Ultimate Guide

The Best Ruby on Rails Tutorials for Beginners (Top 11 List)

By Rachel Meltzer
Last updated on February 22, 2021

If you already know Ruby, you should be able to jump into the Ruby on Rails framework easily, right? Well, not always! Luckily, there’s a Ruby on Rails tutorial for that! We’ve rounded up the 11 best Ruby on Rails tutorials so that you can dip your toes in and nail the essentials. 

What is Ruby used for anyway? Ruby is used for building web applications, prototyping, and some data analysis. It’s a general-purpose programming language similar to Python. Ruby on Rails is a framework for web development built with Ruby. 

Learn Ruby with one of these Ruby tutorials or try a Ruby on Rails tutorial to nail those pesky skills you’re struggling with. Whether you’re having a hard time with all of Ruby’s acronyms or Ruby programming itself, there’s a tutorial in this list for you.

1. Getting Started with Rails

This getting started guide was created by the makers of Ruby on Rails themselves. This guide assumes that you are a complete beginner with no prior Rails experience. It’s a great introduction to reading and implementing documentation, which you’ll need to understand as a web developer. 

Over 12 chapters, you’ll learn how to get started with making Ruby on Rails web applications from scratch. From creating a project to Configurations, you’ll understand the basics when you finish this tutorial. Rails methodologies feature a lot of acronyms from DRY to CRUD, this guide covers the essential acronyms so you won’t be lost in other tutorials. 

Price: Free!
This class is for: Complete Ruby on Rails beginners

2. The Ruby on Rails Tutorial, 6th Edition

This web application development with Ruby on Rails tutorial from Learn Enough, is a bestseller made up of 883 pages of ebooks, 20 hours of screencasts, and a 14 chapter course with 310 exercises. With an optional add-on, you can get access to the Learn Enough Society for group support.  

This lengthy tutorial introduces you to Ruby, how to create simple web applications with Ruby on Rails, and how to use Action Cable to make real-time responsive web apps. This tutorial promises that you’ll be ready to start working as a freelancer, get a job as a developer, or start a web-based company of your own once you’ve taken all of their bundled courses.

Length/time: 20+ hours
Instructors: Michael Hartl
Price: $29/month for this course, $49/month for all courses on Learn Enough, or $39-$169 one time payment for each separate module | scholarships available
This class is for: This tutorial expects you’ve taken the first tutorial in the Application Development Series on Learn Enough (included in your monthly membership). 
Reviews: This course doesn’t have many reviews, but most of the reviews are stellar:

“Michael Hartl is one of the best educators around when it comes to web development. I have been following him for a long time, and everything he produces is top quality. If you are looking for a quick way to become a thorough and productive professional web developer, Hartl’s books are a great place to start.” - Abram B.  | 5 stars

3. Learn Ruby on Rails

Codecademy’s Learn Ruby on Rails course is included in their Pro subscription and offers a certificate upon completion. Throughout the course, you’ll build eight full-fledged web apps with Rails. It’s a 5 chapter course with hands-on projects or quizzes in each section. 

By the end of the course, you’ll be familiar with Rails basics from MVC design pattern to communicating with databases to persist data. This knowledge builds on the knowledge that Codecademy students learn in the Ruby course that they offer, so you’ll need to take that first. 

Length/time: 10 hours
Price: $19.99-$39.99/month | student discounts available 
This class is for: Students who are already familiar with Ruby or who have taken the Ruby course on Codecademy
Reviews: This course is highly rated by Codecademy students: 

“I know from first-hand experience that you can go in knowing zero, nothing, and just get a grasp on everything as you go and start building right away.” - Madelyn | 5 stars

4. Learn Ruby on Rails

This tutorial from Go Rails teaches you how to build a real-world application from scratch with Ruby on Rails step by step. Go Rails also offers a variety of other Ruby on Rails tutorials to help you level up your skills. The other tutorials cost money, but their introduction tutorial is free. 

