I’ve tried almost all the free resources out there to learn Ruby on Rails and even some paid ones as well. In my honest opinion, free or paid, the quality has been the same. I’ve been greatly disappointed in the various paid resources I’ve tried (won’t name them here). Granted, it’s never been more than $50 per resource, but it leaves me weary as to whether or not I should spend more. We have a local class here made by developers in the area, charging a “discounted” rate of $650 (original $1,500) for 6 sessions of learning RoR. I was contemplating whether or not I should take it, but after speaking to someone who did, they suggested I put my money elsewhere. That’s why I haven’t pulled the trigger yet on Tea Leaf Academy or Bloc. The only promising paid resource I’ve found is Pragmatic Studio’s Rails courses. Even then, I haven’t found many recent reviews aside from what they post on their site. You’d think that if people are willing to spend $600+ on other resources that one costing $179 would have more reviews.
Bootcamps are popping up all over the country and the world. There are hundreds of them promising to make you a decent developer within 3-6 months. I’ve been doing a lot of research as to the effectiveness of these programs and it seems like the pedestal they were once on is crushing beneath their feet. Initially, I think companies were hiring these alum because it was a fresh, new approach to learning a technical skill. But, at least from what I’ve read, they’re now discovering that folks who come out of these bootcamps aren’t nearly skilled enough even for a junior developer role. I met a local person at a Meetup who graduated from DevBootcamp and they were still looking for a job after 2-3 months since being out of the program. Similar stories are cropping up all over the place, and I’m hoping more do. There is a misconception that spending $10,000+ for 3 months of work in a completely new field with one of the steepest learning curves will land you a job. Granted, bootcamps don’t guarantee you a job afterwards, but that’s often the hope. Why do you pay thousands of dollars to go to college? So you can get a decent job afterwards. Why do you pay to go to a developer bootcamp? Same answer: to get a job. If someone wanted to learn to code for fun, they buy a book or join the local Meetup.
My suggestion is this: learn as much Ruby on Rails on your own with the free/cheap resources. Don’t pay more than a few hundred dollars, TOTAL. If you must insist on spending thousands of dollars, find yourself a professional, senior level developer that’s local. I guarantee you that if you offered a senior level developer $10,000 to help you learn RoR, they would take you up on it. What you learn from a one-on-one, in-person lesson are a hundred times more valuable than a class setting with a generic approach. Not only that, but you gain a reference that you can use for your job applications.
I’m taking a slightly different approach now. I’m done with the this-tutorial-fits-all learning. I won’t say here, but I’ll give an update once I’ve had the time to assess whether or not this new approach works, or at the very least, give my experience.