April 12th, 2011
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the last couple of weeks learning Ruby and Rails. I finished up Ruby Koans over the weekend (highly recommend it!) and stumbled upon Code School thanks to the Heroku Newsletter.
Code School is a unique learning platform that uses videos, written materials, and in-browser coding challenges to complete courses and earn rewards and badges. Their unique blend of humor, engaging presentation and educational content makes learning Rails downright fun. If only they’d serve beer I’d be all set! If you are somewhat new to Ruby on Rails or just want a refresher, you should definitely watch their free course Rails for Zombies. This series of 5 videos walks you through the basic concepts of Rails and then presents you with a number of challenges where you can actually code what you’ve learned in the browser for immediate feedback. No need to install any software to get started!
Once you finish the Rails for Zombies course you will unlock a coupon for $5 off their next course Rails Best Practices. I’m actually working my way through this course right now and really like it. They’ve also announced courses for jQuery and HTML5 & CSS3 but no dates as of this time.
The videos take you through a series of concepts to present Rails best practices and how to effectively refactor “unhappy” code.
Each coding challenge covers the topics from the video to reinforce what you just saw. There are also hints along the way if you get stuck.