Learn to build full-stack apps with Ruby on Rails

Ruby is loved for its English-like syntax and the superpowers developers feel when writing it. Ruby code will connect to databases, other applications on the internet, and generate HTML for web applications. It sits on the server and powers entire websites.

Ruby is used to develop entire sites like Hulu, Kickstarter, Airbnb and countless others. It’s also used by developers worldwide to automate and accomplish small tasks such as opening CSV and Excel files, emailing all of your contacts or generating HTML websites that can be hosted for free.


Ruby was created by Yukihiro Matsumoto (Matz) in 1993, with popularity exploding in 2005 with the release of Ruby on Rails. Ruby is an open source language, and in the last few years has been ported to run native mobile applications and run in high-performance mode on the JVM. The job market for Ruby developers has never been hotter as enterprises and larger organizations have adopted Ruby to accelerate their development.


Students take notes during the first week of class

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Here's what you'll learn

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to create website applications, process e-commerce payments securely, manage databases, create APIs, and connect to third party APIs (Spotify, Github, Twitter, Facebook, and Twilio) -- in general you’ll be able to solve programming tasks using Ruby, SQL, and JavaScript. Graduates publish their applications on the internet and create pleasing apps using Bootstrap and Material Design.

You’ll be well positioned to join an existing development team as a junior-level developer, build your own products, or enter the freelancing world and work for yourself.

Remember, though, just knowing punctuation doesn’t make you a great writer. In the same sense, just knowing Ruby doesn’t make you great at building apps; that’s the easy part of back-end development. The emphasis in our 12-week immersive courses is to teach you to think like an engineer. Programming is a lifelong study, and our goal is for you to learn how to learn so you remain highly valuable for the rest of your career.

Each instructor and class stays agile so that the curriculum can adapt as tools and languages evolve with demand in local markets, but we ensure that each student graduates with the same core back-end development skillset.


Students pay close attention during our lessons on freelancing

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Programming Fundamentals

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

    We’ll learn the history of HTML and how CSS and JavaScript fit into the modern development workflow. We’ll use advanced CSS frameworks to create applications that look pleasing stressing user experiences and responsive designs for mobile screens. Tools you may see: SASS, Bootstrap, Material Design, Bourbon

  • Ruby libraries (gems)

    We’ll cover libraries of open-source code that brings an amount of functionality into your Rails applications that borders on unbelievable. We’ll cover authentication, authorization, JSON APIs, automated testing, image processing, advanced forms, and more. Tools you may see: SimpleForm, Refile/Carrierwave, Payola, Capybara, and many, many more.

  • Databases

    Our back-end students can do a massive amount of database work, from querying, joining, and optimizing data to designing tables and relationships between data tables. Tools you may see: PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite

  • Ruby testing and compatibility

    If it ain’t broke, keep it that way! We’ll explore testing and how to ensure your projects work across devices and through updates. Tools you may see: MiniTest, RSpec

  • Ruby

    We’ll cover data manipulation, transformation, object oriented programming, and best practices for developing modern high performance Ruby systems.

  • Ruby on Rails

    We’ll dive deep the most popular and influential web framework. We cover Models, Views, and Controllers, from the Router down to the database and up again to HTML. We’ll be able to publish JSON APIs that power JavaScript applications and Mobile Apps.

  • JavaScript basics

    We cover the industry standard heavy hitters for DOM manipulation and AJAX integration. Tools you may see: jQuery, Underscore, React

Tools & Teamwork

  • Agency week

    We work together as a team and become an agency to develop a working Minimal Viable Product for a fictitious client. You’ll work in teams putting in practice the Agile Web Development tools you’ve learned about. Tools you may see: MVP, Git feature branches, pair programming

  • Version control

    Master version control for personal and team workflows. All of your code will live online from day one. Tools you may see: Git, Github

  • Back-end tools

    We use build tools and package managers to speed up your development process and collaborate more consistently. Tools you may see: Bundler, Sinatra, TravisCI, GitHub, Heroku

Beyond the Terminal

  • Learn from the pros

    Guest speakers and more! Our students get real world exposure early and often during class.

  • Getting hired

    We do mock interviews, resume writing and portfolio building. Grads have weekly meetings with our team to help find exciting jobs and projects.

  • Freelance fundamentals

    Seasoned contractors show you how to find good work, write contracts, set expectations, price well and communicate with clients.


Is this right for you?

Before we get into specifics, we need to let you know that this class is going to be very challenging. The material gets really hard, really fast. All of the work is very do-able, but if you think you’re going to develop professional level skills in a cushy 40 hour week, this isn’t the place for you. (The average student puts in about 60 hours per week, minimum). We don’t require you to know code to start with, but you need to have tried it and enjoyed it. If that’s you, go ahead and apply now. If not, try a few exercises to see.

We’re family people, so our goal is for you to work as hard as possible in class so you can find joy in a great job, freelance work, or starting your own company when you’re done. We’re proud of all of the different types of people who have come through The Iron Yard, and we don’t have stereotypes of what a programmer is like. We’ve taught students from 18 to 50 years old, from different countries and all sorts of backgrounds.

Ruby on Rails brings a set of technologies together to enable modern website application development. Graduates learn the entire development stack from Databases to JavaScript. Here’s an overview of the skills our students learn in our Back-End Engineering courses:

• Build fast, production-quality web applications
• Dive deep into Ruby objects and style
• Enable interactive experienced with JavaScript
• Craft test suites, continuous deployment, and continuous delivery strategies
• Setup, query, and optimize database SQL strategies
• Connect to third party API endpoints
• Most importantly, learn how to learn

How much does it cost?

You can read about tuition, financing and scholarships on our Tuition Page. We offer great financing options, have significant discounts for enlisted military personnel/veterans, and sponsor a Women in Tech Scholarship.

What we look for:

  • Hard Worker

    Like we said above, this won’t be a walk in the park. Prepare for a rigorous course.

  • Self Motivated

    If you need to be micro-managed, this isn’t the place for you.

  • Works Well With Others

    You’ll be assigned to groups for projects, and each person’s role will be crucial.

  • Interested in Learning

    Even if you know basics (or more), you might have to unlearn some things. We’ll start from the ground up as a team, and there won’t be room for egos.

  • Ready to Have Fun

    We work hard, play hard, and laugh every single day. We do the best work we possibly can, but we make sure not to take ourselves too seriously.

Curious about Ruby
See if Ruby is the right language for you. Try writing some code right now!


Let's talk.

Whether you're thinking about starting a new career, interested in learning more about our programs for individuals or businesses, or just want to chat, we're here and we'd love to connect with you. Shoot us an email or your phone number and we'll get back to you soon, or you can chat with us right away using the chat icon below.

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You've made it this far down the page! If you're hungry for info, here's even more:

Learn Ruby on Rails with our 12-week course

Our Ruby on Rails course will not only teach you the basics of Ruby on Rails, but will teach you to think like a Ruby engineer. Students will learn Ruby on Rails and solve programming tasks using Ruby, SQL and JavaScript. Graduates will be well-positioned to join an existing development team, build their own products, or enter the freelancing world.

Remember: learning Ruby on Rails doesn’t make you great at building apps; that’s the easy part of back-end development. The emphasis in our 12-week immersive Ruby on Rails course is to teach you to think like an engineer. Programming is a lifelong study, and our goal is for you to learn how to learn so you remain highly valuable for the rest of your career.