Lessons and challenges to help me teach Ruby to some friends.
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Welcome to RubyKickstart!


RubyKickstart is an interactive guide to learning the Ruby programming language. By providing all of our notes and examples in real Ruby program files, you can see exactly how everything looks and works in the code itself.

How it works

RubyKickstart is downloaded onto your computer as a folder full of files and folders, which can be later updated from our github webpage using the git version control software. It consists of chapters, all which have common features:


Each chapter has a notes file, which is just a Ruby program that's heavily commented to walk through the material of that chapter. It's where you should start each time you open a new chapter.


Examples are full Ruby programs that demonstrate the material taught in the notes. You can run them on your own and modify them to experiment with the ideas they demonstrate.


Challenges are found in each chapter. They provide fun programming exercises for you to work through, in order to give you something to write with all of your new knowledge from the chapter. Challenges are taken from many different places. About half of them are taken from http://codingbat.com (if you would like to work through many small problems in Java or Python, this is a wonderful site, and gave me a lot of inspiration regarding how I wanted my challenges to work) several are taken from different books that I have enjoyed, including the third edition of Absolute Java by Walter Savitch, which is probably my favourite CS book, it was exceptionally well done, though would probably be boring for a more advanced programmer, and Learn to Program by Chris Pine, a book to teach programming to absolute beginners, using Ruby. I'm hoping to add some projecteuler.net problems into here they also helped me develop a knack for problem solving. And lastly, many are made up out of my head, or are taken from real world situations that I have found myself in.

**Solved & Specs **

Along with challenges, each chapter provides solutions to its challenges and a suite of automated tests you can use to test your solutions.


Although not part of the chapters, RubyKickstart has a number of cheatsheets which contain all the syntax for various topics. Some of the material in the cheatsheets is not covered in the notes or examples for chapters, so make sure you check out the cheatsheets before diving into the challenges.


  • 1
    • Introduction
    • Arithmetic
    • Logic
    • String
  • 2
    • Basic IO
    • Arrays
    • Basic Classes
  • 3
    • Symbols
    • Hashes
    • Blocks / Procs
    • Method Parameters
  • 4
    • Boolean Return Values
    • Introspection / Reflection
    • Ranges
    • Simle File IO
    • Singleton Methods
    • Inheritance
    • Modules
  • 5
    • Exceptions
    • Regular Expressions
    • Ruby gems
    • Sinatra
    • Heroku

What you'll need to use it

To use RubyKickstart, you'll need several tools:

  • Ruby the happy programming language :)
  • Rake version 0.8.7+ see if you have it by typing "gem list" at the command line, we use it to apply the tests
  • RSpec version 2.0+ currently we use this for testing
  • git lets you download our changes without overwriting your work. Good installation instructions at (http://help.github.com/git-installation-redirect)
  • A text editor Our Recommendations:
    • Windows: SciTE should come with the one click installer
    • Linux: SciTE also works great on linux :)
    • Mac: TextMate costs $50 but can be used by a beginner, and yet is powerful, has a community, and can be customized to meet your needs