“After taking this course I felt 10x more comfortable in using Ruby on Rails.” — Alfons Klaasse Bos

Learn Rails 4 by building a complete app, step by step!

Learn how all the pieces go together to build a complete Ruby on Rails 4 app from idea to deployment so you can confidently create your first Rails app or jump right into an existing app.

Folks trying to learn Rails tend to struggle with the same issues and ask the same questions:

  • Where's the best place to start?
  • How do all the pieces fit together?
  • What are the Rails conventions really doing behind the scenes?
  • Why does this code work (or not)?
  • Am I doing it the right way?
Trying to find answers to those questions on your own takes time away from what you really want to do: create high-quality Rails apps fast! We'll help you cut through all the confusion and get right down to what matters most.

In this comprehensive online course you'll learn how to build a complete Rails 4 app step-by-step. You'll come away with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Rails and how to put all the pieces together. Throughout the course you'll also learn key design principles and practices to help you craft robust and flexible Rails apps.

To learn more, watch the introduction video below or start our online Rails course today for free!

We're right there with you—from start to finish—with engaging instruction, live coding, and practical hands-on exercises. And since this is an online course, you can start taking it immediately, wherever you're comfortable, and work through it at your own pace.

One of the best learning experiences I've ever had! I've gone through many courses and books. From all of these, your Rails course is the best in terms of teaching style, course structure, topics, and being up-to-date with Rails 4.” — Mate Kaszas

Learn Rails 4 in this online, self-paced course!

Video Workbook Code Cheats
Videos Exercises Example Code Cheat Sheets
Support Access Badge Alumni
Mailing List
Proof of
Alumni Status
& Discounts

$159 per student • $119 for alumni

What's Included?

Watch, Read, Practice… and Learn! This online multimedia course includes instant and perpetual access to the following:

  • Rails Video

    36 Videos: HD-Quality and DRM-free
    The videos are a combination of guided instruction, live-coding, and over 70 animated visuals to deepen your understanding of Rails. You'll see exactly how we build a Rails app incrementally, from start to finish. You can stop, rewind, and rewatch each video as often as you like and at your own pace.

    The total video duration is a little over 6 hours, but each video is only 10-20 minutes so you can work through the course in small increments. Watch the videos in the browser for an integrated learning experience, or download them for offline viewing. The videos also look great on an iPad or iPhone. Watch them when and where it's convenient for you! All 25 videos are licensed for individual use, DRM-free, and available in full 1280x720 HD resolution. To get a feel for the video format, watch the first few videos for free.

  • Rails Course

    Online Exercise Workbook (34 Chapters)
    Each video has a corresponding chapter in the online exercise workbook that leads you through incrementally designing and building a complete Rails app step-by-step from scratch. The exercises are designed to go hand-in-hand with the videos and you'll end up creating a full-featured Rails app similar to the app we create in the videos. You'll complete the exercises directly on your own computer—the same comfortable environment where you'll create your own Rails apps.

    Throughout the workbook you'll find explanations, hints, discussions on design principles, tips and tricks, recommended resources, and of course all the exercise solutions (with tests). And all the workbook content is easily searchable, so you always have a reference library at your fingertips! Check out the workbook format by working through the first few exercises for free.

  • Rails Course

    Source Code for Two Rails Apps
    It's been our experience that developers don't want the practice code in the workbook to be exactly like the example code we write in the videos. So instead, in the workbook exercises you'll build a different, yet similar, Rails app to the one we build in the videos. That not only makes it more fun for you, it also engages your brain more by applying what you learned in a slightly different context. As an added bonus, at the end of the course you can draw from the code of two full-featured Rails apps!

  • Cheat Sheets
    Rails uses a variety of conventions and shortcuts to make a developer's life a bit sweeter and speed up development time. But when you're learning Rails, it's easy to get lost in all the twists and turns. So for easy reference, we provide a set of PDF cheat sheets for commonly used conventions, commands, and shortcuts.

  • Support Mailing List
    Have questions during the course? No problem! You'll get access to a mailing list exclusively for participants of this course where you can post questions, get answers, share insights, discuss Rails topics, and connect with other students who are pursuing similar goals.

  • Instant and Perpetual Access
    You get immediate access to all the course material, and your access never expires! There is no time limit to complete the course, and you can revisit all the material whenever you want. It's the perfect environment for learning at your own pace, and on your own time.

