Thomas Surgent

Self Taught Ruby on Rails Web Programmer

Ruby on Rail from Zero to Deploy

Posted 2013-05-15 07:03:58 | Views: 1,114
How I learned to Code in Ruby on Rails!!!
[With ZERO prior understanding of Code]
Step 1: Get Interested and be Completely Lost
 - The first time I tried to download Ruby on Rails onto my computer it, took me 2 days. For the first month, I spent a lot of time on Youtube videos and searching the web for free courses. It took me this time to just begin to realize how truly lost I really was.
  - I  downloaded Ruby on Rails from the following guide and I have attempted to complete this guide multiple times. However, for a very long time I was completely in over my head and I needed to go back to the basics.
  - Note: This tutorial uses all of the most widely used standard application, so I would always revert back to these 
Step 2: Find Some Structure
 - I finally decided to pay for a and this was the first time I really began to make progress.
 - There are a ton of code schools out there on the web, many of which have more interactive features, but I really enjoyed following along with these courses and having all of the content on my local computer. 

Here is the list of Courses I took . . .
 1. HTML Essential Training (2012) - This is a course that I really which I had taken sooner. My guess is that many new programmers initially start at topics that are too advanced. 
 2. Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals - An excellent introduction into a wide variety of programming languages. It explains the difference, between many popular languages and is a great starting place for people new to the programming world.
3. Ruby Essential Training - This one was a little bit more difficult to get through, especially when I just wanted to start building in Ruby on Rails. It simply needs to get done though, to better understand the Rails framework.
4. Ruby on Rails Essential Training 3 - FINALLY!! after spending over 100 hours on other courses, I was back to the language I initially wanted to learn. This course, is an excellent walk through of Ruby on Rails at a very slow and easy to understand level. I loved it. During the course, you build a simple content management system. 
And here is what I made in about 9 months:
Step 3: Bought the Book Agile Web Development with Rails
 - This book does a great job of walking you through the building of an e-commerce web site.
 - At this point, I have read and completed the code 3 times.
      1. Followed along with the book
      2. Slightly changed things, to better fit my needs 
      3. Restarted one last time, for my production ready build. 

Step 4: Find a Small Defined Problem and Solve it
- For me it was a Quiz creating, taking and grading function with radio buttons. THIS WAS HARD!!!!!  
- At this point I had a relatively good understanding of how code worked. Now is the time to find a project that you are passionate and interested about and begin building. I started searching ruby gems and I thought about hiring help. I finally made a break through here, when I discovered and really started using and attending various hacker hours and events around NYC. A teacher at the flatiron school eventually provided me with some solid direction and I finally got this function to work. 
- At this point online courses, no longer helped and it was time to seek expert advice.
Step 5: Production Ready Build
 - At this point, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to build.
 - I finally went back to what is the best introductory guide out ( there and used all of the recommended and set up available in Chapter 1.
 - I used framework for a CMS system to hold the courses and I used Agile Web Development to build the shopping car feature.
 - When I want to build something new I first search and I frequently end up on when I run into errors [which is pretty much always] 
*I am happy to help out any other Self Learning Programmer out there. Please feel free to email me at
 - If you are new as well, I would also begin having conversation with The General Assembly and The Flat Iron School and I am still grealy considering attending one of these 3 month long programs. 
Additional Resources
 - You will quickly see that there are an infinite number of ways to solve and problem in coding. There are also many great resources to learn. I really enjoyed, b/c it forced you to download ruby onto your own computer Check out . . .
 - <- Some great interactive feature. If I started again, I might use this site instead of
 - <- Alot of peopl love this site as it provides some great building blocks. I personally haven't used it much. It is an ok way to get you interested in code, but I haven't seen anyone use it to take them anywhere substantial