Free Course for Learning Ruby - Web Apps?

I enjoy learning languages. Before I started work developing websites I was employed in a traditional large non-tech industry focused on Asia. If I spent considerable time in a country then I always took the time to learn some of the local language. I loved it. I guess that to me it was like learning a language took the wrapping paper off of an amazing gift. Knowing some of the language made the local situations and people come alive. I was experiencing local life without a heavy filter.

As I learned more, I was able to tear more paper away and expose more of this amazing gift. The country I spent the most time in was China, and so after English (my native language) I’d say that Chinese is my next strongest. I learnt enough that I was able to give some presentations in Chinese. I loved the depth of meaning in the Chinese characters, and the sounds of the language. I also spent a lot of time in Thailand, so I also have some ability in Thai.

What would you do if you won enough money to not have to work anymore? For me I’d enrol full-time to learn a language.

Anyway, to me it was natural that I also enjoyed learning code – it is a language after all. I started with HTML and CSS through blogs and interests that I posted online.

Recently I have been learning Ruby as a precursor to jumping into Ruby on Rails, to develop more sophisticated web apps. When choosing a Ruby course I prioritised free > low cost > high cost. I have had a lot of success with courses so started looking there.

Learn Ruby On Rails - Full Course

I found this free course on YouTube and gave it a shot. Although I wasn’t able to finish it (see below for details), I found it gave me a good first impression of how useful ROR (Ruby on Rails) can be, and it piqued my interest to do further study.


  • It’s free!
  • Great way to get exposure to Ruby on Rails
  • Can quickly achieve something tangible – great for motivation!


The course is already dated. Software improvement is rapid, and the software versions used for this video have already been surpassed. For example:

  • The instructions to install rails was outdated. One of the websites referred to doesn’t even exist now. I had to do a lot of searching and blind testing to get it to finally work. I’m sure others probably gave up at this stage

  • The course was useful to me for about the first 2 hours – but then it broke. The instructions he provide to go further with authentication etc. just don’t work anymore, and he hasn’t updated the video. I left questions in the YouTube comments and also on stackoverflow asking for help, and no one provided answers except to complain that they also had been stymied at the same point. Although you’ll find there are recent comments extolling the “awesomeness” of the course, I have to wonder if they are bots, or if these people went more than 30 minutes into the video.

Ruby for Absolute Beginners

With my appetite whet for doing more ROR but blocked from furthering the free course above, I dived into searching for other suitable courses. There were several free ones that came up within and I jumped into Ruby for Absolute Beginners. Now, Ruby is the language behind Ruby on Rails (think of Ruby as the language and Rails as an amazing template that makes creating web apps so much easier) so I thought it would be good to develop as a base.

I found that the content was extremely easy for a beginner, however the instructor’s accent is quite strong and unfortunately the sound quality is very poor – which made it painful for me to enjoy. I really don’t understand why they used such a poor quality microphone for the recording. It sounds like someone talking on speakerphone on a very cheap mobile phone.

I managed to get through to chapter 30 of section three (it finishes at chapter 44) and found myself finding excuses to do something else. The poor sound really had affected my enjoyment, and thus my progress, so it was time to find something better.

The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course

I found another course at Udemy which seemed perfect, The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course. the description described an amazingly interesting course, but sadly the price was out of my league – over $80. Then one day when I checked, I was offered an amazing deal – I could get the course for just $8 but it was only valid for the next 6 hours! So I logged in and……… the deal disappeared and I was told that it was not available to me and the price would be $80. Ugh. However, knowing a bit about how websites work (and deals work) I presumed that the “6 hours” was just a preset time for new visitors to the site. Sure enough, every I cleared cookies and revisited (without logging in) I was again offered this amazing deal of $8 only valid for the next 6 hours.

So I did what every rational person would do. I created a new account with a different email and took the $8 offer.

In Summary

I think the Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course is worth the $8. I also found the same issues in regard to link references and software versions that were already out of date, which made it harder to progress as I’d have to spend time searching for solutions. I think that this limitation would likely put-off a complete novice to coding. Having already done some of “Learn Ruby On Rails – Full Course”, and “Ruby for Absolute Beginners” did help me to solve these ‘superseded versions” issue. I’ll write more about the course in my next post. Feel free to add your comments or questions below.

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