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Hard time understanding Ruby on Rails introductory course

Is it just me? I find the course on "Build a Simple Ruby on Rails Application" very hard to understand. Mind you I don't mean following the instruction, that part is very simple. But I can't fully appreciate the meaning behind all the actions taken. I find it a shame because Ruby on Rails seems like such a nice and powerful framework, does things get better later in the course? I find it not worthwhile if I can't apply the concept and make something on my own.Any recommendation? or shall I stick with the track to the end and see.

2 Answers

Denny Ku
Denny Ku
Courses Plus Student 7,437 Points

I had the same problem during that period. But later I found learning RoR can't only rely on Treehouse Course. Maybe you can try the book "Rails Tutorial"( Reading it on-line is free.), it's more easier and painless for beginner ,or at least, for me :P Besides , I guess that's because on "Build a Simple Ruby on Rails Application", we use "scaffold" to generate our codes,this means RoR won't tell many details about how this app come to us. While we learn more and more ,everything will become clear :)

Kang-Kyu Lee
Kang-Kyu Lee
52,045 Points

you meant this link right? rails tutorial just checking..

Seems like alot of people are recommending the tutorial above. Starting from chapter 1, so far so good. Much clearer explanation

David Moore
David Moore
13,916 Points

Hartl's book is recommended here as well and Denny is absolutely correct. The Treehouse content is good for getting a feel for rails but you are going to hit a few really bad snags if you do the rails track as your first experience in RoR.

  1. The track provides no ruby foundation before jumping into rails. This in itself is not bad and Hartl does the same thing. You will notice, however, that he keeps things really basic with the first app and then explains the ruby required as he goes along throughout the remainder of the book. Treehouse just dives in.

  2. The first RoR app on Treehouse is built in ruby 1.9.something and rails 3.something (i think, can't recall the exact versions). Ruby is now 2.1.1 and rails is 4.1. Things are very, very different now that when these tutorials were made. This is going to be a problem with many of the tutorials you find online as rails development seems to progress fairly quickly. Jason recently released a video about updating the odot app (which is not even part of the rails track) from 4.0 to 4.1.

I think the better "track" for learning rails is Codeacademy to get a good feel for the language, then the Hartl's book (which was updated for rails 4 by the way), then back to Treehouse and do the odot app from the library (https://teamtreehouse.com/library/build-a-todo-list-application-with-rails-4). From there you should have a good feel for ruby and rails. You should then be able to go back and do the earlier courses on Treehouse and have a good feel for when you need to do something different than what is presented.

I think you should just skip the RoR Intro Course and continue on the track. Treehouse's tracks seem to start off with an example project, then go back and explain the basics. For example, in HTML they start off with How to Make a Website, then they do HTML and CCS Foundations after. A bit backwards.

It's the same with RoR. Intro course then Foundations. The problem with the RoR intro course is that it's too confusing. But after that is done, the track goes to Git Basics, Console Foundations and Ruby Foundations.

Treehouse had some technical difficulties recently and they unlocked the current track people are in. I am able to skip. I wish they kept the tracks unlocked permanently.