Getting Started in Ruby

A Guide for the Practicing Programmer

If you’re not already coding in Ruby, you may wonder how to get started — especially when it comes to the more “interesting” language features like closures and evaluations. This article provides some tips for ramping up, along with links to Amazon books. (If you’re not sure whether Ruby is the language for you, read Ruby Rocks!)

Originally published 2006

Articles and Books

The first thing you need is a bit of information.

  • Closures and Blocks
    See Martin Fowler’s article on the subject and this Ruby Wiki page.
     
  • Overview of Ruby
    Ruby in a Nutshell does an excellent job of giving you an overview of the syntax.
    It also gives you a summary of the standard libraries and an introduction to the language.
    But to get a really good sense of the language’s more advanced features, you need to dive deeper.
     
  • Language Tutorials
    David Black’s Ruby for Rails provides excellent introductory tutorials for both Ruby and Rails.
    See especially: The writeup on the Lisp- and Smalltalk-like features (singleton methods,
    evaluations, blocks and closures) in chapter 13. As one reviewer wrote, it “does a good job of
    explaining the things you wish you understood better.”
     
  • Code Fragments
    Hal Fulton’s book, The Ruby Way. See especially the section, “Training Your Intuition”,
    at the end chapter 1.
     
  • Another great introduction
    I’ve never delved into this one deeply enough. (Somehow it never drew me in the way Ruby for Rails did.) But too any people swear by this one not to mention it:  The Pickaxe book, also available online.
     
  • Application templates
    I haven’t received this one yet. But it seemed to cover a lot of useful ground for application
    developers, so I ordered it: Beginning Ruby on Rails: From Novice to Professional

Code Templates

Once you’ve begun finding out how things work, you need some code fragments you can read and reuse. For that, see Ruby Templates.

Copyright © 2006-2017, TreeLight PenWorks

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  1. Rake Rocks! | Treelight.com May 4, 2017 (6:24 am)

    […] For templates, examine the Rakefile samples listed in Getting Started in Ruby. […]

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