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Hartl's Rails tutorial. Probably the best intro to modern full stack development I've ever come across.


As a beginner trying to learn to program a long time ago, rails was possibly the worst resource I attempted to use. You follow a complicated, tutorial to set everything up so you can actually start. Then you type a few words and then a bunch of complicated looking files are generated automatically in a way that it's hard for a beginner to even know what sections he's supposed to be able to understand.

Maybe it clicks for some, but I had a better time starting with HTML/CSS and then learning JavaScript before moving on to Python.

We realized the same thing—the Rails Tutorial is a little too advanced for complete beginners, so we created seven more beginner tutorials that work step by step to teach the prerequisites for full-stack web development. More info on the courses is available here: https://www.learnenough.com

Thanks for the response. Its great to see there's a more gradual way to get into the Rails tutorial now. I am aware that your original tutorial was probably not aimed at a complete beginner with no experience at all, but I was basing my comment off of the thread title which is "favorite tutorial for total beginners." I know your tutorial is considered by most to be great, I was just sharing my experience as someone that attempted to go from absolute zero to the Rails tutorial long ago. I hope I didn't seem like I was putting it down in general. I mostly work with Python scripting and Jupyter notebooks, but I've been wanting to get back into web development for personal projects. I'll check out the new courses.

No worries! Great to hear your perspective.

I tend to agree with the notion that diving into rails is a difficult way to learn when you start from little or nothing.

The core issue is that Rails can do so much to help you out, which allows you to stumble your way through many issues and make things that do mostly work. While this is great for getting things done quickly at first, you might develop incorrect notions of where the abstraction layers' boundaries are which can make life difficult when you step outside of the box.

Now that's not to say you can't learn that way, or that tutorials couldn't be written that effectively teach using rails. It's just that there are dangers in learning first from a complete and robust framework that does such a good job of masking the complexity it encapsulates.

Nobody would recommend learning rails without a decent understanding of html, css and javascript.

Thanks! Glad you liked it. For total beginners, Learn Enough Command Line to Be Dangerous may be an even better place to start.


That tutorial is part of a series that takes you from beginner all the way to the Rails Tutorial. You can see the full sequence at https://www.learnenough.com/.

This book got me into the tech industry. Not because it taught be Rails, but because it showed me that I was capable of building features that seemed difficult and complex with relative ease as long as I approached it with the right methodology and determination.

My choice as well. I'd also highlight http://railscasts.com/ as a great supplement.

I tried a few times to give the rails tutorial to rank beginners and they couldn't get from power user to programmer without major hand holding or sheer maddening drive. The learning curve is still too steep.

I was up and running very fast using OneMonth Rails. It oversimplified some things but ensured I had a running app pretty quickly. It got me over the hurdle of being stuck in books and videos and instead had me tweaking something I could be proud of.

10+ years ago I also found great joy in Why's Poignant Guide To Ruby (https://poignant.guide/)

My favourite.

I haven't looked at it since 2014, but this + codecademy took me from pedestrian interest in programming to writing prototypes

Rails is modern? Seriously I thought it has a lot of baggage like django does towards the old way of rendering web pages on the backend. If it's not true please correct me and elucidate.

Rails is modern. People still develop with it. Something like Perl and its frameworks would not be considered modern, probably.

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