Agile web development with Rails 5 Book Revew

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Note: a new version of the book, covering rails 5.1 is out (you can find it here. This review refers to the edition about rails 5.0.

Agile Web development with Rails 5 is a book written by Sam Ruby and published by The Pragmatic Bookshelf in 2016.

Structure of the book

The book is divided into three parts:

  • part 1 covers the installation process and the basics of Ruby and rails.
  • part 2 covers the process of building a sample application
  • part 3 goes more in depth on all the parts of the rails framework.

Part 1: get to know each other

In part 1 you will install rails together and cover the basics of how Ruby works. Not much to say here, if you ever installed a rails app before you can skip this part.

Part 2: let’s build it

In part 2 you will build a store application, covering concepts such as testing, table inheritance, routing and all those basics things you will encounter when building an application .

The book will guide you to build something using what rails provides:

  • you will use SQLite and not MySQL or PostgreSQL for example
  • no RSpec, only minitest
  • no Devise

If you are just starting out I think this is the best way to learn, without relying too much on gems.

I would have appreciated more a section that would go more in depth on gems, rather than a brief chapter in part 3.

Part 3: digging deeper

In part 3 you will put aside our application and focus on each individual component of rails: model, controllers active record, action record. Most tutorials online will tell you how to build individual features but if you really want to become a proficient rails developer You need to know how the framework functions and this part has you covered.

As I previously mentioned, I would have appreciated a more in depth part about gems with more tips for beginners instead the book only briefly covered active merchant, haml and kaminari.

Conclusion: it worth it ?

The answer is yes, the book is very solid and will cover most of your need if you are just starting out with rails. Part 3 can be hard but it’s something that most tutorials won’t teach you so it’s definitely worth your time.

You can buy the book here

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