Learning Ruby for Beginners with Try Ruby
Why Do Ruby?
I work in an office surrounded by Ruby developers. When I started at Gaslight a couple months ago, I had never heard of Ruby or Rails. A developer would occasionally help me with a project, so I would get a quick glimpse of Ruby and Rails.
The more I was introduced to the Rails development, the more confusing it seemed. It seemed like projects wouldn’t work because of problems with the Ruby/Rails environment. After this happened several times, I wrote off Ruby and vowed to never do it. “Too much trouble,” I told myself.
But seeing as the entire office loved Ruby and Rails, it wasn’t long before I was forced to come face-to-face with it again. I didn’t want to stare through the computer screen for the rest of my co-op, so I asked a developer how I could become more familiar with Ruby and Rails.
Try Ruby turned out to be an interactive website tutorial to help beginners learn Ruby. It was pleasant-looking and inviting. Cute foxes and other illustrations decorated the page. The interface was simple and approachable: instructions side-by-side with an interactive code sandbox. The front page said it would only take 15 minutes, so I jumped in.
It was fun and understandable! The whimsical tutorial took me through Ruby fundamentals in baby steps. Each lesson was manageable and felt connected to the last lesson. There were summaries after every few lessons which helped me slow down and understand what I had just typed.
I learned about methods, hashes, blocks and much more. When I made mistakes, the website reminded me how to do it right and I tried again. I could go back if I wanted to redo a lesson a second time. Try Ruby was an approachable and thorough introduction to Ruby.
The Next Step
To be honest, I spent more than 15 minutes to finish the tutorial, but it was certainly worthwhile. I never felt frustrated and I learned a lot of essential lessons.
For the next step in learning Ruby and Rails I’m going to read Why’s (poignant) Guide to Ruby. I’m looking forward to understanding Ruby better and learning what the fuss is about “chunky bacon.”