For myself and a few people I've mentored, Agile Web Development with Rails has yielded much better results. If they follow that up with Eloquent Ruby they will be golden and well ahead of their peers with similar experience.
This book single-handedly breeds the "I'm a Rails Programmer!" that write terribly awful Ruby code that we all know and hate.
I don't mean to discredit Michael's hard work. Writing and maintaining a book like this is a huge achievement that I'm probably not capable of. I also appreciate that his book is at least bringing people into the Rails ecosystem. I just can't recommend it over others.
0 - https://pragprog.com/book/rails4/agile-web-development-with-...
1 - http://www.amazon.com/Eloquent-Ruby-Addison-Wesley-Professio...
If you just want to learn some basics of Ruby without diving into an entire book, check out Ruby Monk. All of the tutorials are interactive:
After that, a great resource is http://railsforzombies.com/, and codeschool in general. It's a series of incredibly well made video presentations, which you are then tested on. Once/before you finish that, you should work on actually building an application, maybe following http://railstutorial.org/.
Once you have finished that, you are well on your way to proficiency, and probably have enough understanding of rails to build your application. Some great resources are http://guides.rubyonrails.org/index.html, http://www.codeschool.com/courses/rails-for-zombies-2, and http://api.rubyonrails.org/.
Once you have done that, you should have a pretty solid grounding in Ruby, Rails, and web development in general.
Why's Poignent Guide To Ruby
I found the RailsCasts invaluable. It's great to just see someone code stuff, instead of finished examples:
Read every one of the Rails guides:
I started reading Russ Olsen's Eloquent Ruby yesterday, which is absolutely awesome. I'm already half way trough. Wish he could rewrite every programming book I ever read.
It felt really daunting at first, because it seems there's so much new stuff to learn (Ruby, Rails, Passenger/Phusion, Gems, Capistrano, RVM, Rake, db migrations, etc etc). But hang in there. As I said, I started only a couple of weeks ago and already feel like I never want to go back.
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