Whether you’re an experienced programmer or a noob in the field, learning a new language can be a difficult task if you don’t have a good source to learn from. When I started my dive into PHP 8 years ago I read through countless books and sites trying to get a solid understanding of the ins and outs of the (then) currently trending language. What I came to realize was that majority of the resources I came across made it even more confusing. Before I go any further, let me be clear that I had no previous programming knowledge; I never stepped foot in a university and barely crawled my way out of high school. I couldn’t stand books filled with a bunch of tech jargon bullshit that I could barely pronounce. Not too long after, I had a shelf filled with half read (barely) books and a weakening desire to continue my journey as a programmer. I finally came across this book that was not only written by a human, but had me well on my way to developing web applications.
Fast forward to January 2011 with multiple languages under my belt and dozens upon dozens of applications developed, and my search started all over again. I’ve read a handful of Ruby and Ruby on Rails books since, including Beginning Ruby on Rails, The Rails Way, and Rails for PHP Developers (bit outdated).
Based on my personal opinion, the book that provided me with the same outcome as that PHP book did for me then is Agile Web Development with Rails (Fourth Edition). This book is easy to read, gives you a great understanding of not only the Rails framework, but Ruby as well, and doesn’t have you digging through an encyclopedia trying to figure out what the hell every other word means! This book in excellent for a person just entering the Ruby community or an experienced developer in Rails looking to brush up on the latest advancements in version 3.1. Hopefully, if you’re an undereducated, web junkie like me looking to start building applications in Rails you will find this book as helpful as I did.
If you’re reading this article and can recommend a better book, please post it below.