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The Well-Grounded Rubyist

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  673 ratings  ·  63 reviews
The Well-Grounded Rubyist takes you from interested novice to proficient practitioner. It's a beautifully written tutorial that begins with the basic steps to get your first Ruby program up and running and goes on to explore sophisticated topics like callable objects, reflection, and threading. Whether the topic is simple or tough, the book's easy-to-follow examples and ex ...more
Paperback, 520 pages
Published June 4th 2009 by Manning Publications (first published December 15th 2008)
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Louise
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was suggested to me by someone as a helpful book for someone new to the language but not new to programming in general. I found this more helpful than the Pickaxe book because it's concise with examples while being detailed in the why's, when's and how's of things, which is something I'm more interested in when learning a new language.

It's an excellent companion to the Pickaxe book since it gives a different voice and perspective on the subject. I mainly read The Well-Grounded Rubyist and t
...more
Michael
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ruby, programming
If you are new to Ruby, this may very well be the book you are looking for, since the author was really serious about the well-grounded in the title. Together the first six chapters form Part 1, aptly called Ruby Foundations. Here youll learn about objects, modules, classes, self and control-flow techniques. Although this part may not be the most interesting for more experienced Rubyists, its certainly well-written and manages to present a lot of very fundamental Ruby right at the beginning. Tru ...more
Alexander Makarenko
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I started learning Ruby about a year ago, having no previous programming experience. I began with Chris Pine's "Learn to Program", and then tried Michael Hartl's "Ruby on Rails Tutorial". At the time I found the latter too challenging, and instead decided to pick up another Ruby book, which was the first edition of The Well-Grounded Rubyist. It was very helpful and gave me a much firmer understanding of the Ruby language and OOP concepts as a whole. After finishing The Well-Grounded Rubyist, I w ...more
Gonzalo Fernández-Victorio
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: it, 2017
It's an advanced book. If you've worked with Ruby before but want to really learn the language, this would be the book. It is not a beginners's book: for example explaining some kind of objects, it would start explaining how to create them, not why they are needed first.
But if you have some experience, there will be plenty of "that's why everybody does X instead of Y". You really start understanding the language
Burak Dede
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Only read the first part of the book about 200 pages at safaribooks and can not finish the next parts. Overall its a really good book for people who have experience in other programming languages, Book teaches a new version of ruby with new features so it's a plus but I expected the examples a little more sophisticated.

[UPDATED] (read the latest edition of the book) Finished the book and I think this is the best you can get for learning ruby. Interestingly there is not much high-quality book abo
...more
Michael Koltsov
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ruby (along with Python and Javascript) is a kind of a language that allows you to use it without dropping a sweat to study it. That's what has happened to me. I've been using Ruby for a while, but haven't read anything but blog posts about it.

This book gave me a good momentum to start using some of the Ruby features I (i.e. Fibers ) that I was  completely unaware before, though the amount of input it provides is not overwhelming which helps you to digest this book over a weekend.

That's a good s
...more
Gene
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
A very comprehensive book on Ruby, one that makes a good on embracing the masses, from novice (like me) to veteran programmers. One of the things I don't much care for in this book is the manner in which an explanation of certain subjects like objects and classes is lost in confusion, double-backing and switchery. For example, the story of grandpa's older brother, here the story is intentionally overcomplicated and confused to illustrate the complexity of Ruby. Poorly, I might add. Even still, I ...more
David Rissato Cruz
This book is exactly what I was looking for. It gives you a in-depth introduction to Ruby language, assuming that you are already a programmer and that you really want to understand what is going on.
I don't know if I would recommend it to someone who has no other language experience, but I would blindly recommend it to you if you already know some other language and want to understand how Ruby works.
Jean Tessier
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: software
The ultimate reference for Ruby is still The Pickaxe, but it can be a little dry. The Well-Grounded Rubyist does a great job of walking the reader though all the parts of the language, pointing out tricky areas along the way. It is very pragmatic and, well, grounded.

One nitpick is that at one point, the authors don't lean hard enough on the "is a" relationship to decide whether to use inheritance or mix-in. These two composition methods are more than just about how an object locates its method,
...more
Todd O'Bryan
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: computer-books
Ruby's a complicated language and this book does a good job of explaining its intricacies.

My one gripe, and it's minor, is that the book often pulls in constructs and ideas it hasn't talked about yet because it's convenient, so they're talking about a new thing and then you have to keep that new thing and some other new thing straight at the same time. There are lots of co-dependencies in Ruby, so I'm not sure I could do better, but it kept me from giving it a 5.
Tiffany
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
Finally finished this! Only took me three and a half years. ;) Even though the version of Ruby that it covers is no longer current, most of the concepts remain present in the current version. I learned Ruby on the fly, so had some gaps in my knowledge and my vocabulary. This did a great job of filling in those blanks and giving background into the whys.
Avraam Mavridis
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is a great book, it doesn't give a superficial introduction as most of the books out there, but it really explains in detail how the various language concepts work.

