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5 Great Ruby on Rails Books

Currently, I’m reading a lot of Ruby on Rails books, blogs and articles. I’ve already created some applications and I really like Rails. Ruby on Rails, or simply Rails, is an open source web application framework written in Ruby. I think the best way to learn Rails, besides attending a workshop, is to practice as much as possible. The second best way, however, is to read books! Today I’ll share five of the best Ruby on Rails books I’ve read to get the hang of Ruby and Rails. 

Ruby on Rails Books

  • The Ruby on Rails tutorial. This book teaches you how to develop and deploy real, industrial-strength web applications with Ruby on Rails. It assumes that you have zero knowledge of Rails, however it is still a great read for those who have some experience as well.  The book is free when you read it online, but you can also watch the screencasts series (this is not free). I think it’s a great combo to start learning Rails.
  • Beginning Rails 4 (Expert’s Voice in Web Development). This book will guide you from never having programmed with Ruby, to having a Rails application built and deployed to the web. You’ll learn how to combine all the components of Rails to develop your own web applications. This book is nicely written, gives you some insights in AJAX, SQL and more and I really loved the first chapter – introducing the rails framework.
  • The Rails™ 4 Way. This book offers a more technical depth of the framework. Extremely well written, not too difficult to follow and after you’ve finished this book you’ll definitely feel more comfortable and more experienced developer.
  • Agile Web Development with Rails 4. When you’re a bit more advanced, this is a great book to dive even deeper into Rails. I really like this book, it’s clear and takes care of a lot of things.  With this book, you’ll build a small webshop application from scratch. So it covers a lot of good information from ground up. Personally, I’m a big fan of books with tutorials in which you go and create your application step by step.
  • Crafting Rails 4 Applications.  This book is for the more advanced, experienced Rails programmer.  You’ll find advanced techniques for accomplishing complex tasks. It teaches you how to make a plugin or gem, how ActiveRecord works, how to write good tests and how to use TDD. Also, it explains how to use responders in your controllers and it goes very in-depth into the inner workings of Rails and how you can customize your applications needs in any scenario.  Highly recommended!

I recommend to start with one of the first 2 Ruby on Rails books, and then to go down the list. With these, you’ll be an advanced Rails developer in no time :-)

If you have other suggestions, please feel free to add them!