Ruby Programming for Beginners

Learn Ruby Programming the fast and easy way!
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  • Lectures 56
  • Length 6 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 7/2011 English

Course Description

Learn Ruby today!

Ruby is famous for being easy to learn but most users only scratch the surface of what it can do. While a typical Ruby tutorial or book focuses on Ruby's trendier features this course reveals the secret inner workings of one of the world's most popular programming
languages. It helps you learn Ruby in one of the easiest ways possible through 10 simple steps that will have you writing clear maintainable code in no time. Rather than bog you down with a lot of theory this course takes a hands-on approach and focuses on helping you learn Ruby so that you'reproductive on day one.

Whether you're new to programming or just new to Ruby this Ruby tutorial is your guide to rapid real-world software development withthis unique and elegant language.

Who uses Ruby?

Ruby is an incredibly powerful and highly scalable object-oriented language. Leading technology companies & startups around the world use Ruby or the Ruby on Rails framework to power their websites & web applications. They include:
* Amazon
* Twitter
* Electronic Arts
* Yahoo
* New York Times
* 37 Signals

* And many many more...

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Hours of video lectures detailing the ten steps to becoming an awesome Rubyist
  • Free eBook The Little Book of Ruby and exclusive discount for The (Big) Book of Ruby
  • Downloadable source codes and sample test files to complement lectures
  • 5 extra videos detailing Ruby on Rails, Symbols, Recursion, and other challenges
  • Interactive quizzes to let you test your understanding of the topics covered

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Ruby Programming for Beginners - Intro

Welcome to the course! This is a short introduction to the Ruby language and a few words about what you can expect from this course.

101 pages

The Little Book Of Ruby (4th edition) is the 'course text'. It covers all the topics in this course in ten chapters. Click the download tab on the right to download a copy for offline reference. Be sure to download the code archive too (next lecture). This contains all the ready-to-run Ruby programs from each chapter.

27.3 kB

This code archive contains all the programs from The Little Book Of Ruby.

9 pages
This document lists essential online resources for Ruby and summarises a few 'frequently asked questions' about running Ruby on different operating systems. If you have any questions about getting Ruby installed and running, please ask in one of the Discussion forums. I may update this document if users have additional 'getting started' questions or if you have any hints and tips that might helpful to other users.
Subscribers to this course are entitled to a 30% discount off the price of my other Ruby programming book, The Book Of Ruby, published by No Starch Press. In around 400 pages, The Book Of Ruby goes into more advanced Ruby topics such as blocks and nameless functions, threads and fibers, self-modifyi…

First install a Ruby interpreter and a text editor or IDE. In this video I'll explain how to find and install the right interpreter for your operating system and I’ll show a couple of ways in which you can edit and run your Ruby programs.


If you are a Mac user, this video will guide you through the steps needed to write and run your first Ruby programs.


Here’s a quick tip that could save you a lot of time if you are running Ruby on a Mac. It explains how to use Finder to open a Terminal (for running Ruby programs) in any folder. Easy when you know how!


If you haven’t done much (or any) programming before or if you need a quick revision of the basics of programming, start with this video. This explains the fundamental features of computer programming – how to use variables, constants, methods, arguments and more.

Section 2: Step One

Ruby can delimit strings with single quotes 'like this' or double quotes "like this". It turns out that double-quoted strings can do a special trick – they can evaluate embedded Ruby code. This lesson explains the fundamentals.

See it in action: strings

An introduction to objects and methods. How to use the standard methods of Ruby objects and how to create objects with methods of their own.


Hands-on sessions are where I encourage you to get at your keyboard and try out bits of Ruby. This hands-on session doesn't introduce new concepts but it does give you some guidance on how to experiment with Ruby as an aid to your study.

Section 3: Step Two

Now we’ll look at how multiple objects can be created from a class and we’ll see how to create and access ‘instance variables’ to store different data for each object.

See it in action: classes and objects

How to initialize an object’s data at the time of creation using the initialize() method and how to look inside objects using the inspect() and p() methods.

8 questions

Test your knowledge of the first two steps.

Section 4: Step Three

In this step you will learn how to create class hierarchies in Ruby so that descendent classes inherit the features of their ancestors.

See it in action: class hierarchies

This video summarizes the essentials of class inheritance in which different ‘branches’ of subclasses can descend from a common ancestor.

Section 5: Step Four

We look at simple ways of creating 'attributes' to access instance variables without having to write 'getter' and 'setter' methods.

See it in action: attribute accessors

What is the difference between an @instance_variable and a @@class_variable? This video explains...

8 questions
Test what you've learnt in steps 3 and 4.
Section 6: Step Five

An introduction to creating arrays in Ruby, including arrays of mixed types. How to index a single array item and how to append arrays.

See it in action: arrays

How to index multiple sequential elements in an array, how to specify ranges of elements, and how to iterate over array items.


