Ruby Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering the latest Ruby and Rails news.

Peter Cooper’s Online “Introduction to Ruby” Class Starts January 10

By Peter Cooper / January 3, 2011

codelesson.pngStarting January 10, 2011 (just one week after this post), I'll be teaching an online Ruby course with - me being Peter Cooper, author of Beginning Ruby. It lasts 4 weeks and will cover most things a new Ruby developer (or programmer in general) needs to know to become a confident, intermediate-level Rubyist. It's a great springboard from which to move on to Rails or other more advanced Ruby topics.

Naturally, the course is below the experience level of most Ruby Inside readers, but it might suit your boss, your new non-Ruby co-workers, or merely anyone you know who has some tech savvy and would find learning programming in Ruby a buzz.

Topics I'll be covering include:

  • Installing and running Ruby
  • Using the interactive Ruby shell (irb)
  • Looking up Ruby documentation and help
  • Expressions and variables
  • Built-in data types (strings, arrays, hashes, etc.)
  • Flow control
  • Classes and modules
  • RubyGems and library management
  • File handling and IO
  • Web and network access
  • Producing documentation
  • Testing
  • The Ruby community and how to benefit from it
  • Ruby project structure
  • Rack and Sinatra (to produce basic webapps)
  • Building and releasing a gem
  • RSpec

Except for the topics covered each week, the course isn't tightly scheduled. Participants don't need to be online certain times or follow along with real-time "webinar" presentations. It's more like a distance learning course. There'll be instructions to follow, articles to read, videos to watch, and a course textbook to refer to (my book Beginning Ruby - a free copy is provided). Questions and discussion then take place on forums provided by CodeLesson.

Nonetheless, I'm going to also run some optional "surgery hours" where people can come to me on IRC or instant messaging to ask me questions or get a walk through any tricky topics. The timing of these will be determined as to the participants' various needs as we go along.

The course costs $295 for the 4 weeks (though there's a discount for group signups) and the main value comes from having access to me, asking me questions, and letting me walk you through particular sticking points. You can pick up a book for $30 but a course like this gives you a mentor, a schedule, and everything I provide will be well suited to learning Ruby at a level suitable for 2011 - a tricky promise for any book to offer given how quickly the Ruby world changes.

So, interested? Or have a boss/coworker/similar who'd benefit? Check out the Ruby course page on for more info. If you join the course, I'll see you next week!

P.S. If you have any questions, I can be found at.. peter -at-


  1. nube says:

    I think you should publish the minimum hours commitment, too. i.e. Is this something I can do in concert with my family and full time job, or will it require taking leave to achieve satisfaction.

  2. Peter Cooper says:

    Good point, though I'm not going to get a good feel on this till after the first course. In my experience, people take a pretty wide range of times to cover this stuff, depending on the experience of the student, the teacher, the materials used, etc. That said, anyone reasonably tech savvy should be able to pick things up in fewer than 10 hours each week - this is especially true of week 1.

  3. Pingback: Delicious Bookmarks for February 6th through February 7th « Lâmôlabs

Other Posts to Enjoy

Twitter Mentions