Saturday, July 29, 2006

Learning Ruby

I am embarrassed to say that I don't know Ruby. I've hacked together shell scripts, done some Perl, but don't yet have any experience yet with Ruby.

Looks like my team may be using a bit of it, so I'm going to start learning it.

Just returned from Powells Technical Books (best bookstore flat out) with a Ruby book. They were all out of them at OSCON, but still happily gave me the OSCON 35% discount. I didn't have my badge from OSCON on me, but I did have a Mozilla Firefox T-shirt on so they believed that I'm a hacker.

Upon the recommendation of my friend Erik, I bought Dave Thomas' Programming Ruby.

I'll let you know what I think as I learn. I know a lot of people who I respect who dig Ruby. I'm assuming I will as well. I doubt I will turn into a Java basher though (like a lot of the Ruby on Rails crowd), but one never knows.


Sarge said...

Dave Thomas wrote a book on Ruby? After Doub & Bob MacKenzie and Wendy's, you'd think he'd be tired. (yuk yuk)

I like Ruby in concept. But something about the syntax irritates me. Maybe I'm too much the Perl (and now Tcl of all things) snob, but I don't think I'd like using it on a daily basis.

David Christiansen said...

If you're into web apps, learn rails at the same time as ruby. It's easy to do it this way, and there are lots of online resources for it.

Garrett said...

I would like to suggest an alternative path the Ruby enlightenment. Get the Beta book for Agile Rails Development (PDF) from the Pragmatic Programmers site and read it first. There is nothing wrong with the Programming Ruby book, but I think by starting with the Rails book you will get a better feel for what can be accomplished with Ruby. You will have lots of “How did they do that?” kinds of questions that will guide your exploration of Ruby. I think you will also be surprised at how little Ruby you need to know to become productive with Rails which speaks to Ruby’s power as well.