One of the complaints about Ruby on Rails that I hear most often is its complexity, despite all the video tutorials showing how easy it is to build a simple application in 5 minutes. In reality, Rails was a huge paradigm shift for web application development and even with its complexity it’s a great platform.

I’ve spent the better part of the last 6 years writing applications using Ruby on Rails and people often ask me for my perspective on how to bootstrap an application and best practices for using Rails. I also see a lot of people getting lost in the noise of scaffolding and complicated tutorials.

That’s why I decided to write an example application using Ruby on Rails 3.1. The application is on Github to make it easy to get to, and takes advantage of source code control features like branches so you can follow along as the application gains functionality.

I hope you enjoy this self-guided tutorial for Ruby on Rails 3.1.