go learn some Ruby and show us something at Ruby::AZ!