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Best Courses

9 Best Free Ruby and Ruby on Rails Courses to Take in 2022

Here is a guide with the best free online courses and resources to learn Ruby, a general-purpose programming language focused on simplicity and productivity.

In this article, I’ve picked the best online courses, tutorials, and resources to learn Ruby and Ruby on Rails framework. Ruby was created with a focus on productivity and simplicity, which is why it has a natural-sounding syntax which is easy for beginners to pick up. It is most popular for the Ruby on Rails framework that is used to build complex modern web applications. Some courses in this guide are comprehensive with hundreds of hours of material and tips for job search, while others will get you coding in Ruby in a couple of hours.

Here are my top picks. Click on one to skip to the course details:

Course Workload In Brief
1. Full Stack Ruby on Rails (The Odin Project) 500–1000 hours long Best Ruby course overall
2. Ruby Primer (RubyMonk) 1–2 hours long Best concise Ruby course
3. Learn Ruby (Sololearn) 2–8 hours long Best Ruby interactive tutorial
4. Ruby Programming Language – Full Course (freeCodeCamp) 4–5 hours long Best video-based Ruby course
5. Learn Ruby (Codecademy) 10 hours long Alternative to 3.
6. Learn Ruby on Rails (freeCodeCamp) 4–5 hours long Best video-based Ruby on Rails course
7. Ruby (Exercism) Self-paced Best Ruby exercises for practice
8. Learn Ruby on Rails for Beginners course (gorails.com) 5 hours long Best introductory course to Ruby on Rails.
9. Learn Ruby On Rails For Free (Rails Code Along) 14–15 hours long Best real-world Ruby on Rails course for code-along.

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a high-level, general-purpose programming language with a focus on productivity and simplicity. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, wanted to create an easy-to-read language that leveraged object-oriented programming for greater code reuse but also support multiple programming paradigms. The result was a human-friendly language with natural syntax that’s easy to pick up but could also become really complex when wielded by an experienced programmer.

Although Ruby is a general-purpose programming language, it’s highly popular for developing rich web applications, especially with Rails framework. You can find many big name companies like Twitch, shopify, GitHub, and airbnb who built their products with it. The demand for Ruby programmers is high, which is why according to Glassdoor, the estimated total pay for a Ruby Developer is $130K+ per year.

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Best Courses Guides Methodology

I built this ranking following the now tried-and-tested methodology used in previous Best Courses Guides (you can find them all here). It involves a three-step process:

  1. Research: I started by leveraging Class Central’s database with 100K online courses and 200K+ reviews. Then, I made a preliminary selection of 100+ courses by rating, reviews, and bookmarks.
  2. Evaluate: I read through reviews on Class Central, Reddit, and course providers to understand what other learners thought about each course and combined it with my own experience as a learner.
  3. Select: Well-made courses were picked if they presented valuable and engaging content and they have to fit in a set of criteria and be ranked accordingly: comprehensive curriculum, price, release date, ratings and enrollments.

Course Ranking Statistics

Here are some aggregate stats about the ranking:

  • Together, the courses account for 985K enrollments.
  • All of the courses in this ranking are free or have free limited-access.
  • All of the courses except for three are beginner-friendly.
  • The most represented provider is freeCodeCamp with 2 courses.
  • 2K people follow Class Central’s Ruby Topic.

Without further ado, let’s go through the top picks.

1. Full Stack Ruby on Rails (The Odin Project)

My #1 pick for the best Ruby course is Full Stack Ruby on Rails pathway provided by The Odin Project.

This free comprehensive course pulls you into the world of Ruby on Rails to create beautiful responsive websites. You’ll start from scratch, learning the basics of Ruby programming before taking Ruby to the next level with the Rails framework where you’ll learn about web design patterns along with other languages like HTML/CSS, SQL, and even JavaScript!

The course is designed to make you job-ready. In fact, the final section of the course is all about how to get hired. You’ll also have access to The Odin Project’s amazing Discord community of developers.

Note: If you want to only learn Ruby programming, only take the Ruby lessons in this course. But if you’re interested in learning the Ruby on Rails framework for making websites, go ahead and complete all the lessons.

You do not need any experience with programming prior to taking this course.

What You’ll Learn

Your first task of the course is to familiarize yourself with the Ruby programming language. You’ll start by learning all about the basics of Ruby along with some classic programming basics like variables, loops, and methods. Then, you’ll explore the world of object-oriented programming, which will show you how to cleanly and neatly organize your code into reusable objects.

A good developer must also be a good computer scientist to ensure that they aren’t writing inefficient code. Hence, you’ll dive into some basic computer science, where you’ll learn about recursion and common data structures. You’ll then see the benefits of test-driven development before going through the more advanced features of Git and its workflow used by professional developers. Finally, you’ll tie everything together by building a fully-fledged chess game.

