I am Java programmer and try to learn Ruby to add something on my resume. I have tried couple of books on Ruby but not getting into grove.. "Ruby in Practice" will help me jump start on Ruby so I can take on Rails quickly.
I'm also a Java programmer who has taken up learning Ruby. I found that a combination of books can be useful when learning a new paradigm like Ruby:
- The starter Book: IE. Programming Ruby The Pragmatic programmers Guide
- The project Book: IE. Practical Ruby Projects
- The recipe Book: IE. Ruby By Example, Ruby cookbook
The starter book will get you going, show you the fundamentals.
The project book will encourage growth in the language without overwhelming you.
The recipe book is for fine-tuning knowledge, and specific examples.
Frankly, there are a lot of great books on Ruby (and Rails) which are very affordable via Amazon.com (check used books). I'm not sure which class "Ruby in Practice" belongs in (starter/project/recipe/other), but a look at the TOC shows some subject areas not often covered in other text:
- Document processing and reporting
- Deployment and management (Capistrano?)
- Indexing and Searching
The thing that "jump-started" me on Ruby was it's approach (powerful, but stays out of your way), and the fact that Ruby and ROR effectively addresses some sore spots I've had with Java and scripting languages in the past.