Beginner’s Guide: Build & Deploy a Web App with Ruby on Rails

Danielle Adams
11 min readApr 17, 2019
Photo by Max Nelson on Unsplash

This post will cover the fundamentals of deploying a single web application as taught in a Women Who Code NYC workshop. Everything should be followed from start to finish through this post.

What we will do

The objective is for everyone to be able to create their own app, push the code to GitHub, and deploy the code to an app on Heroku. This is designed to focus more on concepts of the software development process, and less on the technical pieces of it (ie. coding, version control, etc). We will be building an “About Me” page, so everyone will be able to add to it later on.


I can’t stress this part enough: we will be covering A. Lot. in this workshop. This post goes in order, so if you fall behind, you’ll be able to catch up. If you don’t understand a concept, that’s okay. The objective is to expose attendees to different development concepts and get you all familiar with tooling and have a finished product at the end.

Note: There’s a glossary at the end of this post for terms that we may gloss over, but may be helpful to keep in mind.


  • Create an account on GitHub.
  • Create an account on Heroku with the same email address as your GitHub account. (No need to enter credit card information.)
  • Know what operating system your computer is running. (ie. Mac OS, Windows, etc.)
  • Terminal app and text editor app of your choice available to use on your device.

Install the Tools

You will need 2 command line tools for this workshop: git and heroku-cli. Each operating system will have different instructions as to how to install them.

The commands you are typing are the ones with$ before them.

Note: Scrolls down to Confirm installation of both, if you the tools output versions, you can skip the installation steps.

Install on Mac

I would suggest making installations using Homebrew. It’s a command line tool that will help you install and manage versions of development tools on a Mac computer.



Danielle Adams

Software Engineer at AWS. Open source developer, New Yorker, TBD.