In this tutorial, you’ll learn Ruby on Rails by building a Buffer clone with authentication, OAuth, Twitter’s API, and background workers. This is a 41 part tutorial with short and simple interactive videos that beginners can follow. It covers every step from installing Ruby on Rails to adding OmniAuth CSRF protection. 

Length/time: 2 hours
Instructors: Chris Oliver
Price: Free!
This class is for: Ruby on Rails Beginners
Reviews: Go Rails has tons of glowing reviews on Twitter:

“Instead of Netflix, I'd rather Go Rails with the Github Education Pack offer they're doing. Brushing up the basics…” - Gabriel C.

“I love Go Rails! this is by far the best Ruby On Rails tutorial site, goes in depth way more than any other online coding tutorial site” - Glen C.  

“This is amazing. I've always been scared of rails because most tutorials don't explain the magic, but you've created easily the best beginner content I've ever seen.” - Andrew A.

5. Code School: Rails for Zombies

This tutorial for “Zombies” on Pluralsight goes through the basics of Ruby on Rails over the course of five levels. By the end of this course, you should have the foundational knowledge that you ended to build with Ruby on Rails. 

This course teaches the CRUD method, models, views, controllers, and routing. It’s a step-by-step foundational tutorial that goes through building a web app. 

Length/time: 1.5 hours
Instructors: Gregg Pollack
Price: $29/month
This class is for: This course is for “zombies” a.k.a. complete beginners who have a basic knowledge of coding and programming terminology. 
Reviews: 24 students have rated this course 5 stars.

6. Try Ruby

This hands-on tutorial uses a web-based text editor and written instructions to allow you to try Ruby without having to download too much stuff. If you just want to practice Ruby or find easily searchable documentation, you can test out the Try Ruby Playground 

Taking you through eight interactive summaries, Try Ruby takes you through fun and fully interactive web-based lessons with casual titles. You’ll get practice with Ruby, laugh a bit, and create your first Ruby program. 

Length/time: 30 minutes
Price: Free!
This class is for: Ruby Beginners

7. Learn Ruby on Rails as You Modify a Craigslist Clone

Thinkful’s free Ruby on Rails tutorial teaches you the fundamentals while you modify a Craigslist clone. This practical guide is split up into 14 chapters of text-based learning. Each chapter offers interactive moments and additional resources that you can use to learn more. 

Find the source code on GitHub and follow along as you nail the fundamentals of Ruby on Rails. You’ll get an introduction to Ruby, Rails, Migrations, Models, the Console, Views, Router, Controllers, Partials, and Forms. 

Instructors: Aidan Feldman
Price: Free!
This class is for: Complete Rails beginners

8. The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course

This course hosted on Udemy is offered in 4 languages and is made up of 16 chapters. It boasts 432 lectures for a comprehensive Ruby on Rails Education. It was created by 2 instructors so you’ll get different perspectives.

You’ll learn how to become a professional web application developer through this course. It covers how to rapidly prototype ideas into presentable apps, becoming a professional developer, applying for jobs at software companies as a Ruby on Rails developer, and designing and building web applications. 

Length/time: 48 Hours
Instructors: Rob Percival, Mashrur Hossain
Price: $18.99-$129.99
This class is for: This course is for students who want to become a Ruby on Rails developer but no prior programming or web app development experience is necessary. 
Reviews: This course is highly rated on Udemy

“This course was an excellent match for me. This course has beginner material as well as advanced and honestly I learned the most from the advanced stuff though I worked through the beginner stuff, aside from the Materialize Design section. I wanted to build something with payment functionality and I got it from this course.” - Andrew B. | 5 stars

“I learned a lot!! The course is really great!! At the end of the course I have wished that the explanations would have been more detailed and slower. There were a lots of methods and approaches that have not been explained which made it difficult to learn, because not always it was possible to "google" and to figure out why things were coded the way it was done in the course. But still a very good course.” - Theresa M. | 4.5 stars 

“This course is great for foundations and it even helped me land a new job. So very thankful for Mashur and its friend to have created it. I come from no background at programming yet know I am ready to start creating webapps with this! Thank you!” - Mario M. | 4 Stars 

9. Agile Development Using Ruby on Rails

This Ruby on Rails agile development professional certification is made up of two courses offered by UC Bekeley and EdX. It’s taught by three experienced computer science professors from UC Berkeley.

