How to Learn Ruby on Rails

Read this guide to discover how to learn Ruby on Rails, either from a coding bootcamp or an online course.

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by Bethanny Parker

Published August 24, 2022

Reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

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Ruby on Rails is an open-source framework for web development. It helps web developers save time by making use of a library of pre-existing code. Keep in mind that Ruby on Rails is a web development framework, while Ruby is an object-oriented programming language. They can be easily confused.

There are many ways to learn Ruby on Rails, including coding bootcamps, online courses, and YouTube videos. If you want to discover how to learn Ruby on Rails, read on to determine how to find the best coding bootcamp or online course for your learning style.

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are intensive training experiences that usually last between 3-6 months. These bootcamps can be online or in person and taken full time or part time. Most bootcamps aim to teach everything needed to prepare for a specific job, such as web developer or software engineer. For that reason, it may be hard to find a specific Ruby bootcamp. But it's not hard to find a bootcamp that teaches Ruby as part of a more comprehensive education.

Because they can be completed quickly and often cost less than a four-year degree, coding bootcamps are a great way to break into a new tech career such as web development. Students can learn everything they need to know within a few short months, and the average cost of a bootcamp was $13,580 as of 2021.

Online Courses

Online courses provide another way for students to learn Ruby on Rails. There are many inexpensive and even free courses available online. Most are self-paced, meaning that the course has been posted in its entirety, and students work through it at their own pace. Most course providers indicate the amount of time they expect each course to take in the course description.

Online coding courses are an inexpensive, flexible option that is perfect for students who cannot enroll in a bootcamp. Here are five online courses that teach Ruby on Rails:

Online Courses vs. Bootcamps

Online Courses
Pros Cons
  • Online courses are usually cheaper than bootcamps. Sometimes they're even free.
  • You are able to set your own pace.
  • Many well-known universities offer online courses through MOOC providers.
  • Some students struggle with motivation to complete self-paced courses.
  • The instructor may not check back often to look for student questions.
  • You don't get the experience of pair programming or working with a group.
Bootcamps
Pros Cons
  • Most bootcamps provide an instructor, so you have someone to ask for help if you get stuck.
  • A coding bootcamp can prepare you for a new career in just 3-6 months.
  • Coding bootcamps cost much less than a college education.
  • Bootcamps usually cost more than online courses.
  • Full-time bootcamps require a big time commitment.
  • Most bootcamps require you to log in at specific times for lectures and other course activities.

Coding Bootcamps to Learn Ruby on Rails

General Assembly true
  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $750
  • Learning Formats: Online
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

Accepts GI Bill®
Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

General Assembly's Ruby on Rails bootcamp prepares students for Ruby jobs such as web developer or Ruby on Rails developer. Students learn how to build object-oriented programs and use loops, arrays, and hashes. By the time they complete the program, they will be able to build a Ruby on Rails app from scratch.

Visit Bootcamp

Noble Desktop true
  • Location: Remote, New York City
  • Program Cost: $2,495
  • Learning Formats: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Self-Paced

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

Noble Desktop’s Ruby on Rails bootcamp is a 60-hour intensive program that focuses on back-end technologies. Students should already know HTML and CSS before enrolling. This program is run as private tutoring and covers software creation in Ruby from start to finish.

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Udemy true
  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $100
  • Learning Formats: Online
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

Evening & Weekend Options
Money-Back Guarantee

Udemy's 2020 complete Ruby on Rails 6 bootcamp includes 14 hours of on-demand video. Students learn to use Ruby and Rails, including complex topics such as Ruby blocks and custom helpers. During the bootcamp, students complete three projects that they can add to their portfolios.

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Get the Qualities You Want in a Bootcamp

We use icons to make browsing bootcamps easy for you. Use this breakdown to quickly identify program qualities you are looking for.

Accepts GI Bill®

Accepts the GI Bill® as funding for tuition.

Also Available In Person

This online bootcamp also offers in-person options.

Career Services

Offers career services to help you land your dream job after graduation.

CIRR Member

This bootcamp is a current member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting. Learn more at cirr.org.

Evening & Weekend Options

Bootcamps are offered during convenient evening and weekend hours.

Job Guarantee

Employment is guaranteed as soon as you finish your bootcamp.

Money-Back Guarantee

Tuition is refunded if you don't land a job within a given time frame after graduation. Visit the bootcamp website for terms and conditions.

