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Shannon Crabill
Shannon Crabill

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Which ruby book would you recommend?

Do you have a favorite? One that is helpful for understanding concepts or that you keep referring to as a reference?

I'd like to pick up a book that will help me with my studies and allows me to have some time away from the computer.

Top comments (19)

beccasaurus profile image
Rebecca Taylor

Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby 🦊🦊πŸ₯“

_why & the Poignant Guide are important pieces of Ruby's history and culture.

Note: the book is... quite insane. β­οΈπŸ’

IMO: You're not expected to make it all the way through, but I recommend making it through to learning Ruby metaprogramming with Dragons – also don't miss the part where the porcupine steal's the foxes' pickup truck! This book is the origin of "Chunky Bacon." πŸ¦”πŸšš

_why was an artist in the community who had an impact on the culture of Ruby which lasts to this day.

The first project of _why's that I recall using was Camping πŸ•
This is the first micro web framework which I know of existing.
It was a brilliant combination of Markaby (HTML markup in Ruby, also _why)
and ActiveRecord and a micro MVC pattern.

_why also created Shoes πŸ‘Ÿ
This was a fresh take on simple GUI programming using a Ruby DSL.

You can still honor _why each year by hacking and sharing your [inventive, artistic, insane] projects on the Whyday holiday each year (August 19th)

"Chunky Bacon." 🦊🦊πŸ₯“

thorstenhirsch profile image
Thorsten Hirsch • Edited

The Poignant Guide is indeed insane. It's somehow pretty similar to the "Head First..." series. Even though I like their idea it turned out that I don't like them. To my own surprise the visualisations were of no help for me, instead they were a distraction. I am a visual learner, but it seems like I need to make my own visualisations and cannot learn with these gimmicky comics.

I like:

  • Practical Objected Oriented Design in Ruby
  • Eloquent Ruby
  • Metaprogramming Ruby

The last one sounds pretty advanced, but it is the best one in this list. In this book the title is explained like this:

in Ruby metaprogramming is actually only programming

I'm pretty sure this is not true for all other languages. Whether you agree or not - this book teaches the OO architecture of ruby in depth, which helped me a lot for designing the class hierarchy of my own applications.

neotamizhan profile image
Siddharth Venkatesan

All three books listed here were excellent. Having followed Sandy Matz's talks and podcasts for a while, her Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby was close to heart. It helped instill some good OOP practices which helped beyond ruby as well. Metaprogramming Ruby was also an interesting book. It taught walking on hands (which was how metaprogramming seemed to me) in a lucid and fun way...

forbes profile image
Josh Forbes

Eloquent Ruby is a good one

jayroh profile image

Came here to recommend the same. Both Eloquent Ruby and his Design Patterns with Ruby book are fantastic

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

The Well-Grounded Rubyist by David A. Black has been mentioned a few times, but I am open to other suggestions.

alvincrespo profile image
Alvin Crespo

The Well-Grounded Rubyist is what I used when I wanted to up my game in Ruby. Definitely recommend it.

Metaprogramming Ruby 2 ( was also a great read. Unsure if it's up to date though.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

I'll take another vote for The Well-Grounded Rubyist.

I'll look into the Metaprogramming book. I've dabbled with Metaprogramming a bit, but it is fascinating.

cescquintero profile image
Francisco Quintero πŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

Sandy Metz's books:

  • Practical Objected Oriented Design in Ruby
  • 99 Bottles of OOP

Awesome books with tons of useful and well explained concepts, paradigms, techniques.

jeremy profile image
Jeremy Schuurmans

Learn to Program by Chris Pine is an excellent Ruby book. When I was going through Flatiron School, I didn't feel like I understood Ruby concepts very well even after finishing the Ruby lessons, and that book cleared up a lot of things for me.

Though not strictly Ruby, Michael Hartl's Ruby on Rails Tutorial saved my life when trying to learn Rails.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

I think my local library has Learn to Programβ€”I'll check it out!

kvsm profile image
Kevin Smith 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

The Pickaxe (Programming Ruby) was helpful to me when I started.

peteonthings profile image
Peter P

How about a new one using the latest version of Ruby designed specifically for beginners and yet teaches you to be a solid object oriented programmer?
Full Disclosure: I'm the author :)

shafrazi profile image

Head first Ruby and Well grounded Rubyist

codebrotha profile image
Tineyi Takawira

Learn to Program by Chris Pine

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

I was hoping my library has this one, but it does not :( I'll add it to my purchase list.

zanev profile image
ZaneV • Edited

I have a well thumbed second edition of The Ruby Way book, was very helpful when I was getting started.

It is the kind of book I kept referring to as a reference of how to tackle different problems

drbragg profile image
Drew Bragg

Practical Objected Oriented Design in Ruby by Sandi Metz is fantastic. The concepts in the book are great not just for Ruby development but for any object oriented language.

misucai profile image

Here you will get Best 20 Ruby Books For learning Ruby programming.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books for learning Ruby.