The Definitive Ruby Tutorial For Complete Beginners

The Best Way To Learn Ruby

If you have decided to learn Ruby & become a Ruby developer then you’re in the right place.

You’ve a lot of learning ahead of you, but don’t let that stop you from getting started.

Learning is a beautiful thing.


Where do you begin?

You should start by learning the core programming concepts.

Things like variables, data structures, and conditional statements.

You’ll find a lot of new words in your journey, don’t worry about that, you’ll learn along the way.

You also need to understand that a programming language is a formal language.

In English, if I make a grammar mistake there is a pretty good change you can still understand me.

But if you make a grammar mistake in Ruby, or any other programming language, you are going to get an error.

The reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t want you to give up early if you’re seeing a lot of error messages & if things don’t make a lot of sense.

These things are normal, you are learning something new & it’s going to take some time until it starts to sink in.

One of the keys is repetition.

Work on every topic until you understand how it’s useful in the big picture, how to use it, how to explain it to other people.

You can do this!

Let’s get started with the first step…

How to Download & Install Ruby

If you are using Windows you want to go to this site to download Ruby:

You want the recommended version, which at the time of this writing is Ruby+Devkit 2.4.4-2 (x64).

Just download & install it like any other program.

If no errors appear then you have Ruby installed on your computer!

Now to start writing your Ruby programs you will need to open a terminal.

To do that open the windows menu & type cmd.exe.

Then press enter.

It will look something like this:

At this point you should be able to type ruby -v inside this window & get the current version of Ruby printed in there.

Ruby Setup For Linux & Mac Users

If you are on Linux or MacOS then you probably already have Ruby installed.

You can confirm this by opening a terminal (search for “terminal” in your menu), then typing ruby -v.

This should print your Ruby version.

Like this:

ruby 2.4.1 (2017-03-22 revision 58053) [i686-linux]

If you don’t get a Ruby version then refer to this site for more details on how to install Ruby for your particular Linux version or Mac.

Let’s Write Some Code!

Now that you are set up, I want you to open irb.

This is a Ruby program that allows you to type Ruby code & see the results right away.

It’s a great way to practice & learn about Ruby.

To open irb you have to type the word irb inside that black terminal window I had you open before.

Press enter.

Then you should see something like this:


Start by typing this into irb:

5 + 5

Then press enter.

You’ll see the result of this operation.

“But I can do that with a calculator program!”

Of course.

The point of this is to get you used to typing inside the terminal window.

And you’re going to be using numbers a lot inside your Ruby programs:

  • As data (price, age, year, etc.)
  • To count things
  • To access information

Now it’s time to practice!

Try these math operations:

10 * 2
500 / 100
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5

Also I want you to close your terminal window, open it again, open irb & type more math.

Do that a few times so you’ll remember how to do it the next time.