5 Simple Ways To Keep Up With The Rails Community

Update: There are some great suggestions in the comments as well.

There’s a lot going on in the world of Rails these days.  This is great for developers, but sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with all latest happenings in the community.  In addition to changes in Ruby 1.9 and Edge Rails, there’s a constant stream of news with regards to well-known Rails projects, emerging plugins and development/coding strategies.

Below are a few resources I use to stay up-to-date without experiencing information overload:

  1. RubyFlow.com - This relatively new site is a great way to quickly see daily Rails news.  It was built by Peter Cooper (author of Beginning Ruby and the blog Ruby Inside).  Anyone from the community can post links on the site, or comment on posts.  I find myself visiting here multiple times per day to get a quick sense of what’s happening and to make sure I haven’t missed any important news.
  2. GitHub - In addition to being a public git repository, GitHub has become a developer social network of sorts.  By following projects that interest you (including Rails itself), you end up with a single place to view all the commits that have happened on your projects.
  3. Twitter – For the twitter users out there, there are a few options.  First, there’s a user called rornews that you can follow, which posts links to Rails blog and job postings across the web.  You can also follow a number of members of the Rails community who are on twitter, including Obie FernandezGeoffrey Grosenbach, Ryan Bates, and why the lucky stiff (side note: anyone is welcome to follow me on twitter as well!).  Finally, you can consider using the tracking feature on twitter to follow “rails” or “ruby on rails”.  This will give you a lot of updates, but if you’re willing to sift through it you’ll probably learn about news almost as soon as it happens.
  4. Shared Feeds – I really like shared feeds (also called link blogs) as a way to see the best content filtered through a trusted source.  A few feeds to check out include Obie FernandezGeoffrey Grosenbach, and what appears to be “Matz” himself.  Or rather than following a single person, you try tracking searches for “rails” on FriendFeed or RSSmeme.
  5. Blog Suggestions – There are a whole bunch of great Rails blogs out there, but if I had to choose the top 3 they would be the official Ruby on Rails blog, The Rails Way, and Ryan’s Scraps (I find the “What’s New in Edge Rails” posts to be invaluable).

If anyone has any other suggestions, please post them in the comments!