Start for Free

No deposit is required to get started. Begin your bootcamp for $0.

Methodology

Bootcamp Ranking Guidelines

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

Our Methodology

The Bootcamp Team at BestColleges has collected data for over 150 bootcamps to help you find the best bootcamp.

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

At this time, our recommendation round-ups feature only immersive bootcamps designed to prepare students for job placement upon graduation.

To be included on our lists, bootcamps must meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer at least one bootcamp in the United States.
  • Must offer at least one bootcamp that is a minimum of 4 weeks long.
  • Must require at least 15 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is part time.
  • Must encourage at least 10 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is self-paced.

Pricing disclosure: The prices listed were collected from product websites in 2022. However, given the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the tech space, prices are subject to change throughout the year. To get the most up-to-date information about pricing, contact providers directly.

Methodology for Recommending Cheap Bootcamps:

  • The bootcamp must meet all of the general criteria listed above.
  • The bootcamp must cost less than $8,000 if it is offered full time, and less than $5,000 if it is offered part time. These numbers were chosen based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 that determined the average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,580.

Ruby on Rails Jobs

The top Ruby on Rails jobs are software engineer, back-end developer, and full-stack developer. These are all branches of web development, but software engineering may require knowledge of more languages than the typical web development job.

Software Engineer

Software engineers work with designers to determine what each part of a program needs to do and how the various parts will work together to form a cohesive software program. These professionals plan out software projects and transform them into working programs that accomplish the goals set for them.

They also work in both the design and development phases of software product creation. During the design stage, they work with designers to figure out what the project will look like and how the user will interact with it.

Average Annual Salary (August 2022): $89,070


Back-End Developer

Back-end developers work on the back end of the website. They program the part of the site that requires interaction with databases and with the server. They use programming languages such as PHP, Python, and Ruby to interact with the server and SQL to interact with databases. Back-end developers must stay up to date on a variety of back-end programming languages.

Average Annual Salary (June 2022): $87,740


Full-Stack Developer

Full-stack developers work on both the front-end and back-end of a website. They must know front-end technologies such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript, as well as back-end technologies such as Ruby, Python, PHP, and SQL. Full-stack developers may work on their own but more often are part of a web development team of designers, developers, and possibly software engineers.

Average Annual Salary (August 2022): $80,040


What Are the Benefits of a Ruby on Rails Certification?

Having a Ruby on Rails certification is one way to show that you have the skills needed for a specific job. It can help you get the attention of prospective recruiters or hiring managers. Having the right keywords on your resume can help you get through the automated filters that some human resources managers use to weed out irrelevant resumes.

Having a Ruby on Rails certificate may help put you in the running for a job, but you may also need to prove your Ruby skills through testing. Most tech employers include programming challenges as a prospecting tool. Although having a Ruby certification can help get your foot in the door, you'll also need to perform well on technical challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Ruby on Rails

Is Ruby easy to learn?

Yes. Ruby is one of the easiest programming languages to learn. It has a simple syntax that is often easy for new programmers to pick up. Its syntax is similar to that of Python, another language that is easy to learn. It's also an easy way for experienced programmers to add a new skill to their resumes.

Still, if you are new to programming, it may take you a few weeks to feel like you understand Ruby well. This is because you are learning basic programming skills in addition to learning a new language.

Where can I learn Ruby on Rails for free?

You can start with the free Codecademy course listed above. You may also be able to find other free Ruby on Rails courses on sites like Coursera, Udemy, and EdX. If you don't like the first course you try, don't give up. Pick another course and keep learning.

Another way to learn Ruby on Rails is through YouTube videos. Try searching for "Ruby on Rails tutorial" on YouTube and see what pops up. Many people prefer learning by watching videos. They are a good way to learn the syntax, but you'll have to find a code editor to try writing your own programs.

What is the best way to learn Ruby on Rails?

Free online courses are a great way to learn Ruby if you are self-disciplined and able to stick with the program without having a specific time commitment. However, if you need external motivation, a coding bootcamp might be a better option for you. Most of them require you to log in at specific times for lectures.

You may also be able to work with a partner or as part of a team during a bootcamp, which can be a good experience. It helps you improve your technical communication skills while learning the new framework.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/index.asp.


Feature Image: Maskot / Maskot / Getty Images

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