  • Proof of Completion
    When you've completed the course, you can easily showcase your accomplishment by sharing the link to your personal alumni page.

  • Alumni Status and Discount
    After purchasing your first online course, you immediately become a Pragmatic Studio alumni and get 25% off all subsequent courses!

This Rails course is fabulous! I took a few other courses, but still felt really confused. I learned a lot, feel more comfortable with Rails, and really understand how controllers, models, and routes depend on each other. The explanations along with the illustrations were really fantastic. This is my favorite Rails course.” — Dana Nourie

Who's It For?

New Rails Programmers who want to learn or become more confident with Rails. This course is a good fit for you if you are:

  • Getting started with Rails
    Perhaps you've been intrigued by Rails, but haven't yet had the opportunity to learn it comprehensively from scratch. It all starts here! You'll learn the fundamentals of developing web apps with Rails so you're ready to create your first Rails app or jump right into an existing app. No prior experience with Rails is assumed.

    If you're new to the Ruby programming language or new to object-oriented programming in general, we strongly recommend taking our online Ruby Programming course prior to this course.

  • Struggling to put all the pieces of Rails together
    Rails is a structured framework that relies on conventions to optimize development time and minimize the amount of code you have to write. This makes developing web apps a bit easier… once you understand how everything fits together. Through live coding, animated visuals, and hands-on exercises, you'll learn how to build a complete web app so you're more confident (and less frustrated) writing your own Rails code.

  • Curious about how to develop Rails apps using a test-first approach
    This course starts by introducing the basics of every Rails app: models, views, controllers, and routes. With that foundation in place, we then build the app using a test-first development approach with RSpec and Capybara. If your goal is to write high-quality Rails apps that you can change with confidence (and we think that's a very worthy and achievable goal!), then learning good testing techniques is key. You'll learn how to incrementally build a Rails app start-to-finish the test-first way.

  • In need of a refresh or a reload!
    If you started learning Rails a while back but haven't used it in earnest, this course will help you quickly get back up to speed with the latest version of Rails and current development techniques!

“The course helped me fully understand how everything fits together within the MVC framework and gave me enough confidence to refactor existing apps and/or create new ones.” — Ronald Rivera

What Will I Learn?

How to create high-quality Rails apps from scratch. This course takes a very practical, step-by-step approach, teaching you how to design and incrementally build a complete database-driven web app using Rails 4. Topics include:

Rails Course

Rails Programming Environment
Setting up your working environment and learning how to use it effectively is the first step toward becoming a productive Rails developer. We'll show you how to:

  • Install Ruby on Rails on your favorite operating system
  • Edit Rails code using the Sublime Text editor
  • Use the Rails console and supporting command-line tools effectively
  • Search Rails documentation
  • Use external RubyGems in your application
  • Troubleshoot problems and understand common error messages

The router is the central dispatch of your application. It receives incoming requests (URLs) and, depending on a set of rules, dispatches the requests to an appropriate controller action. You'll learn how to:

  • Define routes that recognize incoming URLs
  • Use named route methods to generate URLs based on the routing scheme
  • Apply and understand the RESTful routing conventions
  • Design apps to take advantage of the REST conventions in Rails

Views and Controllers
Rails has some strong opinions about how web apps should be designed. You've probably heard about the MVC design in the abstract, but we'll break it down in practice so you understand where to put your code and the benefits of a decoupled design. You'll learn how to:

  • Write controller actions to handle incoming requests and render views (or redirect to other actions)
  • Design clean and flexible HTML 5 views using layouts, partials, and helpers
  • Write custom view helpers to encapsulate presentation logic
  • Remove duplication using before actions

Models and Database Design
Well-designed models are the foundation of any good Rails app. In the simplest form, a model is a Ruby class that encapsulates your application's business logic. But a model also often represents an entity stored in your database. Active Record is the object-relational mapping library that Rails uses to connect your business objects (models) to your database tables. You'll learn how to:

  • Manage your database schema with migrations
  • Use models to create, read (query), update, and delete records in your database
  • Use validations to enforce data integrity
  • Design models for better reuse and testability

Test-First Development Using RSpec and Capybara
Both the Ruby and Rails communities place a high value on testing, and it's for good reason. Writing effective tests allows you to make changes and add new features with confidence. As a result, you're a more productive Rails developer. Throughout the course, you'll learn how to:

  • Use a test-first development approach to confidently add new features
  • Write and run high-level feature specs using RSpec 2 and Capybara
  • Test lower-level business logic by writing model specs using RSpec
  • Refactor your application code, safely!

