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August 16, 2016

I'm pleased to announce that Learn Enough Command Line to Be Dangerous is now available at Amazon.com.

The Unix command line is the single most important foundational skill for aspiring software developers, and Learn Enough Command Line to Be Dangerous has been called "the best beginners guide to bash [the most popular command-line program]".

The price of Learn Enough Command Line at Amazon will eventually be $9.99, but I'm offering a 30% launch discount for the first week, so it's only $6.99 if you buy now. In addition to the native Kindle format, every purchase includes a claim link for free copies of the PDF & EPUB formats as well.

Even if you don't want to buy a copy, it would be much-appreciated if you could leave a review of the tutorial at Amazon.

As always, Learn Enough Command Line to Be Dangerous is available for free online, and for direct purchase as well, but having the ebook up at Amazon means even more people can find the Learn Enough tutorials and start learning technical sophistication.

Get 30% off Learn Enough Command Line to Be Dangerous at Amazon.com through Tuesday 8/22.

If you could leave a review that would also be much-appreciated!

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August 2, 2016

Due to popular demand, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Rails Tutorial screencats! The art of web development procrastination has never been cuter:

Rails Tutorial screencats

Although they’re not nearly as adorable as the screencats (for obvious reasons), I’m also pleased to announce the launch of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial screencasts, updated for Rails 5!

The Rails Tutorial screencasts are the most up-to-date resource for learning web development with Ruby on Rails. They are available for free via the Learn Enough Society, as well as being available for purchase as direct downloads.

The best way to get the new screencasts is via the Learn Enough Society, which includes all 15+ hours as integrated streaming video:

The Learn Enough Society also includes text and video for the three Developer Fundamentals tutorials (Command Line, Text Editor, Git), as well as immediate access to new tutorials as they’re released.

The Rails Tutorial screencasts are the ideal complement to the Rails Tutorial book, allowing you to see exactly how web applications are built in practice. There are video lessons corresponding to each chapter of the book, totaling over 15 hours of content. You can view a full sample lesson here.

As with the 3rd edition of the tutorial, the new 4th edition covers every major aspect of web development:

  • Creating both static and dynamic pages with Rails templates
  • Data modeling with a full database back-end
  • Creating a working signup page from scratch
  • Building a custom login and authentication system
  • Learning to use cookies to make a working “remember me” checkbox
  • Activating accounts and resetting passwords
  • Sending email in Rails, both locally and in production
  • Advanced data modeling to create a mini Twitter-like application
  • Coverage of software best practices, including test-driven development and version control
  • Emphasis on strong security throughout
  • Deploying to production early and often

Those familiar with the previous edition will find the following main differences in the Rails 5 version:

  • 14 lessons instead of 12, due not to new material but to the two longest lessons being split in two (much more manageable)
  • Full compatibility with Rails 5, including the use of the rails command in place of rake
  • A shift toward integration-style testing for controllers, together with a new convention for passing parameters in tests

Because Rails 4.2 and Rails 5.0 are so similar, the new edition of the screencasts did not need to be created from scratch. Instead, the minor diffs mentioned above are highlighted as text notes in the videos themselves. The result is that it is immediately apparent which parts of the Rails framework have changed between versions.

Now that the Rails Tutorial screencasts are complete, my Learn Enough cofounders and I are hard at work on additional Learn Enough tutorials, with Action Cable, HTML, CSS & Layout, and JavaScript coming soon. Be sure to sign up for the email list to get notifications.

Remember, all 15+ hours of the Rails Tutorial screencasts are available both via the Learn Enough Society and as direct purchase.

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June 28, 2016

UPDATE: Rails 5 just launched, and the Ruby on Rails Tutorial has already been updated accordingly.

I’ve just launched the newest edition of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial book, updated for Rails 5! It’s available for free online, for purchase as an ebook (PDF, EPUB, MOBI), and best of all via the Learn Enough Society (details below).

(I’m especially pleased to be launching the new edition today because it’s also Tau Day, a math holiday I founded in 2010 with the publication of The Tau Manifesto. Happy Tau Day!)

With the release of this new edition, the Ruby on Rails Tutorial continues to be the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource for learning web development with Rails. As with previous editions, its focus is on the general principles of web development, not on Rails specifically, though of course it gives you a great foundation with Rails as well.

Although there are many alternatives in web development, I believe Rails is still the best overall choice for learning how to develop dynamic web applications. Rails has a combination of power and maturity that few frameworks can rival, and is used by companies as diverse as GitHub, Disney, and Airbnb.

While preferred development stacks in languages like JavaScript seem to change every six months, the core of Rails has remained stable for years, even as it has added innovations like Action Cable and Rails API to stay on the cutting edge. (For more information on coverage of these new technologies, see below.)

