I think Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional is a better first Ruby book than the venerable Pickaxe.
The previous statement is almost heresy in the Ruby community. Don’t get me wrong, you should own the Pickaxe. It’s a great book and certainly lives up to it’s description as “the definitive reference to Ruby”. However it’s much more of a reference book than an introduction to the language. And it’s huge - 864 pages.
Summary Rails Social Networking Sites walks you through the process of building a Web 2.0 social networking site (something like MySpace), called Rails Coders that includes the features you would expect in that sort of site:
User signup and management (based on restful_authentication) Content management Blogging (with web services) Markup languages like Textile and Liquid Mashups using Google Maps and Flickr photo management (attachment_fu and RMagick) Tagging This book is not, of course, about building social networking sites, though that does serve as the exercise in the book.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz :http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385512058?ie=UTF8&tag=approachingno-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0385512058
Geeks are, generally speaking, much better with technology than people - I’m no different. But the fact is your ability to build and maintain relationships with other people will take you farther in life than any technical skill you can acquire. For a lot of people, myself included, these are just not skills that come naturally.
I tend to read a lot. I’m one of those people who has four or five books in various states of being read at all times. I’m always interested in what other people are reading, so I thought I’d share the books that I’m currently reading, or have just finished:
Practices of an Agile Developer
I’m about 1/2 way done with this one. I like it so far, but I’ve liked every book from the Pragmatics that I’ve read.
Ship It! By Jared Richardson and William Gwaltney Jr.
Introduction Ship It! is a book about basics. It’s an education in the fundamental practices that are needed to develop software successfully. This is the stuff they don’t teach you in college. Ship It doesn’t espouse a particular methodology (such as Scrum or XP). Rather, it is a set of practices. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to adopt everything in an all-or-nothing fashin.