Well. Close your eyes. Actually, don’t – we wouldn’t get any further. But imagine with me a small farmhouse atop a lovely verdant hill with fields of vegetables in the valley just below us. Chickens and horses meander around, making their appropriate noises.

All around and over the house and fields below are cats. The cats are all hard at work. Mostly. As their attention allows. Many are plucking vegetables out of the ground. Others are plantings seeds. Some are napping under the nearby weeping willow tree. Okay, most are napping under the tree.

This is the cat farm. It’s all run by cats. Those that can keep their eyes open. Don’t tell the humans in the nearby town of Smog. They cannot be trusted. They’ve grown quite jealous of the cats’ ability to harvest as many crops as they do while still getting fifteen hours of sleep a day.

The cats, however, keep having kittens. It’s truly incredible how much those babies can eat. The cats need to harvest more. They’ve done wonders with absolutely no organization, but they would be be absolutely spectacular with some level of coordination and record keeping. And the kits get to keep eating, and they very much like eating.

You are to be the guardian of the cat farm. Of the kittens. Please don’t let them go hungry.

The cats are not the most process-oriented of creatures. They forget how many vegetables they’ve planted. They get distracted by climbing up – and napping under – their beautiful tree, and suddenly they’ve forgotten how many carrots they have.

You need to help them. They need their naps.

You are going to write some software to help them run the farm smoothly. If everything is recorded, forgetfulness isn’t an issue. Then they know just how hard they have to work before it’s nap-time.

We’ll be using Ruby on Rails 6 to build a website to help these cats run an efficient farm. They can’t change who they are, so let’s help them out.

We’ll start by looking at some fundamental technologies that make the web work and then ease into Ruby before jumping into Ruby on Rails, which is a powerful framework that ties it all together. We’ll get the cats more efficient in no time.