Ruby Screencasts Idea

Some of you might remember that I tweeted about Ruby screencasts a month or so ago… well the idea is still alive and well!

In fact we had such a great response that several ideas emerged which different teams are now pursuing.

I can’t speak for anyone of the other teams, but here are my thoughts on the idea I’ve been working on personally. Once the branding is done, and I’ve come up with an editorial style, I think we’ll be ready to do some sort of screening for anyone who wants to join the presenting team.

In short, this idea is something like but for Ruby, and with a twist! Here are some more detailed thoughts:

  • We’ll focus on client-side/isomorphic Ruby to begin with (so Opal & Volt etc). (Just like did with Angular.)
  • We’ll then explore other new Ruby tech such as Lotus, Cuba, etc.
  • We’re leaving the brand name open in case we want to move into non-Ruby stuff later (though we don’t have any plans to do that.)
  • We may do some training courses on tech or frameworks, again like Opal & Volt. (If we do, our approach here will also differ from what’s currently out there.)
  • We won’t really be aiming to cover general Ruby or Rails as these topics already have great resources (such as Railscasts, GoRails, RubyTapas, CodeSchool etc) but may do if there is a demand.

I would personally like to cover the topics that interest me most - right now that is Opal, Volt and other cutting edge (or highly performant) Ruby tech.

I hope people will like our screencasts because…

  • They’ll (hopefully) be of a high standard, short and concise.
  • Free or really cheap (or subsidised by sponsors).
  • All profits (after we pay presenters/staff/expenses etc) will go to tech projects.

I think we have come up with a really strong and memorable brand which perfectly reflects both our topic (cutting edge Ruby) and the project itself - I can’t wait to share it with you all! (Unfortunately it’s not quite ready yet.)

Well, what do you think? Would this be of interest to you? Would you be interested in joining the presenting team? (What topics would you like to cover?).

Any other thoughts or feedback also appreciated - and if any of the other teams want to join in (or post up threads about their ideas) that’s cool too :slight_smile:


I agree… It can level up Ruby Skills for beginer like me. And i hope it will be held as soon as possible. Good Luck.

1 Like

Sounds like you have a clear plan for this AJ. Personally, I’d be interested in both providing and consuming podcasts. For starters, I’d love to learn more about Opal/Volt. Also, I could do podcasts on Semantic Data extraction and tagging with Ruby (as per my sitepoint articles) and maybe even something about Cuba (I’m playing with it right now)

1 Like

I’m a fairly new dev who primarily does Ruby, and I’d really like to see materials that help people primarily trained in Ruby (aka, spoiled by a lot of Ruby’s sugar) to reach out into deeper areas of CS and especially to step away from Rails. I know several Rails devs who have been doing it for years but feel terrified/unqualified to ever do anything else because moving on can be difficult since they tend to barely know Ruby itself and only the Rails DSL.

Basically, beginner-friendly materials that a) explain some of what Ruby does under the hood and b) apply CS principles to enrich our Ruby experience.

Also, keeping them short is a must; I love learning and studying but I can’t stand it when videos are longer than 15-20 minutes. ADD and all.


I fully concur with this. I know and have worked with lots of people in the same position.

1 Like

Really? I had no idea that there were people out there using Rails professionally without knowing much Ruby.

I did think about doing a course in Ruby - from the ground up. Is that the sort of thing you mean? Or do you mean like going from Rails to other frameworks like Sinatra or Lotus, or Cuba, etc?

The great thing about Ruby, is that we have some really well written books. Design Patterns in Ruby is a must imo. Though, a think perhaps something in-between, of when one might apply such patterns in terms of things like Rails could be handy.

I do actually really like the idea of helping Ruby newbies because there’a not much else out there for them at present (screencast wise).

1 Like

yes, pretty much. My opinion for the best way of getting someone into Rails would be :

  1. Basic Ruby, including some meta-programming
  2. SInatra (or Padrino or Cuba) with db and view support, i.e. full-stack
  3. Rails

My reasoning is that it’s much easier to be productive with Rails if you appreciate how it works (i.e. know Ruby) and what extras it gives you for full-stack compared with hand-crafted Sinatra/etc.

1 Like

I really need to look more closely into Sinatra and some of the other frameworks - part of the reason of wanting to cover them in these screencasts as it would force me to. (I’m especially keen to look at the newer ones such as Lotus and Cuba.)

1 Like

I’m currently playing with Cuba and Lotus is on my to-learn list (which keeps getting longer). I already have experience with Sinatra and I must say I love it. It’s simplicity is almost a work of art. Knowing Sinatra makes me appreciate what Rails gives me out of the box but it also makes me aware of how bloated and opinionated Rails is.

1 Like

@AstonJ @RedFred7

I think Sinatra BEFORE Rails is very sensible. Rails is a hell of a lot more than just a web-building tool; utilizing it well should necessitate understanding of HTTP, REST, web security, web servers, and a lot more. Sinatra is extremely slim and light so it’s a good place to use as a sandbox for understanding how dynamic web sites are built. Rails is so heavy, it’s easy to learn Rails instead of web development.

That said, I don’t think you want to cover territory that’s been done already; we don’t need another set of RailsCasts out there. Focusing on the Ruby aspect of it all is probably more along the lines of what you want to do, from what I am guessing. But since Ruby is so big for webstuff, especially hitting on some of the isomorphic Ruby stuff would be super cool. @ybur_yug is real knowledgable about Volt from what I remember, so he might be able to help get some materials together, and I’m definitely interested in learning more about that stuff.


What kind of apps would you use Sinatra for?

Yeah, I’m definitely up for basic Ruby and introductory stuff.

I really like the idea of doing courses to get people quickly familiar and up to speed on frameworks and tech, like Opal, Volt, Cuba, Lotus, etc partly because exploring this new Ruby tech is of huge interest to me :slight_smile: and I think this is what would encourage our presenters do too - cover stuff that they’re really interested in.

1 Like

SInatra is ideal for REST APIs but you can build anything you like, given the time and effort. I’m currently building a full-blown site for an agile method I’m promoting ( It’s full-stack and could have been probably done quicker with Rails but I enjoy the Sinatra way TBH :smiley:

Also you could look at Roda, which is a fork of cuba. :slight_smile: