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Learning Rails? Follow this newsletter, blog, and forum.

David Anderson | Apr 28, 2019

Have you started to learn Ruby on Rails? Maybe you’ve hacked your way through one or two tutorials or finished up your first client project. You know you still have a lot to learn, yet you’re not really sure where to go from here. How do you continue learning and start to grasp concepts beyond the basics?

To learn quickly there certainly is no substitute for just sitting down and cranking out as many projects as you can, but one easy way to keep learning and start to become a part of the Rails community is to subscribe to Ruby/Rails specific newsletters and follow a few popular blogs.

The three sources below are my favorites to keep tabs on Ruby/Rails and to continue learning.

Ruby Weekly

The Ruby Weekly newsletter is an absolute must. Every Thursday an email is sent that covers all of the best Ruby news and articles from the week. I find at least 2 or 3 interesting links each week and have lost count how many times I’ve been introduced to new (and useful!) tools and concepts through this newsletter. If you don’t read anything else Ruby/Rails related, subscribe to and read this newsletter!

thoughtbot blog

thoughtbot is a well established and respected software development company that has a blog that covers topics ranging from web development to design to learning to…well just about anything their wicked smart employees are working on. I generally read their Ruby/Rails specific posts and always learn something new. The company has created some really popular gems, such as Factory Bot and Paperclip (which is now deprecated, FYI), so you know you’re getting the perspective of the pros, and their posts tend to offer up a lot more than just the basic “This is how you do X”. That additional opinion/editorial and insight into why they do something a certain way is exactly the type of content you get the most mileage from when you’re trying to learn new concepts.

Reddit Rails

The Rails subreddit is worth following. You’ll see posts about very specific issues that folks have run into and broader questions about application architecture and design decisions. The general Rails community is supportive and friendly, and I’ve found that the subreddit usually lives up to those qualities. You’ll get some opinions on articles or posts that you agree with and others that you disagree with but that’s kind of the point! Reading the posts, articles, comments, and debates you’ll find here exposes you to opinions and perspectives that will help you internalize the topics you’re learning.

When you’re starting to learn Rails (or anything for that matter) the amount of information and content you need to consume and put into practice can feel overwhelming. Don’t get bogged down in reading every blog or article that you come across! Just subscribe to Ruby Weekly, read the thoughtbot blog, and browse the Rails subreddit. These excellent sources will offer plenty of content, opinion, and expertise to get you going.

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