Now that you have a good understanding of Ruby, the rest of the course trains you to become a skilled Ruby on Rails developer. You’ll learn intermediate and advanced HTML and CSS to create web projects that look beautiful on any device. You’ll also deal with databases so that your website can retrieve and store data at all times. Then, you’ll explore the Model-View-Controller design pattern which forms the foundation of the Ruby on Rails framework. After that, you’ll make your website dynamic and interactive with JavaScript, before ending the course with a few tips on getting hired.

How You’ll Learn

This course consists of 5 sections with 120 lessons total and is 500—1000 hours long. You’ll learn primarily from going through the articles and answering the knowledge check at the end of each article to test your memory.

Regarding assessments, the subsections of each section end with a project where you’ll apply what you’ve been taught. When you are satisfied with your project, you’ll submit your project through GitHub for other learners to view and learn from.

Institution The Odin Project
Level Beginner
Workload 500–1000 hours
Certificate None

Fun Facts

  • The Odin Project curriculum pulls various free high-quality resources from around the web and compiles them in one place so that you spend less time searching and more time learning!
  • The Odin Project has also received a lot of praise from around the internet, due to its high-quality learning resources and active learning community.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

2. Ruby Primer (RubyMonk)

My 2nd pick for the best course to learn Ruby is Ruby Primer by RubyMonk.

What You’ll Learn

‘Everything in Ruby is an object’ will be the first thing you’ll discover as you begin this course. You’ll learn that every object has methods that you can invoke by supplying arguments. Then, you’ll learn how to operate on strings along with other data types.

Conditions and loops allow you to control the flow of your program. You’ll learn how to construct these and utilize them especially when dealing with arrays that store a list of values. You’ll also learn how to use hashes to pair values together.

Next, you’ll dive deeper into object-oriented programming (OOP). You’ll investigate what classes are and how to use them to define real-world objects as code, and then add methods to your classes to give them behavior. You’ll also be introduced to lambdas which are functions without names and their opposite called blocks.

Finally, the course ends with a discussion on modules that split groups of methods into code together with interacting with I/O like streams and files.

How You’ll Learn

This course is 1–2 hours long. You’ll learn by going through the interactive tutorials and solving the in-browser exercises by practicing your Ruby coding skills.

Institution RubyMonk
Instructors Sidu Ponnappa and Jasim A Basheer
Level Beginner
Workload 1–2 hours total
Certificate None

Fun Facts

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

3. Learn Ruby (Sololearn)

Sololearn’s free Learn Ruby course teaches you Ruby from the ground up. It starts from the basic concepts like variables and functions before moving to more advanced like object-oriented programming, modules, and mixins.

What You’ll Learn

The first thing you’ll learn in this course is that everything in Ruby is an object. Then, you’ll be taught the basics of Ruby, like variables, data types, getting user input, and printing data to screen. You’ll also learn about control structures like `if`, `unless`, `while`, and `for` statements. They allow you to change the order in which code is executed, allowing the program to decide or repeat itself.

Going deeper, you’ll investigate collections of values, shortened to collections. You’ll learn about arrays that hold ordered data, hashes that hold pairs of data, and how to manipulate and retrieve data from them. Meanwhile, methods are repeatable statements of code which you can define yourself. You’ll make great use of methods, especially when you explore recursion.

Ruby is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language. You’ll learn the basics of OOP, beginning with classes and objects, learning how to define classes and inherit class properties. These will prove themselves useful when you create games or websites.

Modules bundle code, and mixins share methods between modules. You’ll explore some of the built-in modules (called the standard library), before ending the course with reading and writing files.

How You’ll Learn

This course is 2–8 hours long. You’ll learn by going through the tutorials and completing the MCQ quizzes or code exercises.

Institution Sololearn
Level Beginner
Workload 2–8 hours total
Enrollments 641K
Certificate Free

Fun Facts

  • Sololearn offers many courses on different programming languages. Some of the popular ones are HTML, Python, C++, Java, and JavaScript.
  • They also have an Android and iOS app where you can learn coding on the go from your mobile device.
  • Whenever you practice writing C# code on SoloLearn, you’ll collect points which can help you show off your skills.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

4. Ruby Programming Language – Full Course (freeCodeCamp)

Ruby Programming Language – Full Course by freeCodeCamp will teach you everything you need to know to get started with writing programs in Ruby by developing mini applications like games and calculators to help you get some essential programming skills.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a solid foundation of the Ruby programming language.

This course is suitable for complete beginners to programming.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll start off with the basics like installing Ruby, getting Ruby set up with a text editor and executing your first Ruby programming. Then, you’ll get to know some of the basic programing concepts like variables, dealing with different types of data (like string and numbers), and storing user input.

