BIG OPPORTUNITY: High Quality Online Ruby On Rails Courses

31 Jan

I’ve been learning Ruby for a few weeks now, and am ready to move on to Ruby on Rails. I’m more of an auditory type of learner – I like having things explained to me. I also like a little bit of initial hand-holding, where I get to practice what I’m learning as I’m learning it. That is why I looked into taking a beginner Ruby on Rails course to get me started. Unfortunately, I found very few options. And of the classes I did find, they were pretty expensive and, worst-of-all, they were in-person and starting later on in March or later.


I’m a big believer in online education, so I really don’t see why these places that teach Ruby on Rails already, like BlazingCloud, BigNerdRanch, Marakana, AcademyX, and others insist on the in-person model. Think about it, they can video-tape their lessons, add in the assignments, and put them online for anyone to pay for. By charging a lot less than $2,000 – $3,000 (plus a plane ticket if necessary) that they charge for the in-person trainings (maybe $250), they could be training people from all over the world all the time, making a lot more profit than the once-in-a-while classes that include the expense of having live tutors, on-site facilities, and limitations on class sizes.

So, if you know Ruby on Rails, there is a big opportunity for you to be the source for online education on Ruby on Rails. Let me know when your site is up and I’ll be happy to promote you on my blog!

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6 Responses to “BIG OPPORTUNITY: High Quality Online Ruby On Rails Courses”

  1. Gabriela Frederique Alloncon Gonzales Ramirez January 31, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    The reason why nobody offers these kind of courses over video is because that doesn’t teach you programming. You can watch hours after hours of educational video on programming (like the Stanford CS193P iOS course), and then when you sit down to write your first simple program, you realize you know nothing. The reason you weren’t able to follow that course isn’t because it’s hard (it really isn’t), but because it is made for people who have experience in C and Java, and also because hey, this is Stanford, so the assignment won’t be “put a picture of a flower on the screen”, but “make a programmable RPN calculator”.

    Programming is 90% experience and at most 10% intuition. Once you have programmed for a few years, you’ve basically seen all patterns and data structures, so all you need to learn is how to speak the programming language to say the things you already know are true.

    The bottom line is: Don’t watch video or read too many books. Rather think of a small project you are motivated to finish, i.e. “I want to make an iPhone app that zooms into a map of my street and when I press a button, a dog will bark.” Or whatever. Then sit down and try to code it, while looking up code on the internet as you go along to see how other people do it.

    • Natasha Murashev January 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      It is people like you that make computer science so intimidating. People have different learning styles, and that’s completely ok. It’s great that you can just build an app by googling around, but I personally like to understand the concepts behind someone’s code rather than just copying pieces of it I find online. I like watching tutorials and doing problem sets relavent to the tutorials – that is how I learn. In fact, that is how they teach CS in Universities and there are plenty of sold out expensive classes that teach Ruby on Rails that way, so many others learn that way as well. You clearly learn differently and have a lot more experience than I do, so good for you. No need saying the way I learn is wrong though.

  2. Mark Flavin February 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Natasha I absolutely agree with your observations and the fact is everyone does learn differently. For example I am very comfortable learning working in PHP, Javascript and even higher languages like .NET and Objective C but Ruby hurts my brain.

    My suggestion is to combine your learning efforts with doing. For example you watch a video on putting and retrieving objects from a database build an application that lets you lend out movies to your family and friends.

    If you decide to start an online group centered around learning ruby count me in. Also thanks for writing this blog it is very encouraging.

    • Natasha Murashev February 2, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Thanks for the encouragement Mark. That is exactly what I’ve been doing – I’ve been taking classes, combined with homework assignments, and also building a project with a friend (startupstats.com).

      I am taking Ruby via rubylearning.org, and the nice thing about them is that they have teachers available for you at all times, so you can ask as many questions as you like. They’ll even do a one-on-one session with you via Skype if you’d like, and it’s only $50.

      Feel free to also shoot me an email if you ever need help – I’d be happy to hop on a Skype call with you and see if I can help. My email is natasha [at] holler [d0t] com 🙂

  3. knwang (@knwang) September 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Hi Natasha, stumbled upon your blog, and I think we have exactly the course you are looking for at http://www.railstutors.com – 4 week course, 100% online, self study screencasts, graded assignments, live coding sessions, code critiques, online forum and chat room support, project focused curriculum focused on building. check us out!

    I also wrote down the way we designed our course here:

    http://www.railstutors.com/blog/the-best-way-to-learn-ruby-on-rails-as-a-beginner#.UFvCT6TyajI

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