You’ll learn Ruby on Rails fundamental techniques including design, development, testing, and public cloud deployment of an SaaS application. You’ll practice deploying apps to real users, monitoring performance, identifying common performance problems, and data security. 

Length/time: 8 months 10-12 hours per week
Instructors: Armando Fox, David Patterson, Sam Joseph
Price: $198 
Reviews: This course doesn’t have any student reviews yet, but it’s backed by GitHub and Pivotal. 

“At GitHub we believe in a learning philosophy anchored in real-world projects that engage the needs of customers and build developer expertise with the tools of the trade. From our experience with Professor Fox at UC Berkeley, we know he’s committed to this learning philosophy, and we’re excited to see this Professional Certificate Program in Agile Development come to life on edX.” - John B., GitHub

“The Professional Certificate Program in Agile Development from UC Berkeley and edX arms students with the necessary approaches and skills to thrive at a startup, Internet giant, or large enterprise. Moreover, the Agile approach will give students the ability to create software while responding to a constantly changing world—which is a skill set they'll need throughout their career.” - Rob M., Pivotal Labs

10. Ruby on Rails in 30 Days: Build Your First Web App 

This course teaches Ruby on Rails 4 and Bootstrap 3. While a newer version of Ruby has come out since this tutorial was created, it’s still useful to see how it can be combined with Bootstrap to create a complete web app. 

You’ll learn how to create a tumblr-like blog, post text content, add photos, like posts, and more. You get lifetime access to a clear step-by-step project guide, video lessons, a student gallery where you can interact with your classmates, and more downloadable resources. From Installation to deployment, this tutorial has it covered. 

Length/time: 3 hours
Instructors: Tal Safran
Price: $19.99 monthly or $99 per year
This class is for: This course is rated beginner-intermediate. You should be familiar with HTML, CSS, and Ruby before you start. These elements are covered but not thoroughly. 


“This is more like an express class for Ruby. It doesn't explain what is HTML, CSS for Front End and Ruby for Back End, but it covers all elements (except Javascript) to some extent. A total newbie in web development will be lost.” - Ong S. 

“Really clear and very well explained introduction to ruby on rails.” - Timothy Y. 

“Great explanations, explains why things work as well as how they work. It's clear and informative. Definitely geared more towards people who've coded before (something I've spent a decent amount of time doing). Great way to get your hands dirty with Rails.” - Michael S.

11. Ruby on Rails for Beginners

Get started with Ruby on Rails quickly on Udemy. This course covers the basics of Rails, developing Rails applications, creating interactive and database driven websites using Ruby on Rails. It was updated in August 2020, unlike many Udemy Rails courses. 

Over seven chapters and 40 lectures, you’ll get to know Rails, build an interactive site, create a course project, and have access to bonus materials. You should have some HTML and CSS experience to thrive in this course. 

Length/time: 5 hours
Instructors: Stone River ELearning
Price: $12.99-$94.99
This class is for: Beginner Rails students who have some familiarity with HTML and CSS.
Reviews: This course is rated 4.6 stars on Udemy. Here’s what students have to say about it: 

“Fantastic introduction to Ruby on Rails. I bought a few books and have been trying to learn for the past few months but this tutorial uses the "dive right in" approach, which is very helpful for beginners.” - Breton K. | 4 stars

“Pretty easy to follow. Instructor is good. Unlike other courses which tend to jump around in different directions while teaching, this course is consistent in that he goes over the same content a few times so that you fully understand what's going on.” - Solomon | 5 stars

Once you’ve done these tutorials and decided that you love Ruby and Ruby on Rails, you may be ready for an immersive coding bootcamp – here are our picks for the best coding bootcamps!

About The Author

Rachel Meltzer is a freelance writer who loves writing about career transitions, tech, and the outdoors. She helps adventurous people tell their stories on her podcast and coaches new freelance writers. She was born and raised in New England and currently lives in North Carolina.

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