My favorite development language/framework for the last nine months or so has been Ruby on Rails. At lunch today with my Dad and one of his buddies, the topic came up and I started thinking about how to get people up and running with Ruby on Rails. Here are my thoughts:
Getting it Installed
For OS X and various Linux flavors, I recommend getting Ruby on Rails from the main Ruby on Rails site.
Rails development on Windows is a little more of a challenge, but you can get a reasonable start (at least enough to try things out) with InstantRails.
You can edit Ruby code with any text editor. I prefer TextMate on Mac OS X, but Komodo and JEdit are reasonable and work on Windows and Linux.
This is a little tough at the moment, because Rails 2.1 hasn’t had as many “getting started” tutorials written as the 1.2x versions of Rails had.
There is a long tutorial at Tutorials Point which looks like a good start.
The main Rails site has a page of tutorials and documentation links.
Screencasts are a fantastic way to learn Rails. There is a huge wealth of information here.
Railscasts are a series of over 100 screencasts about Rails.
Peepcode has a number of great quality screencasts for $9 each.
The two books that I recommend most are:
Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide by Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt, and The Rails Way by Obie Fernandez.
These two books are a great learning and reference combination for Ruby on Rails development.
What are you waiting for? Get learning!