Web Design

A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a great way to get a dynamic website going quickly and easily. While you’ll still need to possess knowledge of programming, the learning curve isn’t nearly as steep as with other languages, such as PHP or .NET.

What is ruby on rails?

The first thing to discuss is what exactly Ruby on Rails is. Ruby is a programming language invented by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto and released in 1995. One interesting thing about Ruby is that it is object-oriented, meaning every data type is an object. Rails is a framework for Ruby that was created by David Heinemeier Hansson and was released in 2004. The main philosophies behind Rails are “Don’t repeat yourself” (DRY) and “Convention over Configuration”. Ruby on Rails is designed to automatically configure the layout and directory structure of the site, as well as automate database connections to many of the most popular database servers.

What do i need to run ruby on rails?

The best thing about development in Ruby on Rails is that it is 100% free. The most important thing to download is the newest version of Ruby, which can be found at www.ruby-lang.org. Next, you’ll want to get the newest version of the Rails framework from http://www.rubyonrails.org/. Finally, you’ll need some sort of database. The most popular choice is MySQL, from www.mysql.com. You’ll want to install these in the order I listed them and then you’ll be all set to go!

A note for windows users

One great thing about Ruby on Rails is that it is platform independent. What this means is that it doesn’t matter which operating system you use for Ruby on Rails development. It will work equally well on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. However, if you use Windows, there’s an easier solution for you. You can download nstant Rails, which you can find on www.rubyonrails.org, which contains everything you need in a self-contained package, including the database. This is a much easier method and separately downloading and installing the various components.

I’ve Got That All Installed, Now What?

Now that your computer is configured and all the necessary software is installed, you’re ready to start developing for Ruby on Rails. While teaching how to evelop is beyond the scope of this article, there are many great tutorials for Ruby on Rails readily available on the internet. In addition to this, there are tons of reat books on the subject, with more being published all the time.

For the more experienced developer

Those of you with some experience in other forms of development or programming will notice the differences in Ruby on Rails right away. There’s no need to worry about lots of database connection code or long connection strings any longer. There’s a single file, which Rails auto-generates, that you simply fill in the path, username, and password of the database and the connection is all set.People experienced in Java or C++ will also notice how easy it is to migrate to the Ruby programming language. Even beginners, with little programming experience, will have little difficulty in picking up the language.


Hopefully, this article has convinced you to give Ruby on Rails a try for your next web development project. This is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a language and framework that are skyrocketing in popularity. Beyond that, the speed and ease of use Ruby on Rails offers will increase your productivity, and by association, your free time.

It is not that the aforementioned points are the only ones as you can research for many similar techniques if you care to look it up online for any reputed web design company and they would provide you with better options than Ruby on Rails as there are many to be tried out.


Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.
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