Rails Guides and More
Once you're familiar with the basics of Rails, you don't need to go through entire Rails books to learn more. Instead, you can learn about specific topics that you're interested in or as they come up when developing. The most important resource are the official Rails Guides, which are up-to-date detailed guides to each part of Rails.
You should already be familiar with some of the material covered in the basic guides, and can read them for more details about a topic:
Learn more about the data side of Rails:
Controller View and Routing
Learn more about the rest of Rails:
Important Topics to Learn
Here are some important guides on topics that you may not know well:
- Active Record Callbacks - Run certain code automatically when an object is created or changed.
- Form Helpers - Learn more about Rails forms, using the default Rails helpers.
Later you can go through the more advanced guides:
- Action Mailer Basics - Send email in Rails. (Note: You'll want to use an email service, such as Mandrill, to send the actual emails.)
- Debugging Rails Applications - Learn about the many way to debug issues in Rails.
You can also find out more about new features in Rails by reading the release notes to recent versions:
RailsCasts used to be the most popular tutorial series, but it's no longer updated. There are many other Rails screencasts on specific Rails topics, but they don't generally provide accompanying text, which makes it harder to reference.
The Odin Project is worth looking at. They provide an overview of the different Rails topics and link to the Rails Guides for more info.
When you have a specific question about Rails, you can often just Google it or look at the official docs, as discussed on the next page.
These are some specific topics you may want to learn after going through this course:
Tests are used to make sure your app works correctly. They're particularly important when you start developing large apps with other people. We provided pre-written tests for the tutorial, but when you'll need to write your own tests for your own app.
RSpec is a popular Rails testing framework for Rails, but I think it's syntax is a little confusing. The default testing framework in Rails is MiniTest, which uses more standard test syntax. You can learn more about testing with in the Rails Guide, and the books on the previous page also cover it.
This course showed you how to drop in a Paypal button into your site with the product name and price, but it didn't integrate transactions into your app. Integrating payments used to be a pain but nowadays there are many services that make it easy for the developer. I recommend Braintree for a couple of reasons:
- Free - Braintree is free for the first $50,000 in transactions.
- Paypal Integration - Some people don't like giving out their credit cards. Braintree is owned by Paypal and makes accepting Paypal extremely easy.
- Easy to integrate and advanced capabilities.
Initially you can use Rail's Active Record to handle all your database queries. Later, you'll want to learn SQL to perform more advanced or optimized queries. See SQLCourse.com for a quick tutorial on basic SQL, or watch Khan Academy's tutorial for a slower-paced course.