You’ll also get into if statements and loops that allow you to control the flow of your program. These constructs are especially useful when used in conjunction with data structures like arrays and hashes.

The final part of the course deals with more advanced programming concepts, namely object-oriented programming. You’ll learn the ins and outs of OOP, like classes, objects, and inheritance. You’ll also learn how to read and write files and how to group methods into modules.

How You’ll Learn

This course is 4–5 hours long. You’ll learn by following along with the instructor as he codes.

Institution freeCodeCamp
Provider YouTube
Instructor Mike Dane
Level Beginners
Workload 4–5 hours total
Views 840K
Likes 16K
Certificate None

Fun Facts

  • freeCodeCamp offers many other courses on various programming languages on their YouTube channel as well as on their website.
  • Meanwhile, Mike has several free courses on various programming topics like MongoDB, C, Ruby, and PHP on his personal website.
  • He is currently working on Dev Simulator, a coding RPG with a fun storyline to help you learn while having fun!

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

5. Learn Ruby (Codecademy)

In this free limited-access Learn Ruby course by Codecademy, you’ll learn the fundamental programming concepts with Ruby language. By the end of the course, you’ll have a firm grasp of Ruby, including the object-oriented paradigm.

No prior knowledge of programming is required to take this course.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll begin the course with the basics. You’ll learn about variables and the different data types they can have, before moving on to getting user input and printing it to screen. Then, you’ll be trained on conditional statements and loops. These constructs allow you to control the flow of the program to make decisions or automate repetitive tasks respectively.

The first data structures you’ll be introduced to are arrays and hashes. Data structures allow you to contain data in a certain ‘shape’. For example, arrays store sequences of data while hashes store pairs of data. You’ll learn how to utilize these data structures effectively either through their in-built methods or by iterating through them with loops, perhaps by defining your own methods with blocks.

Refactoring is the process of restructuring existing computer code to improve readability. You’ll learn a few best practices, conventions, and little tips to help you write clean, idiomatic Ruby. Afterward, you’ll learn the similarities and differences between blocks, procs, and lambdas.

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a popular paradigm especially when it comes to creating websites as it allows you to organize information and behavior in a program. You’ll study classes, objects, and the key concept of inheritance. You’ll then finish the course by exploring the more advanced aspects of OOP, like modules, mixins, and method privacy.

How You’ll Learn

This course is 10 hours long. You’ll learn by going through the interactive tutorials and completing exercises which involve hands-on coding.

If you have Codecademy Pro, you’ll earn a certificate upon completing the course and have access to three portfolio projects to showcase your skills and quizzes to retain your memory of programming concepts.

Institution Codecademy
Level Beginner
Workload 10 hours total
Enrolments 315K
Certificate Paid

Fun Facts

  • Codecademy was co-founded by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, with the goal of giving  anyone in the world the ability to learn the skills they’d need to succeed in the 21st century.
  • They offer free courses in 12 different programming languages, the most popular courses being Python, Java, C++, C#, and Swift.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

6. Learn Ruby on Rails (freeCodeCamp)

freeCodeCamp’s Learn Ruby on Rails teaches Ruby on Rails by guiding you through the development of a friends list app. You’ll learn a lot about web programming and design in this free course.

To take this course, you’ll need some Ruby programming experience.

What You’ll Learn

The course begins with an introduction to Ruby on Rails and its installation, before quickly starting work on your first webpage! You’ll be taught about the Model-View-Controller pattern to help you implement user interfaces, data, and controlling logic. You’ll then learn how to create new pages using the base template given to you.

CRUD stands for CREATE, READ, UPDATE and DELETE. These operations are important to maintain persistent data in a database. You’ll create a webpage that can display and modify data stored in an SQL database.

Then, you’ll style your web application with Bootstrap, a popular CSS framework, so that the UI looks pleasing. This will also mean implementing different views of the same webpage, depending on whether the user is logged in or not. As you’re making a social media website, users should be able to add other users as friends, so you’ll implement that feature too. Finally, you’ll learn how to upload your code to GitHub with Git and deploy the final product to Heroku.

How You’ll Learn

This course is 4–5 hours long. You’ll learn by following along with the instructor as he codes.

Institution freeCodeCamp
Provider YouTube
Instructor John Elder (codemy.com)
Level Intermediate
Workload 4–5 hours total
Views 517K
Likes 9.7K
Certificate None

Fun Facts

  • The Codemy.com channel teaches other programming-related topics, from Python, to Django to HTML and CSS and more!
  • You can find the Ruby source code here.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

7. Ruby (Exercism)

To become a good programmer, you need to program. And the best place to practice Ruby programming is on Exercism.

