The 14 best Ruby Books of all time for beginner programmers

A data-backed answer

💎

Methodology

There are countless lists on the internet claiming to be the list of must-read Ruby books and it seemed that all those lists always recommended that same books minus two or three odd choices.

Finding good resources for learning programming is always tricky. Every-one has its own opinion about what book is the best to learn, and as we say in french, “Color and tastes should not be argued about”.

However I though it would be interesting to trust the wisdom of the crown and to find the books that appeared the most in those “Best Ruby Book” lists.

If you want to jump right on the results go take a look below at the full results. If you want to learn about the methodology, bear with me.

I’ve simply asked Google for a few queries like “Best Ruby Books” and its variations of. I have then scrapped all those pages (using ScrapingBee, a web scraping API I’m working on).

I’ve deduplicated the links and ended up with nearly 18 links. Using the title of the pages I was also able to quickly discards:

I ended up with almost 17 HTML files. I went on opening all the files on my browser, open my chrome inspector, found and wrote the CSS selector matching book titles in the article. This took me around 1hours, almost 30 seconds per page.

This also allowed me to discard even more nonrelevant pages, and I discarded a lot. In the end I compiled around 10 lists into this one.

Book titles were then extracted with manuel extraction and some web scraping.

I ended up with a huge list of books, not usable without some post-processing.

To find the most quoted Ruby books I needed to normalize my results.

I had to play with all the different variation like “{title} by {author}” or “{title} - {author}”.

Or “{title}:{subtitle}” and “{title}”, or even all the one containing edition number.

And afterquite a bit of manual cleaning.

My list now looked like this:

From there it was easy to compute the most recommended books. You can find all the data used to process this list on this repo. Now let’s take a look at the list:

I've also recently used some data from different book sellers in order to not forget important books and try to give more weight to books with incredible reviews.

Results

14
)

Ruby on Rails: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Learn Ruby on Rails Step by Step

by
Max Beerbohm & Moaml Mohmmed
4.2
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Ruby on Rails ***The book you hold in your hands is the work of many people. I’d especially like to thank Kit Kemper,Maryann Steinhart, and all of the other Wiley editors who worked on this project for their contributionto its success.

***Welcome to Ruby on Rails! If you’re a web developer, you’re going to love Ruby on Rails — it’s theeasiest way to get real web applications going. If you’ve been a Java web programmer in the past,for example, you’re going to think: this is great!If you’re used to huge, overly complex web applications, you’re in for a treat — both Ruby andRails can do a lot of the code writing for you, creating skeleton applications that you can modifyeasily.

And if you’re new to web programming, you’re also in for a treat because you’re gettingstarted the right way.Ruby is the programming language you’re going to be using, and Rails is the web applicationframework that will put everything online. This and the next couple of chapters get you up tospeed in Ruby, building the foundation you need to start putting Ruby on Rails.

If you alreadyknow Ruby, you can skip this material and get directly to the online stuff.But why just talk about it? Why not start by seeing Ruby in action? Heck, why not see Ruby onRails in action, taking a look at just how simple it is to build a sample web application? That willgive you something to keep in mind as you work through Ruby in these first few chapters. Thefirst step, of course, is to install Ruby and Rails.
Amazon.com
13
)

Ruby: Bootcamp - Learn The Basics of Ruby Programming in 2 Weeks! (FREE Bonus, Ruby Programming For Beginners, Simple Language)

by
David Maxwell
4.3
% recommend
🛒   Buy
12
)

Ruby Programming For Beginners: The Simple Guide to Learning Ruby Programming Language Fast!

by
Tim Warren
4.6
% recommend
🛒   Buy
RUBY PROGRAMMING FOR BEGINNERS Those who are efficient in the Ruby programming language is very high in demand right now. If you are unsure of how to create programs with Ruby, this book will guide your from step one in a coding project all the way through to the end.

With the help of this beginners guide you will learn how to program in no time! Follow along with the book to get the drift on how to use Ruby. After you master Ruby, you can move on to Ruby on Rails, which is the framework that goes with Ruby.

