Developers are passionate builders and they often enjoy taking part in various communities and events, both online and off. As an aspiring developer, it's good for you to begin familiarizing yourself with these communities and how you can participate. All of these places have a space for beginning developers to at least observe and ask questions. Experienced devs often enjoy helping out eager learners as long as you are respectful and open-minded.
Meetups -- Check out your local Ruby, Rails, and Developer communities on Meetup. Odds are that you've got interesting meetups happening at least every several weeks if you're located near a city... like ours in San Francisco!
Hack Nights -- Hack nights are a type of in-person meetup designed to cater to casual collaboration. They're all run differently, but often you'll introduce yourself and what you're hoping to work on. Then you're free to work with or ask questions of others and enjoy the pizza, beer, and maybe even foosball while getting to know your fellow techies.
Hackathons -- Hackathons are more structured than hack nights and are typically set up as a team application-building contest, sometimes around a specific theme, API or dataset. They often start with idea pitches, then teams are formed, and then you have a short period of time (say 12-36 hours) to build the thing before presenting to a panel of judges. Fueled by caffeine and beer, some pretty awesome stuff can come out of these and they're another great way to meet local developers.
Conferences -- Conferences will tend to cluster around tech hubs but the keynotes are usually available online. They can be fairly expensive (since often the participants get sponsored by their businesses) but good networking events if you're the social type.
Hacker Spaces -- Sometimes, dedicated students, hackers and engineers will finagle a space and fill it with old gadgets and focus on building cool stuff. There are usually strong communities around these spaces, and how exactly they operate is totally case-by-case.
School Clubs -- This will vary heavily depending on geography but your local high school or college will probably have some sort of technology clubs, so be sure to check that out if you're looking for like-minded folk.
Blogs -- You should get familiar with the top blogs where the content interests you most, which will take a bit of time to figure out. The best ones often have active discussion threads at the end of each post.
A couple to check out:
Source: RailsBridge Blog