Many people suck at Ruby. Many people think Ruby is Python with lax whitespace, or PHP with better OO. Ruby uses a lot of idioms you're familiar with, which is very deliberate. It's supposed to be very easy to get started on. But it also incorporates powerful advanced techniques from Lisp, Smalltalk, and CLU. Your first five minutes with Ruby will be easy, but don't expect to uncover its hidden power if you're just writing code the way you always have. Rails makes it easy to get started too, but there's a huge difference between cobbling together some scaffolding and scaling a real Rails app.
When the economy gets tough, you want to be one of the people who really knows Ruby. The best way to do that is to get training from people who know Ruby inside-out. For instance: Dr. David Black, long-time Rubyist, author of "Ruby For Rails", and RubyConf organizer; Jeremy McAnally, who wrote "The Humble Little Ruby Book" and publishes "The Rubyist", whose programmatic templates project recently merged into Rails, and who Ruby Inside named Top Hitter of 2008; and Rick Olson, Rails core team member and creator of all those essential Rails plugins like attachment_fu and restful_authentication.
Jeremy and David will lead a three-day Ruby course on April 1st-3rd, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center. Rick will be on hand to pair program with you and answer questions one-on-one. Want to become a Rails dev who knows exactly what they're talking about? Ask people whose code ships as part of Rails. Want cutting-edge skills and the edge in your next job interview? Pair program with a prolific open source developer. Want to understand Ruby's OO? Ask David Black. David's book contains an explanation of Ruby's object model that is (in our opinion) the single best, simplest, most coherent, and most comprehensive explanation out there.
You can get better training in Ruby, if you fly to Japan and kidnap Matz. However, this is illegal, plus mean, so we don't recommend it. Plus, Japanese etiquette is complicated even under normal circumstances, and there's really no way to politely kidnap someone.
We're currently testing out our new curriculum, so you'll get this cheap. We're including ample time for hacking and individualized questions. This is not the one-size-fits-all approach you might get elsewhere. We're going to make sure you learn Ruby, and learn it better than you would anywhere else.