Peter Cooper (Blog)

Peter Cooper View Peter Cooper's profile on LinkedIn is a digital jack of all trades based in the north of England. He is author of Beginning Ruby — published by Apress — creator of numerous Web properties and technologies, a professional blogger, and an entrepreneur who sold two startups in 2007.

His specialist subjects are writing, publishing, AdSense, Web 2.0, RSS, UNIX, and Web application architecture and deployment. He can be contacted at


Beginning Ruby

Beginning Ruby is a book for new Ruby programmers of all skill levels. It walks through Ruby's core functionality and its key libraries and frameworks (including Rails) in an instructional manner. It was first published by Apress in March 2007 with a second edition in August 2009 and both are available from and

First of all the book is fantastic. It is well written and the examples were well though out. I didn’t go through every single example, but I read every one. [..] The author, Peter Cooper, has been of more help than I would have dreamed possible. If I got stuck on something, I tweeted it or posted an entry here. Usually in seconds I had a response from Peter. I think there might be 5 of him. [..] If you are trying to figure out what book to buy to learn Ruby I really recommend that you pick up Peter’s book.
David Heller (January 2010)
I wanted to tell you Beginning Ruby is awesome-- recommend it to everyone, it really helped my change careers (to "hacker").
John Glass (January 2010)
FYI, your book brought a few coworkers around to Ruby who tried the PickAxe and didn't like it :)
John Claus (February 2009)
Ruby is my first programming language (I'm coming from a designer/html/css world); and this is the first book I've come across that is talking to me. I've made leaps and bounds with it.
Matthew C. Latkiewicz (November 2008)
The best book out there that does a good job of teaching Ruby, OOP, and contains an introduction to Rails is Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper. It doesn't go into great detail about Rails, but is an excellent introduction to OOP (which is difficult to find) and Ruby. It would serve as a good starting point to then move onto a more Rails specific book
Pootsy (on SitePoint)
Working through the early sections and have really enjoyed the book so far, your description of object orientation is the best I have come across in any book.
Caoimh O'Broin (September 2008)
The best, and most comprehensive, introduction to Ruby I've seen. [...] The text is neither dry nor whimsical, but a perfect blend between reference material and hands-on tutorial. [...] I almost want to buy a second copy out of sheer appreciation for Peter Cooper providing a great guide to a great programming language!
Zeff Morgan (September 2008)
I really like Beginning Ruby. I've been teaching a Ruby course at CCSF (City College of San Francisco) for the last two years and I've used the Pickaxe as the main textbook. It's a fine book, but it's a struggle to adapt that knotty mess into a sequence of didactic lessons. Next semester I'm using your book (CS132A) because I feel that you done a great job of organizing the material into teachable chunks. You've saved me the agony of writing my own textbook. Nice work.
Douglas Putnam - Professor of Computer Science, CCSF (May 2008)
[The] examples in Beginning Ruby are maybe the best I have ever saw in a programming book.
Karel Minarik (May 2008)
Both Chris Pine's book and _why's guide have their moments, but in my opinion Cooper's book has a considerable edge in clarity and usefulness. [...] In addition to being a great ruby book, it's also one of the best "tech" books I've ever purchased. It's rare to see this level of quality in technical writing.
"Phren0logy" on (May 2008)
I really enjoyed your book Beginning Ruby book - it was much better than the Pragmatic Programming Ruby one we thought.
Chris Bartlett - Incisive Media (April 2008)
Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper is a good read. Really loving Ruby.
Sorensblade (Twitter) (April 2008)
I think it is the best "beginning" programming book out there. The examples are fresh and completely usable. And it doesn't feel "dated" like some programming books I have read in the past. This book is a breath of fresh air.
Peter Gilbert (March 2008)
Beginning Ruby is easily one of the most readable and clearest technical texts I have encountered in a while.
Michael McKee
[A]s funny as the Poignant Guide is, I was still just not getting it. Until I found Peter Cooper's excellent Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional. I know, you're thinking "Is she seriously talking about a computer book right now?" But this book is like a handy dandy paper-and-glue lifesaver. It's the first guide I've seen aimed at people who are new to programming that is ACTUALLY useful for people new to programming. These concepts are sinking in. I am starting to see the light.
Laura K (February 2008)
You don't hear this often about programming books, but I must say the Beginning Ruby book is quite a good read.
David Mantilla (January 2008)
[C]oming to Ruby via Rails made things a bit harder than they should've been. Had I been sane at the time, I would've read a good chunk of a book like Beginning Ruby first, before attempting to jump into Rails.
Shanti A. Braford (December 2007)
I can not recommend this book highly enough. Read it once and then use it as a reference as every thing you need is in there.
P J Caudle (July 2007)
For programmers who want a simple "way in" to Ruby, the book I'd recommend is Peter Cooper’s Beginning Ruby: From Novice To Professional.
Huw Collingbourne (June 2007)
This has to be the best book for Ruby beginners, whether it be for scripting or for moving towards Rails. [...] Easily a 9/10 in my eyes...nothing gets the 10 unless it has nudity....and that's not an invitation Peter.
Jamie van Dyke (May 2007)
I've been reading Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper. I'm really impressed. [...] [A] great book for a new programmer, or a programmer new to Ruby. It's a great alternative to the other beginner's books on Ruby out there.
Pat Eyler (April 2007)
I think Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional is a better first Ruby book than the venerable Pickaxe. [..] If you want to learn Ruby, Beginning Ruby is the book to buy.
Larry Wright
This book belongs in the hands of anyone and everyone who is serious about learning the Ruby programming language.
Robert J. Boyken
This is the book I wish I had bought before I bought the pick-axe book.
M. Reardon (on
[T]his is not just an introduction to Ruby. Pretty much every technology that is linked to Ruby in some way is discussed [..] The author, Peter Cooper, is obviously a well-rounded Ruby developer, and his enthusiasm for the topic shines through. And with almost twice the number of pages as the other [books] reviewed here, his is easily the best value of the three.
Andy Hudson, Linux Format
Peter Cooper's Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional has two audiences, novices with no programming experience who want to learn Ruby as their first programming language, and veterans who want to add Ruby to their programming toolkit. Cooper's response to this challenge is a solid entry in the limited arena of Ruby tutorials.
Tim Hunter
I've learned a great deal very quickly, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is wanting to learn Ruby
J. Whelpley (on

