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Learn Ruby on Rails with online courses and certificates

Web developers use the Ruby on Rails framework to build and deploy different types of web applications with ease, flexibility, and efficiency. Learn Ruby on Rails with online trainings delivered through edX.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Before exploring Ruby on Rails, it’s important to first define Ruby. Ruby is a free, general-purpose programming language that allows developers to build web apps quickly and efficiently. Its founder, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, wanted to combine characteristics of languages like Perl, Smalltalk, and Eiffel to create a new language that could walk the line between simplicity and complexity.Footnote 1

Ruby on Rails is a web application development framework written in Ruby. It provides coding predictions and suggestions to help developers build faster and maximize productivity. By guiding their actions, it lessens the amount of code they have to write. This streamlines their workflow and allows them to focus more on coding logistics.Footnote 2

Rails is also a full-stack framework for both front-end and back-end web application development. It follows the model-view-controller (MVC) architectural pattern, which separates an application into different and more manageable parts. Since this approach helps quicken the development process, other frameworks like Django and Laravel have followed suit, bearing several similarities with Rails.

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Ruby on Rails course curriculum

There are many available resources to learn Ruby on Rails for beginners, but learners may find it helpful to first gauge their understanding of web application development. 

For example, it may be beneficial to know the basics of CSS and HTML, as these languages help build the front-end portion of any website. Then, you can familiarize yourself with the Ruby programming language and spend time learning how to make web apps. Finally, you can browse Ruby on Rails courses, Ruby on Rails guides, or books on Ruby on Rails that provide a variety of immersive learning opportunities.  

Learning through a simple Ruby on Rails tutorial is just the beginning. From there, putting relevant knowledge to action is key. Mastering Rails can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on a learner’s career goals. Whether you learn through self-education or a coding boot camp, you must fully internalize the two factors that set this framework apart: the MVC web applications model and Ruby on Rails coding philosophy.

The Rails philosophy consists of Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) and Convention Over Configuration (COC). DRY is a software development principle that discourages repetition. By avoiding repetition of information, developers can better understand, manage, and debug their code. COC suggests that Rails’ opinions are the most effective when building a web application. Although this takes away some of the developer’s ability to code freely and without structure, it allows them to rely on a predictable framework and not mull over every coding decision.Footnote 3

Every learner progresses differently. Ultimately, learning Rails is all about practicing regularly and honing your skills with every discovery, mistake, and success.

Ruby on Rails jobs

After receiving relevant Ruby on Rails certifications, learners can consider a wide range of positions to kickstart their careers. Many kinds of coding professionals, such as those who learned through boot camps, software developers, front-end, back-end, and full-stack engineers, may all qualify for Ruby on Rails jobs. 

To be successful in their roles, they should know how to build, test, and fix websites and web applications via the Ruby language. Alternatively, they can use their coding knowledge to become a consultant and guide other developers towards innovative Rails solutions. 

Because Rails is known for shortening the web development coding process, many organizations use it to build and launch their web-based applications. Some well-known companies that use Ruby on Rails include Basecamp, GitHub, Shopify, Twitch, and Square.Footnote 4 As web application development continues to be popular, learners should continue to explore their options and find a job most aligned with their goals, which may also include obtaining a related bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.

How to become a Ruby on Rails developer online

Digital courses and materials on Ruby can help learners who are getting started with Ruby on Rails, but it is not a framework that anyone can dive into immediately. It might be beneficial to start with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, or any related field where you can learn programming basics, especially syntax, a rule that refers to the structure of a code. Learners who want to further their education may consider acquiring a master’s degree or looking into available coding boot camp programs.

It is important that you know how to navigate object-oriented programming, as this is a main feature of both Ruby and Rails. Object-oriented programming views everything as an object, making it easy for developers to reuse code and solve problems more effectively.Footnote 5

As learners consider their career options, they should keep in mind that every company has different hiring needs and every job varies in its responsibilities.