Soon enough you will become a master programmer using the user-friendliest programming language ever developed. This will help you to land jobs or even write your own coding for a sweet web application.

The sky is the limit once you have read, practiced, and learned the Ruby programming language! Here Is What You'll Learn About... What Is Ruby Programming Computer Evaluation Of Ruby Code Objects & Methods Classes & Instances Data Structures Ruby Collections Samples Of Ruby Code Much, Much More!
Amazon.com
11
)

Sustainable Web Development with Ruby on Rails: Practical Tips for Building Web Applications that Last

by
David Bryant Copeland
4.9
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Learn how to get the most out of Ruby on Rails without making a mess. Create Rails apps that can be sustained for years without accruing carrying costs that make development slow and expensive
Amazon.com
10
)

Ruby Programming for Beginners: An Introduction to Learning Ruby Programming with Tutorials and Hands-On Examples

by
Nathan Metzler
5.3
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Take the guesswork out of mastering Ruby Programming language and learn how to build powerful, real-world, and modern applications for the web! Are you completely new to coding and are looking for a great, easy-to-understand language to learn as your first? Do you want to become a more productive programmer and skip all the extra keywords, declaration, and compilation steps that are rife in other languages? If your answer is yes to any of the questions above, then this book is for you. Ruby is used in some of the world's most popular and user-heavy web applications, for good reason.

It's easy to maintain and is designed to be concurrent. In this guide, Nathan Metzler skips the fluff and shows you how easy it is to get started with Ruby as a beginner and code your own applications with practical examples and exercises.

Here's a snippet of what you're going to discover in Ruby Programming for Beginners : How to install Ruby on your preferred operating system, from Windows and MacOS to Linux Step-by-step instructions to write your very first piece of Ruby script and execute on your preferred operating system A comprehensive guide to help you understand core Ruby programming concepts, from statements and code blocks to identifiers and variable data types A proven framework to get started with object-oriented programming and coding modular, reusable code you can apply across your projects Everything you need to know about control structures in Ruby programming language ...and tons more! Ruby is an insanely powerful and multi-purpose language that can be used to develop massive web applications. Whether you're completely new to programming or are an experienced developer in other programming languages but are looking to add Ruby to your skillset, this guide has you covered
Amazon.com
9
)

The Little Book Of Ruby Programming: Learn To Program Ruby For Beginners

by
Huw Collingbourne
5.9
% recommend
🛒   Buy
THE LITTLE BOOK OF RUBY The fastest, easiest way to learn to program Ruby. This book will teach you to program the Ruby language from the ground up.

You will learn about Object Orientation, classes, methods, modules and mixins, file operations and exception-handling. Whether you are a new programmer or an experienced programmer who wants to learn the Ruby language quickly and easily, this is the book for you! This book explains...

Getting Started with Ruby Object Orientation Classes & Superclasses Modules & Mixins Methods & Arguments Class & Instance Variables Operators & Tests Arrays & Hashes File Operations Exception-handling ...and much more Huw Collingbourne has been a programmer for more than 30 years. He is an online programming instructor who has taught tens of thousands of students to code in languages such as Ruby, C, C#, Java and Object Pascal.

He had written programming columns for numerous computer magazines such as PC Plus and Computer Shopper. He is Technical Director of the independent development company, SapphireSteel Software.

He is the author of a number of programming books including The Little Book Of C, The Little Book Of C #, The Little Book Of Pointers and The Little Book of Recursion. The Little Book Of Ruby gives you just the stuff you really need to get straight to the heart of Ruby programming without all the fluff and padding.
Amazon.com
8
)

Learn Ruby On Rails For Web Development: Learn Rails The Fast And Easy Way!

by
John Elder
6.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Learning Ruby on Rails has never been this fast and easy, or fun! Veteran Codemy.com programmer John Elder walks you step by step through the ins and outs of Rails for Web Development. Written for the absolute beginner, you don't need any programming experience to dive in and get started with this book.

