More learning. Less churning. The Pragmatic Studio is where developers have come since 2005 to learn relevant skills, master new tools, and continually improve their craft. Building and delivering a real application requires learning more than syntax, libraries, and APIs. To effectively craft a high-quality application, you also need to know where to start your project, what makes a good design, and how to adjust when requirements change. So that's the approach we take in our project-driven courses where you'll learn how to confidently build apps with the right tools and the right techniques.

Here are a few more things you might like to know about us, our approach to training, and why we call it The Pragmatic Studio:

Mike and Nicole Clark
  • We're a hyper-focused, debt-free company, privately-owned and operated by Mike and Nicole Clark.

  • In 2005, we started our training company by offering the first-ever public Ruby on Rails course. Alumni of that course are highly-regarded "Golden Spike Members".

  • Since then, we've held over 100 public classes in 14 cities on 11 various topics with 15 different sets of instructors.

  • Our instructors have also had the privilege of helping developers learn new skills, tools, and programming techniques in hundreds of private classes offered on-site at companies around the world.

  • Over 2,500 developers have attended at least one of our in-person courses, and thousands more have taken our online courses.

  • Our courses are unique because they're taught by programmers who have spent substantial time in the trenches on real-world projects figuring out what works pragmatically and what doesn't.

  • Equally important, each of our instructors has the distinct ability to clearly and effectively teach what they know.

  • As a small company without a lot of distractions or overhead, we're able to focus on what's important: creating high-quality courses, delivering exceptional customer service, and building long-term relationships with our students.

  • We specialize in teaching a small set of topics that we know really well, use regularly, and that make us happy!

  • We believe real learning happens when you build real applications in a real development environment. That's why our courses are project-driven and you complete the exercises on your own computer.

  • Our alumni amaze us every day with the applications they build, the gems they publish, the feedback they send our way, and the leadership they show in their community.

  • We believe that learning a new skill or language or tool is good, but being able to actually apply that new skill to a real-world need is far more gratifying.

  • We bootstrapped the business from personal savings and a lot of sweat equity (hard work!). We've always been free from the constraints of debt and VC funding.

  • Each year we donate 15% of profits to our favorite charities.

  • We named our company The Pragmatic Studio because we think the best software developers have a lot in common with artists and a studio is a workroom where artists practice and improve their craft.

We'd love to have you join us in the Studio!

Our Current Instructors

Mike Clark

Mike Clark is co-owner of The Pragmatic Studio, and has over 20 years of software development experience. He started teaching the original Rails Studio with Dave Thomas way back in 2005 and has taught many courses since. He's the author of Advanced Rails Recipes, co-author of Agile Web Development with Rails, and author of Pragmatic Project Automation.

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas has been writing software since the mid '70s, and hopes one day to get it right. In the meantime, he's the co-author of The Pragmatic Programmer, Programming Ruby, and Agile Web Development with Rails. Along with Andy Hunt, they run The Pragmatic Programmers.

Daniel Steinberg

Daniel Steinberg is the author of Cocoa Programming: A Quick Start for Developers, iPad Programming, and Test Driving iOS Development with Kiwi. He writes feature articles for Apple's ADC web site and is a regular contributor to Mac Devcenter. He has presented at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, MacWorld, MacHack, CocoaConf, and other Mac developer conferences.

Matt Drance

Matt Drance is the owner of Bookhouse Software, an iPhone and iPad app development company, co-author of iOS Recipes, and an eight-year Apple veteran. As Apple's Application Frameworks Evangelist, Matt helped shape the APIs in the iPhone SDK and worked with hundreds of third-party developers to build many of the apps you use today. He was an annual speaker at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and iPhone Tech Talks, and his orientation videos in the iPhone Dev Center have been viewed by thousands of iPhone developers. At Bookhouse, Matt now builds his own products and works regularly with a number of clients.

James Dempsey

James Dempsey is a fifteen-year Apple veteran gone indie. At Apple, he worked on iOS, Aperture, and OS X releases Leopard through Lion, including half a decade on the Cocoa frameworks team. Along the way he's trained hundreds of developers on Apple technologies, including teaching Cocoa development at Stanford University and presenting at WWDC for over a decade. He founded Tapas Software to build apps for iOS and OS X, with an initial release now on the App Store.

Jim Weirich

Jim Weirich was a beloved instructor and a dear friend. His contributions to both the Ruby and Rails communities are numerous and included the Rake build system, the FlexMock mocking library, and the RubyGems package management software. He was also a naturally-gifted teacher and we'll always be grateful that he chose to spend a portion of his time teaching with us. But what we will remember most about him is the kind of person he was: patient, kind, caring, and always smiling, right up until the Lord called him home in February 2014.