Time to get back to your keyboard and do some hands-on coding. In this video I suggest that you copy and paste code from the documentation of Ruby's class library. That's a great way to learn about the classes and methods available!

5 pages
It’s time to do some ‘hands-on’ coding. Here are some ideas to get you started...
Section 7: Step Six

Hashes (or 'dictionaries') let you create lists of objects indexed using a key – for example, a string key such as "chocolate cake" may index a value such as the cake’s recipe. This step explains the fundamentals of hashes.

See it in action: hashes

Ruby can return arrays of all the keys and values found in a hash. You can then use array methods to add, delete, reverse and append one array to another.

8 questions

Test yourself on steps 5 and 6.

Section 8: Step Seven

How to repeat actions and iterate over collections using for and while loops and some special Ruby methods.

See it in action: loops

Ruby uses Blocks to perform iterative actions. But there is more to Blocks than meets the eye. In a sense, a Ruby Block is like a method without a name. This video explains.

Section 9: Step Eight

How to perform tests using 'if', 'elseif' and 'case' statements along with a number of operators to determine whether test conditions are true or false.


Ruby has quite a few Boolean operators to test true/false values. They may look simple enough at first sight but be careful. They may not always work quite as you expect!

See it in action: conditional tests
6 questions
Check what you've learnt in steps 7 and 8 with this quiz.
Section 10: Step Nine

Modules let you wrap up code for easy reuse – they also provide some of the features of multiple inheritance without the complexities.

See it in action: modules

What is the difference between a local and a global variable? And when is a constant not a constant?

Section 11: Step Ten

This step explains how to save data in YAML format and subsequently reconstruct objects initialized with the saved data.

See it in action: YAML

Now you’ve finished this course, what next? Here I look at some sources of information to take your Ruby skills to the next level.


We've learnt a lot about classes and objects in this course - including constructing new objects and using class and instance methods and variables. This Hands-on session revises the essential features and explains how classes can have their own instance variables.

8 questions

Take this quiz to test your understanding of topics covered in steps 9 and 10.

Section 12: Extras

A short explanation of what Ruby On Rails is and how to create a very simple Rails application.


So how do you program Rails with Ruby? This explains the fundamentals...

2 pages
Brief notes on getting started with Ruby On Rails.
3.7 kB

RubyExtras code archive - some small programs showing file handling and recursion.


A quick look at the file handling programs in the RubyExtras code archive and a debugging session to illuminate the effects of recursion.

6 pages
A look at some file and directory handling classes and methods plus a simple explanation of recursion.

What are :symbols and why do they matter? This lecture uses some sample programs from Chapter 11 of my paperback advanced Ruby programming book, The Book Of Ruby. If you want to download the code archive for the entire Book of Ruby, you can do so from

10 pages

This is the chapter explaining Symbols taken from The Book Of Ruby.

3.4 kB

Code archive for a simple exploring-style Ruby text adventure game. You are free to use this as the basis for a game of your own!


This video explains what's in the Adventure Game code archive and it should give you some ideas of ways to use the code as a fun way of extending your Ruby programming expertise by writing an adventure game of your own.

Section 13: Moving On...
Now you’ve mastered the fundamentals of Ruby, why not take your coding to a higher level with Huw Collingbourne’s advanced course, ‘ Expert Ruby – ten steps to mastery ’? As a subscriber to the Beginner’s Ruby Course you can take advantage of a 40% discount. That means that you can enrol on the ‘Exp…
Thank you - so what next...?

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Instructor Biography

Huw Collingbourne, Director of Technology, SapphireSteel Software

Huw Collingbourne is the technology director at SapphireSteel Software, developers of the “Sapphire” Ruby IDE for Visual Studio and the “Amethyst” IDE for the Adobe Flash Platform. He is author of The Book Of Ruby from No Starch Press. He runs Bitwise Courses and teaches courses on a range of programming topics.

Huw has been a programmer for more than 30 years. He is a well-known technology writer in the UK. For over ten years he wrote the Delphi and Java programming column for PC Plus Magazine. He has also written numerous opinion and programming columns (including tutorials on C#, Smalltalk, ActionScript and Ruby) for a number of computer magazines, such as Computer Shopper, Flash & Flex Developer’s Magazine, PC Pro, and PC Plus. He is the author of the free ebook The Little Book of Ruby and is the editor of the online computing magazine Bitwise.

In the 1980s he was a pop music journalist and interviewed most of the New Romantic stars, such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Boy George, and Depeche Mode. He is now writing a series of New Romantic murder mysteries.

At various times Huw has been a magazine publisher, editor, and TV broadcaster. He has an MA in English from the University of Cambridge and holds a 2nd dan black belt in aikido, a martial art which he teaches in North Devon, UK. The aikido comes in useful when trying (usually unsuccessfully) to keep his Pyrenean Mountain Dogs under some semblance of control.

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