Rails is famous framework, you can code something working with ease, everything you need is there, out of the box. Rails is famous, there are famous people around it, and they are talking about how cool it is. You want to be a cool programmer that earns good money doing something pleasant – learn Rails, you want performance – learn Rails, you want to give good estimates and don’t get stuck in heavy configurations – learn Rails… Or so they say, or so you though…
If you want to do something, do it right. I waited a long time before entering the Ruby world, because I had to figure out what I want as a programmer. I love coding, but I’ve made quite a few wrong decisions for the direction. For example if I look back at my jobs and projects I don’t have anything to show you… (maybe except the fine offline reader that me and my than-colleges made). So I want to code things that people use and I want to be a part of a good community, in which sharing knowledge is not a bad thing. I want to have the opportunity to create things that will be used by my fellow programmers or the common people. This is why I chose my last job as ruby developer over the JEE opportunities I had. I saw the language, platform and community as the something I needed at the moment. Then I’ve quit my last job to pursue different goals with Ruby, Rails and Sinatra…
Why I’m telling you this, you came here to read about the books that would help you learn Rails, not to listen to the story of a nobody. But in this post I’ll share my thought about some books, so why not share my experience that lead me to them. Think about what you want before learning Rails… If you want to work in a corporate company with big budgets, its not for you. If you want to earn money without giving a thought, it is not for you (try PHP).
If you want to learn Rails, first learn Ruby. Every language has its secrets that you need to know. The language is a tool, you should learn how to use it. The framework is an extension of this tool. So read my post about the good Ruby books and docs if you want.
Now, lets begin:
Agile Web Development with Rails – In this book you will develop your first Rails application on iterations. After that you will learn about the different Rails modules in depth. Very good and easy to read, this is your entrance to Rails. It is written by Sam Ruby and published by The Pragmatic Bookshelf. At the time of this writing there is a beta version of the fifth edition of the book for Rails 4.
- The Rails 3 Way – It is both a Rails reference and bag full of advises by professionals. It shows you the way of Rails and good examples how to bend it but not break it. It is written by Obie Fernandez and published by Addison-Wesley. ‘The Rails 4 Way’ is on its way :)
- http://railscasts.com – Watch this video casts and there will be no new things in the Rails world for you. By Ryan Bates.
- http://railsapps.github.io/tutorial-rails-devise-rspec-cucumber.html – This is the best tutorial about Rails with Rspec and Cucumber I can think of…
I think these four are more than enough. The first one will teach you how to implement your first application and understand how it works, the second one will get you deeper in Rails and how to use it and the third one will show you the whole gem universe around Rails… The fourth one is just good :)