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The problem is that teaching yourself the basics of the language is trivial, whereas actually getting Ruby and gems working with textmate and then building real stuff on your own is quite difficult. I already know all the basics of Ruby, but I can't actually do anything with it, and so this doesn't really solve my problem.

What do you mean by "I can't actually do anything with it"?

If the problem is that you know what Ruby code looks like but don't feel comfortable enough to build stuff in it: go build stuff in it. Seriously. Just go write some code right now, Google around when you get stuck, and half an hour later you will already be a better programmer.

Do a few http://projecteuler.net/ problems. Just, like, three or four. Bam: You've programmed.

Programming can seem like this big, scary thing; it's easy to feel like you're on the other side of this big huge wall and to say "I don't know how to program, so I can't program." The catch is, the only way to learn how to program is to program, and no in-browser language tutorial in the world can change that. Go for it, and ping me if you get stuck.

What I'd like to see from RubyMonk, CodeAcademy, and others, is a good list of resources for taking the next steps in programming their respective languages (i.e., here is the best list of instructions for setting up your development environment/installing Ruby on your machine, a good tutorial you know of about Rails/Sinatra, a suggestion to find a meetup group in your area, etc.). A curated list of resources for each of these languages would be extremely valuable for newcomers.

I've been learning Ruby myself lately, and I don't think it's quite as simple as "go build stuff in it." Much more helpful for seasoned people to say "take a class, join a meetup group, and get some help because it's normal to get stuck and need help." For someone who's never programmed before, just installing the right software and setting up an environment of any sort is intimidating and easy to get stuck on.

Sure, you need to start building stuff, but RubyMonk, CodeAcademy, and others like them are great ways to get people interested enough to take the next step. We just need some good resources to take those next steps, and Googling doesn't always lead you to a good, accessible resource (I hear http://learnpythonthehardway works for Python, but don't really know of similar resources for other languages).

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