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.

Online Tutorials

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!


Comanche Hill

The personal blog of Mark Morga.

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