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Railsbridge Post-workshop follow up

So you went to RailsBridge.. What Now?

You just had an awesome time at RailsBridge, your eyes are open to the awesome new realm of what can be accomplished with a bit of effort and a good attitude. But what do you do now that the workshop day is over? The end of a workshop isn't the end of your programming career, it's the start.

Often times, it is harder to decide where to go next, rather than whether to continue at all. There's tons to explore in greater detail than we have time to get to in a single day. Find something that interests you and dive into it!

I Really Want to Learn More About...



HTML & CSS (Web design and layout)


Mobile Application Development


Getting Help and Getting Social

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Internet Relay Chat, abbreviated IRC, is an instant messaging and chat room system that has been around for many years. It has gained a venerable position as the de-facto chatting tool and toy for many open source projects and communities, including Ruby.

Anyone can use the browser-based client from Freenode at

There are also desktop programs for IRC:

Anyone who uses Firefox can run ChatZilla

On Windows, try Pidgin

On Mac OS X, try Adium or Limechat

On Linux, try Pidgin, Kopete, or irssi.

There's a channel for nearly every facet of Ruby on Rails development, the best channels to find help are:

  • #railsbridge - The RailsBridge channel
  • #rails - The Ruby on Rails channel
  • #rmu - The Ruby Mendicant University channel
  • #ruby-lang - The Ruby programming language channel.

Feel free to ask questions there. If you are new to IRC you may want to read this guide to IRC etiquette.


Find the local Ruby meetup in your area, chances are they helped put together your local Railsbridge. In San Francisco, the SF Ruby hosts regular Hack Nights, as well as Hack Nights for beginners. There is also a new Women Who Code meetup in San Francisco.

Those of you in the South Bay Area, check out the Silicon Valley Ruby Meetup

The Ruby Reads

  • _why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

    • Covers the Ruby language and philosophy well.
    • Lighthearted and fun.
    • Assumes no programming experience.
    • Teaches many absolute beginner skills, some intermediate, some advanced.
  • Learn to Program

    • A ground-up book on programming which uses Ruby.
    • Assumes no programming experience.
    • Teaches beginning programming up through basic object oriented programming.
  • Programming Ruby 1.9 (Pickaxe)

    • Features a nearly exhaustive tour of Ruby.
    • Easy to dip in and use as a reference.
    • Assumes some familiarity with programming.
    • Teaches beginning through advanced Ruby topics.
  • Exceptional Ruby

    • Single subject book focused on error handling in Ruby.
    • Assumes intermediate Ruby experience.
    • Teaches advanced error handling in Ruby.
  • Eloquent Ruby

    • Assumes beginning Ruby experience.
    • Covers a breadth of Ruby topics in just enough detail.
    • Intermediate
  • Agile Web Development with Rails (4th Edition with Rails 3.1)

    • The ultimate primer on web development with Ruby on Rails.
    • Assumes basic HTML and CSS knowledge, beginning programming knowledge.
    • Covers beginning through advanced Ruby on Rails.
  • The Rails 3 Tutorial

    • Build a Twitter-like application while learning Ruby on Rails 3.
    • Assumes basic programming knowledge.
    • Covers building beginning to intermediate web applications in Rails.
  • The RSpec Book

    • A look at Behavior and Test Driven Development with RSpec and Cucumber
    • Assumes beginning Ruby knowledge.
    • Covers RSpec, Cucumber, behavior driven development and test driven development.
  • Sinatra Up and Running

    • Cover's Sinatra, Ruby on Rail's classy kid brother.
    • Assumes intermediate knowledge of Ruby and the Web
    • Covers web service and lightweight web application development.

The Next Level

After you've been enjoying Ruby for some time, you might find the following resources enjoyable.

  • Ruby5 A 5ish minute twice-weekly podcast on the latest Ruby news and new gems.

  • Ruby Inside A news site dedicated to the ruby community and development.

  • Ruby Rogues A weekly podcast which focuses on in-depth Ruby topics.

  • RubyConf The yearly Ruby Conference.

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