I've been doing both web development and programming for several years, and I don't think I'd recommend RoR to someone without a whole lot of experience in web development just because of all the concepts and the "myriad of files". However, once you've been programming in another language like PHP for a while, especially without the use of a framework, RoR makes a lot of sense. Using MVC makes it a lot more manageable, and that pattern isn't unique to web development, it can be applied to other types of programming as well. I'm enjoying going through the book, it makes building an application a lot less work. It helps to have a good background in web development though, to understand what Rails is doing for you.