If you are looking for a relatively fresh Ruby book that is suitable for beginners in Ruby programming, this might be it. In this article I'll explain whom I recommend Beginning Ruby 3, and why I picked it, and at the end I also bring up some notable alternatives that could be worth considering.
- Title: Beginning Ruby 3
- Publisher: Apress
- Authors: Carleton DiLeo, Peter Cooper
- Release Date: 9. December 2020
- ISBN: 9781484263242
First of all, I would like to explain whom I recommend reading this book.
In the introduction I've mentioned beginners - but beginners at Ruby programming, or beginners at programming altogether? Well, the authors' intention was to make it suitable for both groups of audience. However, in my opinion those, who have never coded before and are unfamiliar with programming, should look elsewhere. In order to understand all the concepts in this Ruby guide, the reader needs to have at least the very basic understanding of how computer programs are written.
Those, on the other hand, who have already obtained the aforementioned basics either by a general programming introduction or by having written some code in any language previously, this should be a great choice for learning Ruby.
And fellow software developers who have been in the industry for many years - like myself -, in need of a complete introduction to Ruby, will also be able to make good use of this book, as it contains pretty much everything that is needed for setting off with real world projects in Ruby, without any frustration of having to jump over paragraphs or even pages of absolute beginner-friendly material, as it's quite straightforward (which leads us back to why I wouldn't recommend it to those who have never programmed before).
When I was looking for Ruby learning material (books and online courses alike), my criteria was
- It had to be recently published, because Ruby 3.0.0 was released at the end of 2020 and I didn't want to start with an already obsolete knowledge
- It had to be written for beginners in Ruby, and not beginners in programming, as typically in the latter case it would be hundreds of pages longer which I would have to skip anyway
- It had to be a good quality material
After all, when I almost gave up, my girlfriend had found Beginning Ruby 3, the one I'm recommending today.
UPDATE: A Reddit post has just popped up in the r/Ruby subreddit about a potentially great resource: Programming Ruby 3.2.
Programming Ruby 3.2
When I wrote this article, I didn't know about this book, probably it hadn't been published yet. Even now it is in a preview phase, and it's expected to be released in 2023. I've peeked into the publicly available sections of it, and I have to say, it looks pretty decent. And the fact that it's about Ruby version 3.2 makes it currently the most up to date learning material in the topic (once it gets released, of course). It's definitely worth a try, check it out on the publisher's website.
The Well-Grounded Rubyist
A very good friend of mine has mentioned this book a while ago, and naturally this was the very first thing that popped up in my mind when I decided I wanted to learn Ruby. My impression is, Manning has great quality content, their books are usually excellent. Sadly I had to realize, the latest edition at the time of my hunt was written on Ruby 2.7 (published in 2019), and even at the time of writing this article, it still is the case.
If you already own a copy, don't throw it away - it's definitely a great resource, just don't forget to read the Ruby version release notes (3.0.0, 3.1.0, 3.2.0-preview2) after finishing the book. Otherwise it's worth considering a different resource, unless a newer edition of The Well-Grounded Rubyist gets released.
Learn to Code with Ruby
On Udemy, this course seemed to be the best quality one according to reviews and previews and my previous experience with some authors. There are two issues with it however:
- It's rather for absolute beginners, i.e. too much explanation for experienced programmers.
- It still teaches Ruby 2.7 even though they claim the course to be last updated in July 2022. This is quite sketchy.
Certainly there are more resources out there, but unfortunately none of them are up to date at the time of writing this post. Beginning Ruby 3 happens to be the most recent Ruby guide that covers features from version 3.0, and I'm grateful for both my girlfriend for finding it, and for my friend for mentioning The Well-Grounded Rubyist, which I really find interesting based on the chapters and I really really wish there was a more recent release of it.