As a perpetual programmer wannabe, I'm always on the lookout for new tools that make the mysteries of coding a little more accessible. Much to my dismay, most programming tutorials that I've come across assume some prior knowledge or that you're transitioning from some other language. So, I was delighted to discover Hackety Hack just now (thanks to Chris Amico for the tip). It's a fun new Mac app that aims to teach Ruby programming basics to complete beginners.
Hackety Hack 1.0 just launched, and in the true spirit of of the holidays, it's open source. From what I can see so far (after playing with it a bit), users can browse through some beginner level lessons, including basic Ruby and basic Shoes, or explore some of the sample programs listed. After making some progress, users who register on the Hackety Hack site can upload code to the website as well. There's a handy "Ask a question" feature on the site, too.
Given how hard it can be for beginners to get their feet wet, I really appreciate efforts like this to make learning more accessible. For anyone looking for more beginner Ruby resources, there's also Chris Pine's online book Learn to Program (via Takaaki Kato). And if you're looking for iOS help instead, be sure to check out our Holiday Guide of books for would-be iOS programmers.