As some of you may know, I’m the lead developer at Ninja Kiwi – a large children’s games website that gets more than 2 million visitors per week. 3 years ago we rebuilt the site with a programming language called Ruby, and a framework called Rails – known simply as Ruby on Rails.
When my talented co-developer left a few months ago to take on a new challenge I found myself needing to brush up on my Ruby on Rails skills as I took over components of the site that he had built. Thankfully I stumbled on an excellent video learning series that I can highly recommend, and so here goes my shout out to Mackenzie Child who has been working really hard this year creating excellent Ruby on Rails screencasts over at his site Unicasts.com.
Mackenzie has a great teaching style, he’s very personable and explains things well. There is a tonne of excellent free content, but Mackenzie has also setup a community site with discussion forum and a number of premium Rails learning videos for those who want to dive in deeper.
MacKenzie comes from a design background but has an obvious talent for coding as well. I can’t remember exactly where I read this on his site, but he explains that a Unicorn is someone skilled in both disciplines; coding and design – and hence the name Unicasts. Learning to be a Unicorn, how awesome is that!
I think one of the most compelling things about Mackenzies video tutorials is that he focuses on building real-world projects, and from start to finish. He doesn’t assume you’re going to hire a designer first and then learn how to do the coding, but takes you through the entire process of designing, coding and then launching your project.
Some examples of his previous, free screencasts are:
- How To Build a Recipe Box with Rails
- How To Build A Wikipedia Clone with Rails
- How To Build A Forum with Rails
- View the whole index of free screencasts here
In his premium video collection are more in depth videos that really get down to the nitty gritty and take you through the entire process. He’s also working on a new premium course specifically tailored to beginners who do not have experience with Ruby on Rails. I’ll update this post when that course becomes available as I anticipate it will be one of the best places to start learning Rails on online.
So make a coffee, tune in and learn some Rails 🙂 You won’t regret it.