Follow along as John builds a Pinterest-style website from start to finish that allows people to sign up, log in and out, edit their profile, upload images to the database and style those images on the screen. By the end, you'll be well on your way to becoming a professional Ruby on Rails coder!*AUTHOR UPDTE: C9, the development environment we used in the book, was purchased by Amazon and is no longer accepting new users unless you sign up through my education account at Codemy.com/c9
Amazon.com
7
)

Intro To Ruby Programming: Beginners Guide Series

by
John Elder
6.1
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Learning Ruby has never been this fast and easy, or fun!Veteran Codemy.com programmer John Elder walks you step by step through the ins and outs of Ruby Programming. Written for the absolute beginner, you don't need any programming experience to dive in and get started with this book.

Follow along as John teaches you to set up a development environment and write your first program. You'll learn about Variables, Math, IF/THEN Statements, Array, Hashes, Loops, Methods and much more.By the end, you'll be well on your way to becoming a professional Ruby coder!Build on your skills with practice exercises at the end of each chapter and build a math flashcard game using all the skills you've learned throughout the book
Amazon.com
6
)

RUBY Beginner's Crash Course: Ruby for Beginner's Guide to Ruby Programming, Ruby On Rails & Rails Programming (Ruby, Operating Systems, Programming) (Volume 1)

by
Quick Start Guides
7.2
% recommend
🛒   Buy
What is One Way to Become A Skilled, In-Demand Programmer? Start with Ruby! In the world of programming, many types of languages are being used. If you are just starting out, the first decision that you will have to make is which of these coding tools should you use.

Learning how to code brings upon foreign concepts, technical jargon and many challenges. With that being said, one needs to be smart in choosing the perfect programming language that they feel would best complement their level of comprehension.

Ruby is a highly recommended programming language that will help you get started. Why is Ruby Beneficial to Learn and In-Demand? 1.

One of the easiest programming languages to learn. 2.

It has a huge and functional ecosystem. 3.

It is very flexible to use. 4.

Ruby uses simple naming conventions to indicate extent of variables. 5.

Ruby is loaded with other outstanding features. Those are just a few advantages to keep you in the loop.

As you explore more of its benefits by reading Ruby Beginner's Crash Course you’ll be confident enough to begin exploring this amazing programming language. What Will You Learn in this Book? -What Ruby Is -How To Install Ruby -How to Get Started -How Data is Structured In Ruby -How To Write A Web Application Using Ruby On Rails Buy this book now to quickly learn Ruby and open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities! Pick up your copy today so we can get started!
Amazon.com
5
)

Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Open Source)

by
Peter Cooper
7.3
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Based on the bestselling first edition, Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition is the leading guide for every type of reader who wants to learn Ruby from the ground up. The new edition of this book provides the same excellent introduction to Ruby as the first edition plus updates for the newest version of Ruby, including the addition of the Sinatra and Ramaze web application frameworks and a chapter on GUI development so developers can take advantage of these new trends.

Beginning Ruby starts by explaining the principles behind object-oriented programming and within a few chapters builds toward creating a full Ruby application. By the end of the book, in addition to in-depth knowledge of Ruby, you'll also have basic understanding of many ancillary technologies such as SQL, XML, web frameworks, and networking
Amazon.com
4
)

Head First Ruby: A Brain-Friendly Guide

by
Jay McGavren
8.8
% recommend
🛒   Buy
What will you learn from this book? What’s all the buzz about this Ruby language? Is it right for you? Well, ask yourself: are you tired of all those extra declarations, keywords, and compilation steps in your other language? Do you want to be a more productive programmer? Then you’ll love Ruby. With this unique hands-on learning experience, you’ll discover how Ruby takes care of all the details for you, so you can simply have fun and get more done with less code.

Why does this book look so different? Based on the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory, Head First Ruby uses a visually rich format to engage your mind, rather than a text-heavy approach to put you to sleep. Why waste your time struggling with new concepts? This multi-sensory learning experience is designed for the way your brain really works.
Amazon.com
3
)

Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn Web Development with Rails (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series)

by
Michael Hartl
11.7
% recommend
🛒   Buy
“ Ruby on Rails™ Tutorial by Michael Hartl has become a must-read for developers learning how to build Rails apps.” ― Peter Cooper, Editor of Ruby Inside Used by sites as varied as Twitter, GitHub, Disney, and Airbnb, Ruby on Rails is one of the most popular frameworks for developing web applications, but it can be challenging to learn and use. Whether you’re new to web development or new only to Rails, Ruby on Rails™ Tutorial, Fourth Edition, is the solution.