Exercism is an free online coding platform where you can practice your Ruby coding skills through well-designed programming exercises.

The best feature about this platform is that you’ll receive free personal mentoring. When you have solved an exercise, you’ll receive personalized feedback about your code. I can’t stress how helpful this is, especially for new programmers since they don’t have the programming experience yet to judge the quality of their own code.

Programmers of all levels of experience can join this platform, as exercises range from easy to challenging.

What You’ll Learn

The course has learning exercises where it’ll teach you the Ruby fundamentals through exercises. You’ll begin with the basics like “Hello, World!”. Then, you’ll learn how to manipulate and use strings, along with other Ruby programming concepts like conditionals, loops, raising exceptions, enumerations, and more.

After completing the learning exercises, you can practice what you’ve learned on exercises of three different difficulties: easy, medium, and hard.

Some easy exercises include converting a long phrase into its acronym, finding the differences of squares, and implementing the Affine Cipher.

Meanwhile, the medium exercises include OCR numbers, compute Pascal’s Triangle, and spelling numbers as words.

Some of the most challenging exercises available are computing the result for a game of Hex / Polygon, implementing regex search, and finding the largest discount available from a bookstore.

How You’ll Learn

This course is self-paced, so you can take all the time you need to complete the 109 hands-on programming exercises. Each exercise comes with automatic analysis of your code as well as personal mentoring to help you understand your code’s strengths and flaws.

Institution Exercism
Level Beginner–Advanced
Workload Self-paced
Enrollments 29K
Certificate None

Fun Facts

  • Exercism provides exercises on 50+ programming languages like Python, Kotlin, F#, and WebAssembly.
  • Their mission is to help everyone get really good at programming, regardless of their background, share the love of programming, and help people upskill as part of their upward social mobility.
  • Over 200 people have contributed towards the Ruby syllabus and exercises, with 1000 mentors available at the time of writing.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

8. Learn Ruby on Rails for Beginners course (gorails.com)

This free course teaches you Ruby on Rails by building a Buffer clone with authentication, OAuth, Twitter’s API, and background workers. You’ll learn the ropes on becoming a professional Rails developer.

To take this course, you’ll need some Ruby programming experience.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll start off the course by installing Ruby on Rails and creating your first Rails application.

Then, you’ll learn how HTTP requests work in the browser before learning about the Model-View-Controller design pattern that is predominantly found in web applications. Afterwards, you’ll learn about routes and route types.

Then, you’ll spice up your website with Bootstrap CSS and JavaScript to make it super responsive. You’ll design the Navbar before setting up a Git repository to keep it all in.

You’ll create the account creation system and then learn how to validate passwords and everything to do with the user experience. Then, you’ll integrate Twitter’s API into your application to allow you to tweet from your app — pretty sweet.

Finally, you’ll end the course by polishing your application to make sure it runs flawlessly, before deploying it to Heroku to show it off to the world.

How You’ll Learn

This course is 5 hours long. You’ll learn by following along with the instructor as he codes.

Website gorails.com
Instructor Chris Oliver
Level Intermediate
Workload 5 hours total
Views 188K
Certificate None

Fun Facts

  • Chris Oliver is the creator of GoRails, Hatchbox.io and Jumpstart. He spends his time creating tutorials and tools to help Ruby on Rails developers build apps better and faster.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

9. Learn Ruby On Rails For Free (Rails Code Along)

In this free course, you’ll learn how to build, test, troubleshoot, and launch a real production Rails application — a fitness tracking app.

This course is hands-on. You’ll learn a lot about real-world product development, like troubleshooting, searching documentation and API, if you are pairing with the instructor.

This course is for anyone who has enough experience with Rails to be dangerous, but have never built a production application.

What You’ll Learn

The course begins by installing rails and learning how to use GitHub, the main platform where you’ll implement and configure Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD).

Then, you’ll learn how to deploy a Rails app with Heroku, where you’ll begin working on the app itself. You’ll test the user model and user flow, write system tests, and create a user authorization system where accounts can be created and stored.

Optimize and offload expensive queries will also be taught to make your web application run much more smoothly. You’ll work on the front-end, devising different views and building a custom search form. Finally, you’ll learn how to use callbacks to run calculations and refactor code when needed.

How You’ll Learn

This course is 14–15 hours long. You’ll learn by following along with the instructor as he codes.

Website railscodealong.com
Instructor Steve Polito
Level Intermediate
Workload 14–15 hours total
Views 1.3K
Certificate None

Fun Facts

  • Steve Polito is a full-stack web developer who specializes in WordPress and Ruby on Rails.
  • You can find the source code of the course’s project here: A simple Strava clone.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

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Elham Nazif

Part-time content writer, full-time computer science student.

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