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Top Free Online Ruby Tutorials

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The Ruby community is well known for sharing knowledge with its peers and combing the net for new and helpful guides, tips, and tricks. We’ve put together a number of online resources for beginners if you’re just getting started with Ruby.

Try Ruby

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Try Ruby is a clean, beginner-friendly, online tutorial that lets you dip into the world of Ruby straight from your browser. Equipped with an online code editor, (no need to set up a test environment on your machine!) you can get your feet wet immediately. The entire tutorial consists of 8 short lessons and should take around 15 minutes to complete. It doesn’t go in-depth with complicated concepts. It’s a simple web-based shell to play with the Ruby and learn the basics of the language. Fun fact: it’s one of the first-ever in-browser coding tutorials! Once you’re done, you can move to Ruby Bits.

Poignant Guide to Ruby

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The one-of-a-kind Poignant Guide to Ruby is a classic for the Ruby community. The book (also available in an online version) acquired a ‘cult status' and various motifs have become inside jokes. It’s written and illustrated by Why the Lucky Stiff—somewhat of a legend in the scene—and you can read more about his story here). Definitely give this a read if you don’t know why Rubyists giggle at “chunky backon.” Somewhere in between the hilarious comic strips and narrative side track, Carton Foxes and the reader acquire basic Ruby concepts. The book also served as the base for the TryRuby online tutorial.

Ruby Koans

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A kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement used to provoke the "great doubt" and test a student's progress in Zen practice.

The goal of the Ruby Koans is to learn the Ruby language, syntax, structure, and some common functions and libraries. Published by Jim Weirich and Joe O’Brien, the tutorial is structured around a set of files (unit tests) that need to be fixed before you can move to the next level. Although along the way, there’s not so much coding involved, the exercise will leave you with the strong basic concepts of Ruby as well as coding culture (yup, we’re talking about testing!).

Codecademy Ruby Track

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Codecademy co-founder Zach Sims revealed that before they added the track to the list, Ruby was one of our most requested languages. The Ruby Track consists of 10 main chapters, teaching would-be Rubyists the basic concepts from the comfort of their own browser. It takes approximately 9 hours to complete the full course and, although the CA guidelines recommend having some basic programming background before, it looks more like a great introduction for non-programmers. One neat feature is the Q&A forum where you can search for help in accomplishing the task. Just open up your browser and get cracking.

Ruby Warrior

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Ruby Warrior (by Bloc.io) is based on Ryan Bates’ command line version of the game and apart from Ruby knowledge, includes the 90’s nostalgia of pixel art. You play as a warrior climbing a tall tower to reach the precious Ruby at the top level. On each floor you need to write a Ruby script to instruct the warrior to battle enemies, rescue captives, and reach the stairs.

This interactive, simple game is a fantastic way to combine fun with learning with standard textbook like resources. We’ll even forgive the evil idea of playing the background music when you open the site! Tip: lower your volume before visiting!

Learn Ruby the Hard Way

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Learn Ruby the Hard Way is a mirror resource for Learn Python the Hard Way. The book by Zed A. Shaw and Rob Sobers (also available as an online tutorial) takes more of a classic textbook approach. No interactive code editors here! The tutorial includes plenty of examples, additional resources and goes far beyond the basics.

Learn to Program

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If you’re a beginner wanting an introduction to the language and you prefer a more direct approach - try Learn to Program. This very basic, ground-level tutorial by Chris Pine is organized according to a very simple rule: each chapter describes a particular concept and is followed by a series of exercises which build upon previously acquired knowledge. You’ll start with writing simple one-line programs calculating minutes in a decade or writing out the lyrics to “"Ninety-nine bottles of beer..." ”

Ruby Monk

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Ruby Monk is an interactive platform that helps you master programming in Ruby, recommended by Yukihiro Matsumoto himself. It consists of several ‘do it in the browser’ courses, from beginner to advanced level. It’s geared towards those who already have some previous programming experience under their belt (and definitely less visual in comparison to Codecademy or TryRuby).

PS. If you're looking for more Ruby resources make sure to check All you need to know to start with Ruby.

On 17.07.2014 in open source, dev, and Ruby/Rails