Best-selling author and leading Rails developer Michael Hartl teaches Rails by guiding you through the development of three example applications of increasing sophistication. The tutorial’s examples focus on the general principles of web development needed for virtually any kind of website.

The updates to this edition include full compatibility with Rails 5, a division of the largest chapters into more manageable units, and a huge number of new exercises interspersed in each chapter for maximum reinforcement of the material. This indispensable guide provides integrated tutorials not only for Rails, but also for the essential Ruby, HTML, CSS, and SQL skills you need when developing web applications.

Hartl explains how each new technique solves a real-world problem, and then he demonstrates it with bite-sized code that’s simple enough to understand, yet novel enough to be useful. Whatever your previous web development experience, this book will guide you to true Rails mastery
Amazon.com
2
)

Learn to Program, Second Edition (The Facets of Ruby Series)

by
Chris Pine
14.1
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Printed in full color. For this new edition of the best-selling Learn to Program, Chris Pine has taken a good thing and made it even better.

First, he used the feedback from hundreds of reader e-mails to update the content and make it even clearer. Second, he updated the examples in the book to use the latest stable version of Ruby, and also to use code that looks more like real-world Ruby code, so that people who have just learned to program will be more familiar with common Ruby techniques.

Not only does the Second Edition now include answers to all of the exercises, it includes them twice. First you'll find the "how you could do it" answers, using the techniques you've learned up to that point in the book.

Next you'll see "how Chris Pine would do it": answers using more advanced Ruby techniques, to whet your appetite as well as providing sort of a "Rosetta Stone" for more elegant solutions. Computers are everywhere, on every desk, in your iPod, cell phone, and PDA.

To live well in the 21st century, you need to know how to make computers do things. And to really make computers do what you want, you have to learn to program.

Fortunately, that's easier now than ever before. Chris Pine's book will teach you how to program.

You'll learn to use your computer better, to get it to do what you want it to do. Starting with small, simple one-line programs to calculate your age in seconds, you'll see how to advance to fully structured, real programs.

You'll learn the same technology used to drive modern dynamic websites and large, professional applications. It's now easier to learn to write your own computer software than it has ever been before.

Now everyone can learn to write programs for themselves---no previous experience is necessary. Chris takes a thorough, but light-hearted approach that teaches you how to program with a minimum of fuss or bother
Amazon.com
1
)

The Ruby Programming Language: Everything You Need to Know

by
David Flanagan & Yukihiro Matsumoto
15.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
The Ruby Programming Language is the authoritative guide to Ruby and provides comprehensive coverage of versions 1.8 and 1.9 of the language. It was written (and illustrated!) by an all-star team: David Flanagan, bestselling author of programming language "bibles" (including JavaScript: The Definitive Guide and Java in a Nutshell) and committer to the Ruby Subversion repository.

Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, creator, designer and lead developer of Ruby and author of Ruby in a Nutshell, which has been expanded and revised to become this book. why the lucky stiff, artist and Ruby programmer extraordinaire.

This book begins with a quick-start tutorial to the language, and then explains the language in detail from the bottom up: from lexical and syntactic structure to datatypes to expressions and statements and on through methods, blocks, lambdas, closures, classes and modules. The book also includes a long and thorough introduction to the rich API of the Ruby platform, demonstrating -- with heavily-commented example code -- Ruby's facilities for text processing, numeric manipulation, collections, input/output, networking, and concurrency.

An entire chapter is devoted to Ruby's metaprogramming capabilities. The Ruby Programming Language documents the Ruby language definitively but without the formality of a language specification
Amazon.com

Conclusion

I hope that you liked this list. Please do not hesitate to check out the other ones I've published.

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