Ruby Inside

Ruby Inside is a blog targeting Ruby and Rails developers. It launched in May 2006, and now has over 21000 subscribers (as of October 2009).

Ruby Inside is the most popular blog in the Ruby and Rails space.

Feed Digest (sold in 2007 - now Feed Informer)

Feed Digest (now Feed Informer) provided feed combination, syndication, and publishing services with over 250 million digests served per month. Established July 2005, commercial users included NASA, The Denver Post, MIT, Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Feed Digest was sold on August 1, 2007.

Mobile Orchard

Mobile Orchard is an iPhone developer news blog and podcast, I've helped to launch with esteemed entrepreneur Dan Grigsby. In early 2009 I handed the reins over entirely to Dan as I was no longer interested in iPhone development.


RubyFlow is a Ruby community link blog launched on April 9, 2008. It has just about 6000 subscribers and 1000 members who post interesting Ruby and Rails news every day.

Code Snippets (sold in 2007)

Code Snippets is a tag-driven site for coders to paste and track commonly used snippets of code in a way. Launched in 2005, the site grew to over 3000 snippets and 250,000 pageviews per month before it was sold to DZone in February 2007.

Ruby In Practice

I wrote the "Indexing and Searching" chapter for Ruby in Practice, a Ruby book put together under the caretakership of Jeremy McAnally and Assaf Arkin, published by Manning, and available since mid 2009.


SwitchPipe was a proof of concept Web application process manager and request proxy that makes it as easy as possible to deploy Web applications such as Rails apps. Released into the public domain and now used on several deployments (that I've heard of!)

Design Patterns in Ruby

I was a technical reviewer for Design Patterns in Ruby, a book by Russ Olsen, covering the implementation of Gang of 4 design patterns in the Ruby programming language.


MacYay is a blog targeting new and intermediate Apple Mac users. It launched in February 2008, but is now on hiatus.


Since first getting into Web development in 1995, I've been involved with lots of projects; some key ones include: GoDefy (developer), Bamboo Clothing (developer), Eyepro Fall Arrest and Safety Systems and (editor).

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