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Rails for Zombies: Getting started with Rails

If you're into programming, you've undoubtedly heard of Ruby on Rails.

Ruby on Rails - or only Rails - is an open-source web framework written in Ruby programming language. Rails includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.

Are you interested in getting started with Ruby on Rails?

So, Rails for Zombies is here to help. Follow this article to the end, and learn all about this online tutorial.

What is Rails for Zombies?

On November 18, 2010, Gregg Pollack (a Ruby enthusiast, programmer, and teacher) and the Envy Labs team (a company that plans and implements custom web applications) launched an online tutorial called Rails for Zombies.

The original purpose of the site was to teach Rails in an easy and fun way. They presented the lessons in the form of screencasts - recordings of the screen with narrations. The coding was taught directly in the web browser (without any setup or configuration). This format provided an interactive learning experience, which helped the tutorial to become very popular.

Gregg organized the course in individual lessons. After each one, students should complete a list of exercises to access the next class. The interactive format of Rails for Zombies captures the student's attention, instead of just being a boring reading material.

The free tutorial became a course on Code School (an e-learning platform built by Gregg Pollack). Then, Code School was acquired by Pluralsight, which kept the course in its catalog.

Code School: Rails for Zombies - Course Overview

Rails for Zombies is an online course built for beginners. In this course taught by Gregg Pollack, students will study the basics of Ruby on Rails, and master concepts such as models, views, and controllers.

How long does it take to complete Rails for Zombies?

Rails for Zombies is a 1-hour long self-paced course offered by Pluralsight. You'll find five short lessons (or levels as they call it) as follows:

Level 1: Deep in the CRUD (10 min)

You'll build a web application "somewhat like Twitter, except it's going to be Twitter for Zombies.".

Level 2: Models taste like chicken (10 min)

You'll learn about models and how your Rails application communicates with a data structure.

Level 3: The views ain't always pretty (15 min)

You'll learn about the visual representation of the application, meaning what users see (user interface).

Level 4: Controllers must be eaten (16 min)

You'll learn about the "brains" that control Models & Views.

Level 5: Routing into darkness (10 min)

You'll learn to define Routes, "creating what we like to call Restful resource.".

How much does it cost to take Rails for Zombies course?

Pluralsight offers a 10-day free trial. With this option, you can complete Rails for Zombies for free.

If you're interested in deepening your programming skills, you can sign up for their subscription plan (which gives you access to Pluralsight's complete catalog of courses) or you can find more options using Classpert (a search and comparison site for online courses).

Before we jump into the conclusion of this article here is a random insertion, the jingle of Rails for Zombies:


Rails for Zombies covers enough of the basics to put you in a better position to continue with more learning techniques later.

This course might be a showcase of some of the Rails’ best features and will get you excited and engaged. But to master the framework, it is a bit more complicated and time-consuming. You’ll need more resources!

If it is your very first experience with Rails, then it is an excellent choice.

Felipe Bernardes
I am an economist responsible for Marketing and SEO strategies at Classpert. I usually write about entrepreneurship, e-learning platforms, marketing, SEO, stock trading, and related subjects.