Top 5 free tutorials for beginning Ruby on Rails developers

Posted by Collin on 06/06/2011 in DreamHost, Rails Tutorials, and Heroku.

Just getting into developing with Rails? Are you wanting to learn more about how to put together a Rails application? We looked and found the top five most up to date free tutorials for developing with Ruby on Rails. If you’re looking to learn more about coding with Ruby on Rails or just looking to find some good tutorials to brush up on your basics then bookmark these pages for easy reference.

  1. Ruby on Rails Tutorial (Learn Rails by Example): This tutorial book (written by Michael Hartl) provides a VERY in depth rundown on developing with Ruby on Rails. This tutorial walks you through test-driven development examples and uses Git, GitHub, and Heroku in those examples to give you a real feel for what it’s like to code in a real-world environment. Each book chapter provides examples and challenges so you can go hands on with what you learn.
  2. This tutorial gets a high score on my list for combining a Rails tutorial and zombies. Rails for Zombies is an innovative themed approach to learning Ruby on Rails. This tutorial is put on by Code School and consists of a series of themed interactive video courses on creating “Twitter for Zombies”. The videos are then closely followed by “lab” time where you can test out your newly learned Zombie coding skills. This tutorial is free so I urge you to try it out if you are looking to learn more about coding with Rails. Prior to utilizing the Rails for Zombies tutorial you are strongly urged to try Ruby at, just so you have a feel for the language and aren’t going into the tutorial blind.
  3. Beginners Guide to Rails: This is a very in depth article for those who are absolutely new to Rails and Ruby. The tutorial gives you a step by step walkthrough on how to build an application using Ruby on Rails.
  4. Getting Started with Ruby on Rails: This guide itemizes Installing Rails, creating a new Rails application, and connecting your application to a database, the general layout of a Rails application, the basic principles of MVC (Model, View Controller) and RESTful design, and also how to quickly generate the starting pieces of a Rails application.
  5. Rails in a Nutshell: Another very in depth book/tutorial on Rails development. This tutorial walks you all the way from the basics to testing and setting up environments and launching your application.

Looking for a place to host your first app? We recommend starting with a shared hosting plan from Dreamhost. (plans start at $9.95/month. Use promocode DOMAIN4ZERO to get a free 1-yr domain registration at signup). Shared hosting not your thing? Try Heroku’s free service tier with a single free dyno and free shared database. The free tier is well suited for running light weight apps.