Starting my programming/Ruby adventure some words of wisdom please

Hello everybody! :slight_smile:

So, I’ve been wanting to start programming for a very long time, but
never got the ball rolling, I stumbled upon Ruby a while back and just
decided it’s where I want to start.

I have very, very limited experience in HTML & CSS, so I’m pretty much
completely new to programming.

My question to you guys is this: What might be considered the best, most
up to date book for complete beginners to learn Ruby?

I looked at ‘Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional’ by Peter
Cooper and liked the sound of it for the most part, however it was
highlighted by a fair few people that it was outdated and some of the
information regarding 1.9 was limited and in some cases, incorrect.

I’m open to any suggestions and any other tips you guys might have for
someone wanting to take their first step into the programming world!

Any replies are appreciated :smiley:

I started with this tutorial/book Learn to Program, by Chris Pine :slight_smile:

2011/12/20 Calum MacRae [email protected]

up to date book for complete beginners to learn Ruby?

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Francesco Rodrguez



The best books by far is Learn to Program, by Chris Pine

I also run a project named Hackety Hack: It
has a few lessons, but LtP is much more complete.

Next best is either

Some will recommend ‘the pickaxe,’ but I think it’s pretty bad for

On 12/21/11 at 01:52am, Calum MacRae wrote:

up to date book for complete beginners to learn Ruby?

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I can recommend Chris P.'s “Learn to Program” .

Good luck on your journey.

I don’t know where Peter’s book stands in the print world. He gave us
copies of
it in PDF when I took an online course with him a few months back. He
updated quite a bit of it at that point, but that PDF didn’t match the
book I had.

A good place a lot of people start is Chris P.‘s Learning to Program.
I don’t think that has been updated to include a lot of the 1.9 things
But if you’re really new to programming, I would start with Chris’ book
and then
start looking around. There are a lot of great blogs and resources setup
folks is a site Peter C. helps run (or
does run,
I can’t quite tell), which contains a lot of great resources, but there
are many
others as well.


Excellent! Thank you all for your replies!

I’m getting all excited now! Really appreciate this guys, I’ll go take a
look at the suggestions ‘Learning to Program’ has obviously stuck out,
so I’ll be sure to have a proper look.

Again, thanks for the responses :slight_smile:

First of all, congrats on deciding to learn the dark arts. Ruby is my
#1 recommended language for people who are serious about wanting to
learn programming but have no experience writing programs. The
principals you learn in Ruby will make learning other languages much
less difficult, and Ruby itself is a powerful and elegant language.

I agree that the pickaxe is more directed toward programmers looking to
pick up a new language, but I’d also point out that it’s probably one of
the better reference materials out there once you have the basics
understood. If you can get the pickaxe in electronic format you
probably won’t regret it.

As far as avoiding books for being ‘out of date’, you don’t really need
to worry about that too much with Ruby. The core principals of the
language have remained unchanged since I picked it up several years ago.
Once you learn the basics the rest is mostly just learning the names of
all the tools that are available to you: the standard classes and

Personally I’m the kind of person that takes things apart to find out
how they work. I started with Ruby by using the game-design platform
RPG Maker XP back in 2004 (using the Japanese version, lol) and once I
got the gist of the language I loved it so much that I installed the
‘real’ Ruby and still use it for 90% of my automation and
theory-test/rough-draft code even today. If you’re interested in game
design RMXP can help you play with Ruby while also exploring 2D graphics
and general game-design concepts.

In terms of general advice in learning to program I’d say this:

*Sometimes you’ll get frustrated. This is to be expected. You are
training your brain to operate in a completely new way. This requires
complex processes to go on in there that take a certain amount of time
to complete. If you get upset or bewildered, take a half-hour nap or go
make a sandwich. When you return you will already be better equipped to

*Don’t expect to become a programmer overnight. There’s simply too much
information to digest. Expect it to take a few months to get a firm
grasp on syntax and maybe even a couple years to really get good with
your first language. Don’t be dismayed by that. Enjoy the process. It
really sincerely is a fun process to go through if you don’t come in
with unreasonable expectations.

*Eventually you will find yourself crouched over a monitor in a dimly
lit room with a small mountain of soda cans sitting next to you and a
strange smell coming from somewhere. You will realize that it is 2:30
in the morning and that your personal hygiene has become sub-par. Do
not fear. This is the cusp of enlightenment. Once you finish that
script the sense of satisfaction you get from it will change you. You
will have become a true programmer. There will be no going back from
that point. Now clean up your room and take a shower. Honestly, some

*Ask for help when you need it!

*Always try for yourself first, though.

*Once you’ve got a few cool scripts running show them to more
experienced programmers and ask for advice. The things you learn can be
surprising and add useful new viewpoints to your arsenal.