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Posted October 5, 2010
A great balance of learning and experience
Beginning Rails 3 is a book that does a great job introducing an aspiring web developer to the world of Ruby on Rails, and the architecture conventions that Rails utilizes. The book is a good size, goes over the 'hows' and 'whys' of the basics, while creating a useful example project. I work as a Web Designer that is starting to branch into development, and I had some experience with earlier versions of Rails in a couple work environments, but never really caught on to the concept. This book helped clear quite a few things up. Previous "beginner" books I had read didn't explain fully enough, didn't flow well, or were written as what seemed like edited versions of more advanced books. The authors of Beginning Rails 3 do an excellent job of explaining each step. There is a good balance of code entry and explanation, and does not stray from the current topics. The instruction comes across at a decent personal level-as if the authors are there sitting at a table with you over a cup of coffee. Each chapter was also easy to retain in memory. There are also a couple of nice appendices, which give primers for Databases and the Ruby language itself. The project is a blog, which is quite relevant, and can be utilized once completed. Many Rails books in the past have dealt with projects or examples that are hard to build on once learned, such as a store (without anything to sell), or small examples that can't be built upon. I found the project itself to be a key benefit of this book, and plan on deploying for my own blog once I make a few modifications. I really enjoyed this book. Lately, it seems like beginner's books are a bit too dumbed down, or are written in an almost juvenile matter. This book was different, and had a very professional approach with true real-world exercises. I recommend this book for anyone who has some knowledge of the field, but needs a firm foundation for getting to the next step.
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