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Course of the week | Ruby for Beginners

Ruby for Beginners

The Ruby for Beginners Course teaches this dynamic, open source programming language. Ruby is a cross-platform, object-oriented programming language available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Unix, and many other operating systems, and is ideally suited to the development interactive applications and games. Ruby views everything it encounters and interacts with as an object and is an interpreted language, which means it is executed by an interpreter at run-time, allowing you to make changes to your Ruby scripts and then immediately run them without having to go through a compilation process, like so many other programming languages.

Ruby has an easy-to-understand syntax, which makes it a perfect beginners’ language and, using proven learn-by-example techniques, we take you step-by-step through the language by introducing you to a number of interesting games, such as the “guess the number” and hangman games, building on your knowledge progressively to produce more complex games, like the Hungry Caterpillar and Galaxy War games, and cumulating with the difficult-to-master Twelve puzzle game and the scintillating Escape platform game, which includes brilliant graphics, music, sound effects, and great animation.

We start by demonstrating how to install the Windows version of Ruby and we progress slowly but surely by writing small programs that demonstrate each new concept or technique, moving on to more advanced programs usually in the form of an interesting game.

The Ruby interpreter, together with the Gosu graphical gaming library and the Chipmunk physics engine, are available completely free of charge for all major platforms, and can be freely distributed.

The Ruby for Beginners course consists of the following Lessons:

  • Lesson 1 – Getting Started

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Introduction to Ruby; Understanding Variables; Working with Strings; Performing Arithmetic; Logical Operations; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 1 – The Trivia Program.

  • Lesson 2 – Looping & Branching

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Conditional Statements; Loop Statements; Guess the Number Game; The Anagram Game; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 2 – Guess The Word Game.

  • Lesson 3 – Arrays and Hashes

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Introducing Arrays; Working with Arrays; Nested Arrays; Working with Hashes; The Hangman Game; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 3 – The Anagram Game with Clues.

  • Lesson 4 – Working with Methods

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Creating Methods; Parameters & Returns; Variables in Methods; The Noughts & Crosses Game (1); The Noughts & Crosses Game (2); Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 4 – Updating the Hangman Game.

  • Lesson 5 – Ruby Files and Folders

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Directory & File Methods; Working with Text Files; Handling Exceptions; The Sports Quiz; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 5 – Build Your Own Quiz.

  • Lesson 6 – Ruby Objects

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Classes, Methods, & Objects; Initializing Objects & Attributes; Special Class Methods; The Hungry Caterpillar Game; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 6 – Create A Television Object.

  • Lesson 7 – Object-Orientated Programming

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Creating Multiple Classes; Inheritance; Changing Inherited Methods; Creating Modules; The Rock, Paper, Scissors Game; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 7 – The Highest Card Game.

  • Lesson 8 – Ruby GUI Programming

The following topics are covered: Introduction; Creating A Graphics Window; Inserting Text & Images; Keyboard & Mouse Input; Simple Animation Techniques; The “Bash The Ruby” Game; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 8 – The “Hit The Square” Game.

  • Lesson 9 – Game Development Techniques

The following topics are covered: Introduction; The “Ping Pong” Game; Galaxy War Game V1; Galaxy War Game V2; Galaxy War Game V3; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 9 – Update The Galaxy War Game.

  • Lesson 10 – Advanced Games Development

The following topics are covered: Introduction; The Twelve Game V1; The Twelve Game V2; The Twelve Game V3; The Escape Game V1; The Escape Game V2; The Escape Game V3; The Escape Game V4; Lesson Review & Quiz; and Assignment 10 – Update the Escape Game.

Software Requirements:

Although Ruby is available for other operating systems as well as Windows, the installation and running instructions are for the Windows operating system. All other software is provided with the course. Installer files for Ruby, the Ruby Development Kit, and Notepad++ are included in the course materials.


Students should have: a working knowledge of using text editors or word processors; A basic understanding of your computer’s operating system; A working knowledge of your email software and the ability to attach files to an email; A basic knowledge of file zipping software such as WinZip or 7-Zip; and some experience of downloading and installing software packages from the web.

Course Duration & Support:

Students may register at any time for a fully-supported one-year training licence and will have constant access to a personal tutor via email. As the course is self-study, you can complete in as little or as long a time as you prefer within the one year licence period.


You will be assessed on the completed assignments contained in the training programme. The coursework will consists of individual practical programming assignments that can be sent to your course tutor by email or by post on completion of your training.


On successful completion of this course students will receive our Ruby for Beginners Diploma with feedback on your work and providing the assignments have been completed to the required standards students will also receive a Level 3 Open Awards Quality Endorsed Unit Course Certificate with 8 Open Awards Credits.

The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

You can find further information on qualifications/certificates and their levels on the Ofqual Qualification & Credit Framework level descriptors page.

The certification is issued through Open Awards. Open Awards is an Awarding Body Organisation approved by Ofqual. Set up in 1981, Open Awards (Previously the North West Region of the National Open College Network – OCNNW) has been in business for over 30 years and is a not for profit organisation and a registered charity.

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