Best Books on Ruby Programming: Learn or Enhance Ruby Skills

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Best Ruby Books

Learning a new language of programming is an exciting and hard work, that expands your way of thinking and trains your brain to think differently. Learning by yourself isn’t easy and pleasant all the time, since you need to find a trusted guide, that will lead you step by step to the goal. In this post we would like to introduce you top best books on Ruby programming language written by experienced and successful programmers. Ruby language is one of the most popular languages of programming nowadays. It is beautiful and easy from the first sight, but quite complicated from the inside. You can easily learn it, but to master your knowledge you might need the rest of the lifetime. We hope that tremendous experience and skills that you gain will make your journey in the Ruby world easy and progressive.


The Well-Grounded Rubyist by David A. Black


The first book on the list is presented by an internationally-known software developer and cofounder of Ruby Central Inc. David A. Black. In his book he introduces the Ruby language to the newcomers as well as deeply covers the core aspects for Ruby programmers. However, it is essential for you to have some understanding of Ruby and  programming skills before you take the book. This second edition of tutorial includes new features that are found in Ruby 2.1. The library on Ruby as Ruby itself is a pretty big subject. One book can’t cover all the aspects and talk about all the changes in the language. But in this guide an author has selected the fundamental part of the standard core aspects that are not going to fade in the next Ruby releases.

The book contains 3 parts (Ruby Foundations, Built-in Classes And Modules, Ruby Dynamics) that are divided into well-built and easy digestible chapters. Inside of the book you will find a clear explanation of Ruby aspects, various simple and practical examples, updated info on the new and changed core spheres. It will equip you to use Ruby language for any purpose and anywhere. This book is like a patient and handy mentor that will guide you offering the clear explanations and useful examples.

By purchasing this paperback book on Amazon for $33,29 you get a free eBook in ePub, PDF or Kindle formats.

Download / Buy The Well/Grounded Rubyist

Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn Web Development with Rails (3rd Edition) (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) by Michael Hartl

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Have you heard about educational website by Michael Hartl? This experienced author of the best-seller Ruby On Rails Tutorial is a leading Rails developer, received a Ruby Hero Award for the contribution to the Ruby-Community. This entire book absorbed his knowledge and skills on Ruby and is aimed for anyone. Whether you have no prior knowledge on the Ruby language or you feel yourself quite solid in this environment and want to dive in and gain wisdom and practical insights, consider this book as the one must-read.

I doesn’t matter what experience in web development you’ve had before, you will feel comfortable working with Rails. This guide shares tutorials not only for the Rails, but also for Ruby, CSS, SQL and HTML. Step by step, repetition by repetition perfectly explained in the book you’re going to gain skills you need to start creating Rails applications on your own.

This book sheds light on:

  • installing and setting up your Rails development environment;
  • how to build Rails Apps from scratch on your own;
  • how to use MVC patterns, REST architecture and create high quality layouts;
  • building and transforming static pages;
  • working with Images;
  • navigating users;
  • adding social features.

The book is available on Amazon ($34,11 Paperback, $23,39 eBook).

Download / Buy Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn Web Development with Rails (3rd Edition) (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby)

The Ruby Way: Solutions and Techniques in Ruby Programming (3rd Edition) (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) by Hal Fulton and André Arko

Best Ruby Books

This book can be called as one of the most well-known books among Ruby developers.The first edition of The Ruby Way was the second book about Ruby that was published in English.

The authors of the book have their unique story with Ruby which began back in 1999. More than 25 years Hal Fulton has worked with Linux and UNIX, but now he is primarily connected with Ruby at in Fort Worth.

André Arko, on the other hand, was first introduced to Ruby as a student back in 2004. He was motivated by reading the first edition of The Ruby Way, and then has decided to become a Ruby programmer. He is a public speaker now and willingly shares his experiences and knowledge with other Ruby developers.