Finding methods dynamically, inheritance, mix/multi inheritance, lambdas, procs, singleton methods etc, are presented very well.
Henry Ho
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Lots of info, a lot of which didn't seem necessary. Hard to follow, explanations oftentimes felt wordy and examples convoluted. It did give me a better understanding of the inner workings of Ruby and it's standard library.
Toni Dezman
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Ruby books I have read. You will get most out of this book if you are beginner or mid level developer. Even if you are seasoned developer I think you will find few things that you probably didn't know.
William Huang
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very easy read that provides some in depth knowledge on the inner workings of Ruby. This book is a perfect book for those who have worked with ruby for a little and want to understand exactly what is happening under the hood when they are programming.
Joseph Callaars
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book providing all the ins and outs on Ruby. Can really recommend.
Matias
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good way of looking Ruby under a microscope but in a practical way.
Justin
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nice and thorough
Hussaya
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: programming
This book is so boring. It is not a good tutorial book but more like a reference book.
John Alan
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Superb grounding in ruby.

I've played around a little with Ruby in the past but never quite managed to take the next few steps and get a deeper understanding of things. This is why I picked up this book when I decided to give Ruby another go.

The Well Grounded Rubyist sets out to give you a good grounding in Ruby, and it doesn't let you down.

It isn't just a simple primer to the language - you really get a deeper feeling for Ruby.

On reading the book you'll start to appreciate why Ruby is as it is a
...more
Eric Brooke
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a good book but tough to read from cover to cover. I have learnt a large amount about Ruby from reading this book. Whilst the style is conversational the chapters builds upon its self, making it less of a reference book and more of read from chapter 1 to 15.

I read this as a junior rails developer, but knowing several object orientated languages. The explanations are good, but occasionally uses meta language with out explaining them. It also compares different "methods" talking through t
...more
Ted Roche
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was a "technical reviewer" for this book prior to publication, and have a blurb on the back cover, "Provides powerful insights and digs into Ruby's quirks. Revelatory."

The book is an in-depth exploration of how Ruby is put together: the commands, functions, core objects and runtime engine that make the language work. As such, it is neither a reference nor a beginner's tutorial to the language. For day-to-day practitioners who want a deeper insight into how to make the most of the l
...more
Richard
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm not really sure what the point of this book is. It's kind of a tutorial, but it assumes you already know another language, so it's not for beginners. It's been a long time since I read Programming Ruby (the standard Ruby book), so I'm not sure how this compares, but it seems to fill the same niche - part tutorial, part reference - and since the standard book already exists I'm not sure why you would buy both.

I found the chapter on Ruby's object system very confusing. Whether this is the faul
...more
Mike
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: development
As a person who writes code, but not much Ruby code, I found this book to be an excellent overview of Ruby — both for how to Ruby and also for something of the essential style of Ruby. It is a small, dignified, and almost ritualistic language .... while reading about it I was reminded of the Hopi Indians as they were portrayed by Baby Boomer anthropologists back when that generation was still young.

Speaking of generational change, I like how the mature dynamically-compiled languages of today hav
...more
Pablo Silva
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
My first impressions when I started reading this book as a not so beginner level ruby programmer were: well I think this book is too low level for me but, as I took a look to the other chapters, I knew I had to read it until the end. Definitely this book focus on Ruby concepts for those who are initials with the language because the most part of it try to teach basic elements together with some concepts of object oriented (OO) programming as expected once ruby is an OO language.
For me was a cha
...more
Nick
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a little bit for me to get used to the writing style. Nonetheless this is a great book and reference. After reading (and coding with) Learn to Program by Chris Pine, this is your best bet for beginning Rubyists.

As with any programming book, this text is not made to be just read passively - you must code along with the examples to gain a true understanding.

A good companion to this book are the Neo Ruby Koans- little incremental exercises that probe the quirks surrounding Ruby. http://rub
...more
Scott Parker
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Well-Grounded Rubyist is one of my all-time favorite programming books. I normally loathe books focused on learning the particulars of a programming language, instead preferring blogs and experimentation. Well-Grounded Rubyist is a huge exception, though. The book is aimed at experienced programmers new to Ruby, and thoughtfully walks you through the features of the language. I read the book twice cover to cover, and have given several copies to programmers looking to learn Ruby. The informa ...more
Preston Lee
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Well-Grounded Rubyist is a well-organized, 3-part Ruby reference covering everything from beginning programmer concepts to advanced dynamic concepts generally only found in framework and library code. This edition--based on the Ruby v1.9 interpreter--is most definitely worthy being the office reference book for language-level learning. (Note that this book focuses on the Ruby language itself and NOT frameworks such as Rails.)

For those new to both Ruby and programming: definitely, though part
...more
Brian
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
I read the first half based on a recommendation, but it was really much too elementary for me. In the preface the author mentions the book was born from the success of his earlier work, "Ruby for Rails". I think the link is strong--the book is a simpler, less comprehensive version of "Programming Ruby" ("the pickaxe book"), almost as if for readers from a RoR background who wanted to spend as little effort on Ruby itself as possible. I would definitely recommend the pickaxe book, a canonical tex ...more
Dustin Walker
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book that covers the basics of the Ruby programming language. The author uses clear language and metaphors to illustrate the inner workings of Ruby. For somebody who already understands the basics of data structures and algorithms, this book is a quality introduction to Ruby. At the same time, this book is probably not suitable for people without any programming experience.
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