Never has learning how to build apps using Ruby on Rails been so much easier and a lot more fun than playing Code School’s Rails for Zombies (or R4Z). Created by Gregg Pollack, R4Z is a clever attempt on introducing newbies to using Ruby on Rails.
R4Z is an educational site with a twist. It teaches users how to build a small Twitter-like application in a series of steps (using Ruby on Rails, of course), all the while keeping with the whole zombie theme. Throughout the course you’ll learn some code and then type commands and functions into the widget to complete specific tasks. Example, you’re tasked to find a zombie with an id that equals 1 and then store it in a variable.
Although Gregg does point out that what you’ll learn through R4Z won’t be quite enough for you to build your own version of Twitter, it does however cover enough of the basics to put you in a better position to continue with more traditional learning techniques later. After all, the goal of R4Z is to make the learning process immediately accessible and fun.
And another caveat though, at least for some, is that the Rails syntax used in the course is slightly outdated (as of this writing, at least). R4Z is said to include a heavy use of the “hash rocket” syntax that has all but completely deprecated as of Ruby version 1.9. So that’s one more thing worth noting.
Anyway, it is nonetheless definitely worth a look if you’re new to Ruby on Rails and is looking for a refreshing way of learning a development language, especially if you like zombies.
Check out the ‘About’ video below. It will tell you everything you need to know about R4Z in just about three minutes.