Reading this book you will find yourself diving in the depths of Ruby development without hardships and confusion. The third edition of The Ruby Way is updated for Ruby 2.1 and is aimed on answering the simple question every Rubyist might have on a variety of topics: “How do I do it in Ruby?”. Examples, well-built descriptions and step by step guide will walk with the reader and teach patiently on the wide spectrum of topics:
  • object orientation;
  • basic Ruby syntax and semantics;
  • numerical calculations (working with numbers in Ruby, using BigDecimal and mathn, including trigonometry, statistics, time and date calculations);
  • data storing with JSON, SQLite3 and YAML;
  • debugging and testing with Minitest, RSpec, byebug, Pry and Cucumber;
  • web apps: Rails, HTTP servers, HTML generation, Sinatra;
  • tools for modern development.

Each chapter is filled with thorough explanation of a well selected content, and variety code examples that can be practically used everyday. Reading the book you’ll notice sections that specifically deal with the tasks that a developer should be able to cope with in order to progress in Ruby. It goes from basics like performing calculations, working with Enumerable collections and String to advanced aspects such as Metaprogramming, Distributed Ruby, Network Programming, Concurrency and Threads.

The book is available on Amazon ($41.64 Paperback, $23.39 eBook).

Download / Buy The Ruby Way: Solutions and Techniques in Ruby Programming (3rd Edition)

Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby: An Agile Primer (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) 1st Edition by Sandi Metz


Meet another Ruby guide written by Sandi Metz, a software architect (is currently working at Duke University) and a public speaker (Ruby Nation and Gotham Ruby Users Conference) with 30 years experience of working on successful projects. This book is for everyone who’s aim is to write well maintainable and more powerful Ruby applications. The content will help with better understanding of real-world object-oriented design techniques, which are essential in always changing virtual world. With the help of easy and practical examples that author constantly brings up you will understand the presented material without hardships on the way.

You will find this book beneficial whether you are beginner, intermediate or even advanced developer in any programming language. Even though the author uses Ruby language in the book as example, the techniques that are described can be applied to any other. Sandi shares her practical experience on how to build new applications successfully and repair those ones that aren’t working the way they should. There is a main example that comes up throughout the book – a bicycle, which is shown as an Ruby object. It begins with the part where you learn how you present a bicycle, then it flows to different types of it and and features the customer would want. You will learn how to implement it and improve later on. All examples are colored and include line numbers. The book is designed in the way that author talks to you, answering the questions that might come to your mind while reading.

You can purchase this book on Amazon ($34,45 Paperback, $28,79 eBook).

Download / Buy Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby: An Agile Primer (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) 1st Edition

Metaprogramming Ruby 2: Program Like the Ruby Pros (Facets of Ruby) 1st Edition by Paolo Perrotta

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This book came to the world by Paolo Perrotta, a software developer, author, mentor and public speaker. His work-field as coach is Europe and the base itself is found in Bologna, Italy. As a pro the author dedicated his book to everyone who’s been using Ruby for a bit and wants to advance the knowledge and practical skills, actually see how Rails works from the inside and dive in the best parts of the language.

With this book coding can become a lifestyle, since the the author shares his unique knowledge of producing elegant and successful programs. An easy language of the book helps you to go smoothly through all essential steps in coding and a practical tool-box is exactly what the best Rubyist needs to write the best code in Ruby. Metaprogramming Ruby 2 covers new features of Ruby 2.0 and Ruby 2.1, cites the examples from most recent libraries and reflects on when and how much metaprogramming can be used. Whether you are a solid Ruby programmer or just the one who is seeking a good guide on improving your skills, you will find a book useful and will use the tips and examples in everyday coding.

Purchase Metaprogramming Ruby 2: Program Like the Ruby Pros First edition on Amazon ($22.37 Paperback, $26.17 eBook).

Eloquent Ruby (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) 1st Edition by Russ Olsen

Best Ruby Books

Another expert in programming Russ Olsen has diligently worked on his second book (first one from 2007 called “Design Patterns in Ruby” was also highly regarded) to share the experience he’s got. He also speaks about programming (especially Ruby and Clojure) on numerous events. The title of the book “Eloquent Ruby” speaks for itself: the book is designed to show you the vastness of the beautiful Ruby language. The guide is written in the way that it’s going to not only fill you with handy information, but also entertain and awake a desire to code and grow in your skills. The book is for anyone with previous programming skills on any other programming languages and also those who at some point of programming in Ruby want to go further.

The book is divided into 4 parts. The first part “The Basics” introduces Ruby coding and focuses on the community aspect of the Ruby, instead of syntax, that is presented in most books on Ruby programming. This way eases understanding of Ruby programming languages, since by understanding the terms and norms of the community as whole is a key to better coding. The second part “Classes, Modules, and Blocks” you’ll discover methods, specifics, and concepts of the Ruby language and covers patterns and best ways of working with Ruby blocks, modules, and classes that are for everyday use. Part Three “Metaprogramming” may sound confusing to newcomers to Ruby, but Russ breaks this topic into sections that shed light on all unfamiliar aspects and help understanding. The last part “Pulling it all together” summarises all the concepts covered in the book explaining creating of Domain Specific Languages. You will also find here a chapter that talks about different Ruby implementations and how to package your code into Ruby library. If you are a Rubyist at any skill level, you will find this book extremely helpful in mastering the knowledge you already have.

You can find Eloquent Ruby (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) 1st Edition on Amazon ($39.40 Paperback, $26.99 eBook).

Learn Ruby in 24 Hours or Less – A Beginner’s Guide To Learning Ruby Programming Now (Ruby, Ruby Programming, Ruby Course) by Robert Dwight


If you are searching for fundamental concepts of the Ruby programming language, you won’t be disappointed, since Robert Dwight prepared for you well-explained teaching material and numerous examples to apply what you just learned. If you had no previous experience in programming anywhere, you will anyway be able to understand the core aspects and practical examples that will guide you on the way to the world of coding in Ruby. This book is a good investigation – it goes from the very basics (what version of Ruby to download, understanding the fundamental principles of Ruby programming, methods that can be used in Ruby) to the deeper parts that every programmer uses and how to maximize the advantages of the Ruby.

You will find “Learn Ruby in 24 Hours or Less – A Beginner’s Guide To Learning Ruby Programming Now” on Amazon  ($25.95 Hardcover, $8.99 Paperback, $2.99 eBook).

The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development  1st Edition by Chad Fowler

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Meet another Ruby guide by Chad Fowler, an international software developer, manager, coach, public speaker. He is an author and co-author of numerous books on software development, like “Rails Recipes: Rails 3 Edition”, “Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide”, “Scala in Action”, ets. Chad has got a tremendous experience in programming by working with some of the world’s largest companies, and he is gladly sharing it in his book. He’s designed this guide mainly for programmers, but if you are a creative soul in any other area like design, music, art, you will find timeless principles about how to drive your career in the direction you’ve chosen. You won’t find any code in this book, but the examples you will see are easy understandable for those who have a bit of software development skills.

You can purchase “The Passionate Programmer “1st Edition on Amazon ($16.34 Paperback, $15.52 eBook).

Download / Buy The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development

Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide, Second Edition 2nd Edition by Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt

Best Ruby Books

The authors of the book are all fluent in Ruby and also each one of them has skills and experience in programming that fill the book with a solid content. This is a reference guide for Ruby. Like many other books on programming language, this book starts with Ruby installation and then dives in into classes, strings, regular expressions, and so on. The second part of the book is more complex and covers Ruby GEMs, embedding Ruby, and graphical user interfaces. The third part serves as a refresher for those, who’ve been programming in Ruby for some time. And the last part is basically a library reference filled with examples, that can be used in any Ruby project.

You can purchase Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide, Second Edition 2nd Edition on Amazon.