I have been thinking for days on what my first Marshall On Ruby blog post should be about. I finally decided to put all my ideas together in one post concerning my thoughts on Ruby. And by “Ruby” I’m really referring to Ruby on Rails.
I have been primarily a Microsoft developer (6 time MVP) through out most of my career which now spans 28+ years. But my first developer position involved writing C code in a UNIX environment. I started out writing mortgage software on a 3B2. I eventually ended up porting the software to SCO XENIX and to AIX so Unix and the command line interface run pretty deep in my psyche. 10 years of doing anything on a daily basis kind of gets into your blood.
I remember my first taste of Turbo C as well as Microsoft C 4.0 as well as Quick C. My original copy of the K&R book is sitting on my bookcase less than 15 feet away from me as I write this. I also vividly remember spending some long compile times reading through the C library manuals.
Those of you who have followed my GotSpeechGuy blog posts posts know that I recently decided to rejuvenate my career and move into Ruby on Rails. As I delved deeper into my new language of choice I found that developing on a Mac was the preferred environment. So I set up a dev environment on my MBP and also created one in Ubuntu and I have started working in a terminal session again. I now keep a terminal window open full screen on one of my monitors as I work. Bash and I are old friends but its great to connect with it once again. As I got deeper I noticed lots of similarities between the RoR world and my old Unix/C days. Both worlds are full of developers and users who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences. In the old days we did this face to face and by reading stacks of documentation. Nowadays we have the Internet for sharing ideas and knowledge. But the same willingness to help is still evident.
Maybe all of that “openness” has something to do with the core beliefs in the open source initiatives that have their roots in the academic world of the ’60s and ’70s that spawned UNIX.
I am amazed at all of the tutorials, videos and blog posts I have found along with Meet-Up groups willing to get together to talk, demo or just spend time coding. Jacksonville is not exactly Silicon Valley but there are 3 local RoR groups plus a Ubuntu group. If I have an problem or bug with my RoR code (yes, there have been a few) I can usually resolve the issue myself but for those times that I can’t figure it out; an answer only takes about 10 minutes of Google searching.
I’ll dive deeper into Ruby on Rails in following posts but for the moment I thought doing a traditional “hello, word” type post would be a good way to start off this blog. for my younger readers that don’t know where this ritual started check out this link; “Hello, World!” program.
In my next blog post I’ll be writing about my development setup covering the hardware and software as well as my workflow. I also have a guest blogger lined up to add his expertise to the blog someday soon. Until then, enjoy and please leave your comments.