Want to accept user input and store it in a database? Rails has a whole bunch of conventions to help you create robust and friendly forms. We'll unveil the "magic" and show you how to:

  • Design a form for creating and editing data
  • Validate form data and provide actionable feedback to the user
  • Store submitted form data in a database and dynamically display the data
  • Avoid common security pitfalls

CSS and Sass Basics
As a web developer, it's important to understand the basics of web design whether you aim to do it all yourself or plan to work hand-in-hand with a web designer. You'll learn how to:

  • Decouple your presentation (style) from the content using CSS stylesheets
  • Keep your stylesheets tidy and flexible using Sass extensions including variables, nested rules, and functions
  • Effectively use what Rails calls the asset pipeline

Model Relationships
One of the most powerful features of Rails is the ability to create relationships between different models and represent those relationships in a database. For example, if you're developing a movie review app then you'll need to associate each review with a particular movie. To do that properly, it's important to not only understand the Rails conventions but also what goes on behind the scenes. You'll learn how to:

  • Design a one-to-many relationship in the database using foreign keys
  • Declare associations in the models and use them to create associated records and navigate across the one-to-many relationship
  • Use nested resources to design a user interface for a one-to-many relationship
  • Encapsulate business logic that emerges once you have rich associations between models

Putting your Rails app into production shouldn't cause fear and trembling. Deploying Rails apps has gotten a lot easier over the years thanks in large part to cloud services such as Heroku. We'll show you how to deploy your Rails app for the first time, and incrementally push out updates. You'll learn how to:

  • Set up a (free) Heroku account
  • Put your application code in a Git repository
  • Deploy your app to your Heroku account
  • Run remote Heroku commands such as to migrate your production database
  • Upload image files and store them on Amazon S3
  • Roll out updates to your app with ease!

Rails Best Practices
Standing up a Rails app that just works isn't the same as designing a good Rails app. Mastering Rails—writing compact, readable, and flexible code—starts by learning the conventions, practices, and idioms fostered by the Rails community. So, in addition to learning the ins and outs Rails, we'll take you a step further. You'll learn:

  • An iterative (agile) development style that easily adapts to changing requirements
  • Design techniques for removing duplication, encapsulating business logic, and properly aligning responsibilities
  • And a bunch of practical tips and tricks used by the pros to get the most out of Rails!

“Where this course really wins over others is that, on completion, I had more than just a 'rote knowledge' of the Rails framework. I had enough understanding to go out and develop my own app from scratch, and be proud of the result!” — Brian Wherry

What Do I Need?

A Computer and a 'Net Connection. Yes, it really is that easy to take this course. No airline tickets, hotel reservations, or scheduling conflicts. Instead, you'll simply need your favorite coffee mug, comfy slippers, and the following additional necessities of any good programmer:

  • Mac, Windows, or Linux Computer
    Rails runs great in all these environments, so any computer you're comfortable using will do. We'll help you get everything installed on your system so you'll learn in the same environment where you'll actually write your own Rails apps.

  • Up-to-date Web Browser
    We designed the online experience to take advantage of some of the latest web standards, so you'll need the latest version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or IE 8 (or higher).

  • Internet Connection
    The videos in this course can be watched either in your browser (in which case you'll need a reasonably fast 'net connection) or you can download them to your computer and watch them offline. The workbook and exercises are only available online.

Who Teaches This Course?

Mike and Nicole Clark run The Pragmatic Studio, an acclaimed source of software developer training. Over the last nine years, we've helped over 2,500 developers improve their craft through public, private, and online courses. In this course, we hope to help more folks in their pursuit to build web apps for their company, club or organization, or hobby turned exciting new venture.

Mike has over 20 years of software development experience. He helped build one of the first production Rails apps way back in 2005, lead the initial development of the Pragmatic Bookshelf site, and continues to develop the Rails apps that power our online training business. He's also the author of Advanced Rails Recipes, co-author of Agile Web Development with Rails, and author of Pragmatic Project Automation.

It's a great time to learn Rails 4, so get started today!

Video Workbook Code Cheats
Videos Exercises Example Code Cheat Sheets
Support Access Badge Alumni
Mailing List
Proof of
Alumni Status
& Discounts

$159 per student • $119 for alumni