As with the 3rd edition of the tutorial, the new Rails 5 edition covers every major aspect of web development:

  • Creating both static and dynamic pages with Rails templates
  • Data modeling with a full database back-end
  • Creating a working signup page from scratch
  • Building a custom login and authentication system
  • Learning to use cookies to make a working “remember me” checkbox
  • Activating accounts and resetting passwords
  • Sending email in Rails, both locally and in production
  • Advanced data modeling to create a mini Twitter-like application
  • Coverage of software best practices, including test-driven development and version control
  • Emphasis on strong security throughout
  • Deploying to production early and often

Those familiar with the previous edition will find the following main differences in the Rails 5 version:

  • 14 chapters instead of 12, due not to new material but to the two longest chapters being split in two (much more manageable)
  • Full compatibility with Rails 5, including the use of the rails command in place of rake and new default behavior for controller and integration tests
  • A huge number of new exercises, spread throughout each chapter for maximum reinforcement of the material

This last difference was probably the most time-consuming change for the new edition, but it was well worth the effort: many readers had requested more frequent exercises, rather than having them all collected at the end, and the new design makes the material much easier to absorb and retain.

Even if you’ve already read a previous edition of the Rails Tutorial, I think you’ll still get a lot out of going through the new edition and solving all the exercises.

By far the best way to do this is through the Learn Enough Society, a subscription service that includes the full Ruby on Rails Tutorial. This is because the Learn Enough Society exercises interface lets you record your answers and see the answers of other Society members, which means you can work on your own but can always get a hint if you need one.

The Learn Enough Society is offered as part of Learn Enough to Be Dangerous, dedicated to teaching the essential skill of technical sophistication, which gives you the seemingly magical ability to solve any technical problem.

In the modern technical landscape, there’s perhaps no more valuable example of technical sophistication than web development, so naturally the Ruby on Rails Tutorial is a perfect fit.

The Learn Enough Society currently includes the following products:

  • Learn Enough Command Line to Be Dangerous: Nearly 100 pages of content, dozens of exercises, and over an hour of video
  • Learn Enough Text Editor to Be Dangerous: Over 100 pages of content, dozens of exercises, and over an hour of video
  • Learn Enough Git to Be Dangerous: Over 100 pages of content, dozens of exercises, and over an hour of video
  • Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Over 700 pages of content, over 300 exercises, and—to be released soon—over 15 hours of video

My cofounders and I are also hard at work filling in the introductory Learn Enough tutorials, with HTML, CSS & Layout, and JavaScript coming soon.

For those who want to take their Rails development to the next level using the latest features in Rails 5, we’re planning to release standalone tutorials on Action Cable and Rails API as well. (Be sure to sign up for the email list to get notifications.)

Finally, for members who stay in the Learn Enough Society for at least two months, we’ll be offering the full Rails Tutorial ebook download (PDF, EPUB, MOBI) as a free bonus!

As always, the Ruby on Rails Tutorial is available for free online, and the ebook is also available for direct purchase. As indicated above, the best way to get the Rails Tutorial is via the Learn Enough Society, which gets you the full book as well as priority access to the Rails Tutorial screencast videos (with the first videos launching next week!). Plus you get access to all the other Learn Enough tutorials as well.

I’m really excited about how the Learn Enough tutorials are coming together, and I’m especially pleased with how well the Rails Tutorial fits in. We’ve got a great group going in the private Learn Enough Society Slack, and enterprising Society members have already shared the answers to hundreds of exercises.

Adding the Rails Tutorial is taking things to a whole new level, so I hope you’ll join us there!

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Michael-hartl
Michael Hartl

I’m Michael Hartl—author, educator, and entrepreneur. I’m probably best known as the creator of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, a book and screencast series that together constitute one of the leading introductions to web development. Once called his “favorite book” by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the Ruby on Rails Tutorial currently has over 150 5-star reviews at Amazon. I’m also (in)famous for creating Tau Day and The Tau Manifesto, which have inspired an international movement dedicated to the proposition that “pi is wrong.” (For example, as a result of The Tau Manifesto, MIT releases their admissions decisions each year at “Tau Time” (6:28 p.m.), and typing tau/2 at Google yields 3.14159…) Finally, I’m a founder of Softcover, a publishing system and sales platform for technical authors, which among other things powers both The Tau Manifesto and the Ruby on Rails Tutorial.

I’m a graduate of Harvard College and have a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, where I studied black hole dynamics and was an award-winning instructor in theoretical and computational physics. I’m also an alumnus of Y Combinator, the entrepreneur program that has produced companies such as Dropbox and Airbnb. (Alas, my own Y Combinator startup was neither Dropbox nor Airbnb.)