Ruby on Rails: Level I
Hands-On Video Course
Learn how to pragmatically build and design Rails 5 apps in this step-by-step, project-based course.
You'll discover how to put all the pieces together to build a complete Ruby on Rails app from idea to deployment. You'll come away with a solid understanding of Rails as well as key design principles and practices to help you craft robust and flexible apps on your own!
“This is the best beginning Rails course I've found. I finally have a strong Rails foundation. Coming into the course, I had so many loose ends regarding how Rails worked, but I finished the course with the confidence to create my own app.” — Brad Ballard
“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...This is my favorite Rails course.” — Dana Nourie
“It is the absolute best for a first dive into Rails! It teaches you the correct way to start a new Rails app...If you go through the whole course, [the] magic will be explained and you’ll know what the Rails framework does instead of passively look at it do things for you.” — Nico Schuele
Join thousands of others who have learned Rails in this top-rated, step-by-step course!
Cut Through The Confusion
Struggling to put it all together? You're not alone. Folks trying to learn Rails tend to wrestle 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?
Step-By-Step, Project-Based Approach
Videos, Exercises, Hands-on Projects. In our popular online format you'll learn through a unique mix of watching, coding, reading, experimenting, and ultimately, building a Rails app from idea to deployment.
36 Engaging Videos: HD-Quality and DRM-free
The videos are a combination of guided instruction, live-coding, discussions, and over 70 animated visuals to deepen your understanding. To get a feel for the video format, watch the first few videos. The total video duration is a little over 6 hours divided into 10-20 minute increments. Watch them when and where it's convenient for you. All the videos are licensed for individual use, downloadable, DRM-free, and available in full 1280x720 HD resolution.
Hands-On Exercise Workbook (34 Chapters))
Each video has a corresponding chapter in an online workbook where you apply what you learned in the video through a series of exercises completed on your own computer. Check out the exercise format by working through the first few exercises. Of course all the solutions are provided and the workbook content is easily searchable, so you always have a reference library at your fingertips!
Practical 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.
Well-Designed Source Code for Two Rails Apps
To fully engage your brain and cement the concepts, you'll apply what you learned in the video to a slightly different app in the workbook. Students tell us this is one of the best parts of our courses! Not only it is more fun and interesting, you'll also have two full-featured Rails apps to draw from at the end of the course.
Helpful Support Mailing List
Post questions, get answers, share insights, discuss Rails topics, and connect with other students who are pursuing similar goals.
Instant and Perpetual Access
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.
Personalized Proof of Completion
When you've completed the course, you can easily showcase your accomplishment by sharing the link to your personal alumni page.
Money-Saving Alumni Status and Discount
After purchasing your first online course, you immediately become a Pragmatic Studio alumni and get 25% off all subsequent Ruby and Rails courses!
“The examples in your course helped me learn Rails and not be afraid of it. I am beginning to speak Rails and more importantly THINK like Rails.” — Francis Trujillo
Learn & Become More Confident With Rails
For new Rails developers who want to become more confident with Rails, this course is designed just for you!
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.”
Build A Complete Rails App, Step By Step
Create high-quality Rails apps from scratch. This course takes a very practical, project-based approach, teaching you how to design and incrementally build a complete database-driven web app using Rails. Topics include:
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 (free exercise)
- 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 (free video & exercise)
- 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 (2 free videos & exercises)
- 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
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 (free video & exercise)
- 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!”
Build a Rails App You Can Be Proud Of
All you need is your favorite coffee mug, comfy slippers, and the following additional necessities of any 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).
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.
“After taking this course I felt 10x more comfortable in using Ruby on Rails.”
Alfons Klaasse Bos
We'll Help You Become A Better All-Around Rails Developer
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.
“I really understand what's going on under the hood of Rails now!”
Build an app from scratch and fill in the missing pieces in your Rails knowledge.