Getting Started


#1

Hi, I’m trying to get started with Ruby, but I don’t feel that any of
the current books or material that I’ve uncovered are really what I
need to get moving at full steam. I have a background in computer
science and have programmed in C, C++, Java, Perl, VB, Assembly (x86)
and others, however I’ve been away from real programming (aside from
minor php stints over the last couple years) for about 4 years.

I’d like to get started with ruby, however I really need some small
exercises or projects ranging from basic beginning to intermediate
and advanced as I lack context while reading through material and
tutorials. My ultimate goal is to master RoR, however I feel that I
would like a foundation built upon understanding ruby before jumping
into frameworks, such as RoR.

Any thoughts or ideas or material available that helps the rubber hit
the road more appropriately for folks like me?

Thanks much & kind regards,

-George


#2

I find “Learn to Program”, by Chris P., pretty useful for anybody who
wants to learn ruby, even if they are first timer. The book has some
cool exercises to try out. You can order a PDF, instead of buying a
hard copy.

http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/fr_ltp/index.html


#3

On Feb 15, 2006, at 8:01 AM, removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Any thoughts or ideas or material available that helps the rubber
hit the road more appropriately for folks like me?

Obviously I am biased here, but are you aware of the Ruby Q.[1]?
Problems there range from easy to fairly tough, so I recommend
shopping around for a problem that interests you.

Hope that helps.

James Edward G. II

1: http://rubyquiz.com/


#4

I usually try to find a small tool that I would like to have and then
create it. You’ll learn a lot more by writing code than reading it.


#5

On Feb 15, 2006, at 8:31 AM, Charlie B. wrote:

I usually try to find a small tool that I would like to have and then
create it.

That’s great advice.

You’ll learn a lot more by writing code than reading it.

I feel reading is a little under-valued and can be extremely helpful
to your growth as a programmer. Check out the book Code Reading
sometime. I sure learned a lot from it.

James Edward G. II


#6

Charlie, yes, that’s what I’m wanting to do. Create some small
programs, maybe useful, maybe not, that will immerse me into the
language. The rubyquiz.com site seems kind of like what I’m talking
about, but I’d like more practical and more well defined exercises,
of course with accompanying solutions. My problem is that at the
moment I run my own business and time is limited and unfortunately I
am drawing a blank at “small useful programs” that I can develop. I
do have some larger grandiose ideas, primarily aimed at RoR, so I’ve
got this gulf separating me from where I am and to where I want to go…

Thanks for the input thus far!

-George

On Feb 15, 2006, at 9:31 AM, Charlie B. wrote:

I usually try to find a small tool that I would like to have and then
create it. You’ll learn a lot more by writing code than reading it.


#7

Yes, reading is certainly not a bad thing… :slight_smile: There just comes a
time for application and I’ve already read parts of various Ruby
books and of course have a CS background, so the trick now is to
apply it and learn it better in context. I would love to have
pickaxe sitting beside me while I’m actually working on something
rather than reading for the sake of absorbing, which for me doesn’t
work nearly as well.

-George

On Feb 15, 2006, at 9:56 AM, Charlie B. wrote:

I completely agree. I wasn’t putting down reading. I’m always reading
at least two books. The point I was trying to make was that reading
will help much more if you try to apply the theory and concepts you find
in the book to real life problems. I can honestly say that the
“Pragmatic Programmer” changed my coding style completely!


#8

I completely agree. I wasn’t putting down reading. I’m always reading
at least two books. The point I was trying to make was that reading
will help much more if you try to apply the theory and concepts you find
in the book to real life problems. I can honestly say that the
“Pragmatic Programmer” changed my coding style completely!


#9

On Feb 15, 2006, at 9:01 AM, removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I would love to have pickaxe sitting beside me while I’m actually
working on something rather than reading for the sake of absorbing,
which for me doesn’t work nearly as well.

Just to be clear, I was actually talking about reading code, not
books. I think you learn a lot from figuring out how other
programmers solve problems, by breaking down their solutions.

Though books are valuable too, of course. I also agree with others
that writing code is the key.

James Edward G. II


#10

We’ll be featuring regular Ruby programming columns in Bitwise (online)
starting from the end of this month. Initially we’ll aim the tutorials
at
programmers switching from other languages, aiming to explain the
fundamental syntax of Ruby and its approach to OOP (the first lesson,
for
example, starts with “Hello world” and ends with user-defined classes).
From
March we will also have occasional features (looking into the nuts and
bolts
of Ruby) aimed at more experienced Ruby programmers. Hope that helps…

best wishes
Huw C.

Bitwise Magazine
www.bitwisemag.com
Dark Neon Ltd.


#11

There’s an older book “Making Use of Ruby” by Suresh Mahadevan (Wiley
Publishing, 2002). It takes a very introductory approach to Ruby, and
is an introductory book on programming in general. You may find it to
be too introductory, but I think it does a good job presenting Ruby
concepts using a slow, step-by-step approach, with lots of small
examples - an easy read for an experienced programmer such as yourself.
Several students in a programming languages class I teach read the
book and found it useful. One problem is that it’s a bid dated, covers
Ruby 1.6. Good luck!

  • Allan

#12

Oh! I missed your point entirely, but I agree with you on this as well.


#13

BK wrote:

I find “Learn to Program”, by Chris P., pretty useful for anybody who
wants to learn ruby, even if they are first timer. The book has some
cool exercises to try out. You can order a PDF, instead of buying a
hard copy.

http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/fr_ltp/index.html

Chris P.'s book is quite good, and also
http://poignantguide.net/ruby/

A lot of learning ruby is learning a text editor and how the class libs
are laid out, and reading error messages. So download Arachno Ruby and
ActiveState komodo trial software, (also google c.l.r to see about ruby
plug-ins vim, emacs, Jedit,TextMate and Eclipse), start spewing code,
and familiarize yourself with the 1.6 builtins:

http://www.rubycentral.com/ref/


#14

Gene T. wrote:


and familiarize yourself with the 1.6 builtins:

Ruby is at 1.8 now.

http://ruby-doc.org/core/
http://ruby-doc.org/stdlib/


James B.

http://www.ruby-doc.org - Ruby Help & Documentation
http://www.artima.com/rubycs/ - The Journal By & For Rubyists
http://www.rubystuff.com - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
http://www.30secondrule.com - Building Better Tools