It’s been a while since I had to get my fingers dirty in code, and as such I am a little rusty. There are also some areas of Rails that I never took the time to learn. Luckly I found that the community has grown, and there are some great resources out there for the aspiring coder.
One of the first places that I go when I need some help is GotAPI. It’s a one stop shop for all of your documentation needs. It even includes HTML and CSS docs from w3schools, probably once of the best HTML/CSS resources out there. RailsGuides is another great resource for helping understanding the nuances of Rails.
I have also stumbled across RailsBridge, a group of teachers and coders trying to help folks out. They have a few great tools and projects to help bootstrap people into rails development. For example, they offer online mentoring by a group of volunteers. The project is at an early stage, but they have some great ideas!
IRC is good resource. Who would have thought it, back in 1988 when it was first dropped into production, that 20 years later it would still be used? I personally hang out on freenode as it seems to be the most popular. There are a bunch of channels, and one of the issues that can easily happen is overload via signal to noise ratios. However if you pick your channels carefully you’ll be fine.
Another way of sharpening your chops is to contribute to a OSS or other project. RailsBridge has a few projects for needy organizations under their Builder program. Also projects like RailFrog or Mephisto are good choices if you want to lend a hand.
All of these just scratch the surface, but they are a great beginning. I think that the greatest assets a coder can have is a humble nature and a thirst for knowledge. Heck, if you don’t look at your old code and think “what the hell was I thinking??” then you are doing something wrong.