How Long Does It Take to Learn Ruby?

Ruby is an easy to learn programming language that is both simple and productive. The easy to understand language is a great place for beginners to start with companies such as Twitter and Soundcloud, both having started their platforms with Ruby, but how long does it take to learn it?


On average, it will take you about one month to learn the Ruby programming language. However, the timeline will vary based on your prior programming knowledge, how you learn it, how much time you need to practice it, and how skilled you wish to become. 


Whether you have no prior programming language experience or a seasoned programmer, learning the basics of Ruby and using it to build something in a month is a reasonable goal. Below you can find out how long it will take you in terms of how much knowledge you start with, how you choose to learn it, and how much time you need to spend practicing. 

How Much Time Does It Take to Learn Ruby?

There are many people out there who rave about how quickly they can learn the Ruby programming language. As well as how fast they learned it, be it over a weekend or on a train ride. 


Nonetheless, the time it takes will be different for everyone. In order to learn Ruby, you will have to understand how to read the language itself, what object-oriented programming is, how to control flow, the loops and iterators, arrays and hashes, and much more. 


Depending on how much coding you have done in the past, you can most likely learn Ruby in less than the estimated time span of one month. 

Prior Programming Knowledge

If you have written coding before, in any language, it is a given that being able to pick up Ruby will be much easier for you. By having prior programming knowledge, you will be able to skim through the basic concepts much faster than someone who has never programmed code before and learns Ruby much faster. 


With that said, practicing the Ruby language will also come more naturally to you as you will be more aware of what needs to be written in order to produce a certain outcome. 


Having prior knowledge will not only allow you to pick up the basics a lot easier but also benefit you in how fast you will understand Ruby and be able to utilize it as you will already have a general understanding of object-oriented programming, which refers to the way data is organized within the software so the program can read it. 


If you have programming knowledge, you will pick up on the concepts much easier, and depending on the other factors; you can cut the time it takes you to learn Ruby by a lot.

How You Choose to Learn Ruby

There are many websites, courses, videos, and learning tools at your disposal for you to learn the Ruby programming language. While some dig deeper into more complex concepts, there are others that can show you more in-depth practices or tips and tricks. 


Depending on how you choose to learn the Ruby programming language will differentiate how long it takes you to learn what is being taught. The extent of your knowledge of Ruby will also differ depending on what was taught and how much you practiced. 


For the most part, however, based on the courses below, this is how long it should take to complete the courses for beginners: 


  • – They offer a course with 100 lessons outlining the basics of the Ruby programming language. You can complete this course in 10 hours. 
  • – This is an interactive Ruby tutorial teaching you basic concepts to understand the Ruby language. With 11 interactive modules, this course should take you approximately 10 hours. 
  •—Ruby on Rails – If you are looking to learn as much as possible about coding, using the Ruby language, and then further using Ruby on Rails (a server-side web application written in Ruby), this course has it all. In this 32 hour course, you will learn enough to use Ruby in a full-time programming job. 
  • Learn to Program 2nd Edition by Chris Pine – This book was made for beginners looking to learn how to program and understand the basics of the Ruby programming language. At only 194 pages, this book could be read in under 1 day. 
  • Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional by Peter Cooper – This book would be a good follow up book to read after the previous as it will give you all the information you need to become more skilled with Ruby. At 620 pages, this book will take about 6-7 hours to read and fully understand. 


Remember, this is just one factor in how long it will take you to learn Ruby. 


This will be the first step in your journey to learning the language. Taking into consideration other factors such as practice and the amount of knowledge you want to obtain will either increase or decrease the time it takes you to finish learning the Ruby programming language. 

Time Spent Learning & Practicing

Considering both the fact that we all learn at different paces and the fact that those with more programming experience will most likely need less practice, the amount of time spent practicing will be different for everyone. 

With No Prior Programming Knowledge

As a beginner, you should dedicate a few hours every week to understanding, practicing, and exploring different ways the Ruby language is used. 


If you have no programming knowledge, you should expect that you will need a little more practice and will need to spend more time so you can fully understand object-oriented programming.


However, even as a beginner with no prior knowledge, you can learn anything you work hard at in a decent amount of time. 


Josh Kaufman, Business Coach, and Best-Selling Author, say that to learn anything from a level of knowing nothing to be fairly good at it; you only need 20 hours of practice. This is equivalent to 45 minutes a day or 5 hours a week for one month. 

With Prior Programming Knowledge 

Just as those who already speak multiple languages will pick up new languages much faster, the same goes for programming languages. 


If you already know a decent amount about programming, you can expect to pick up Ruby in about half the time as someone who started out with knowing nothing. 


This is also with consideration to the fact that Ruby isn’t an extremely difficult language to learn. 

How Skilled You Want to Become

With consideration to the second factor, you may only learn the basics and get a general understanding of the Ruby programming language. If this is the case, you can learn this language in a much faster time. 


If you choose to become a professional or expert, you can expect the time of both learning and practicing to only increase from there, especially if you want to build something substantial.

Final Thoughts

If you have never done any coding or used a programming language before, taking a course, spending around 20 hours practicing, and being consistent with your learning can lead to you knowing enough about the Ruby programming language to create something substantial. 


If you spend less time per week, you can expect the time it takes to learn Ruby to stretch, and if you have prior programming knowledge, you can expect the time frame to be shorter. Overall, however, one month is a reasonable timeline to learn and gain a general understanding of Ruby. 

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