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Ruby, git & my ending vacation


Fall 2008: I had to do a lot of job related traveling and spent more time in hotels & on airports than average. The good thing was: I had a lot of time to read. One of those books was the Pragmatic Programmer, which was a wonderful experience since a lot of my intuitive techniques in software development were named in there. I was stoked. But the most influential of the many advices was to learn one new programming language every year, no matter if it fits in the career plan or not. That reminded me of the days I started Java. Everybody argued if Java would be worth it. To be more precise: everybody doubted it. The arguments against Java in comparison to C++ were:

  • Java is slower - you can’t write efficient code with it, since it’s semi-interpreted, semi-compiled
  • Java isn’t close to the market. People have to install the runtime in order do use your software.
  • Java is crazy - you can’t allocate memory yourself?

Back to my story. The Pragmatic Programmers’ advices included learning one new language every year, no matter if it’s promising to propel your career or not. Right. Plus, they underlined the importance of text manipulation languages. So what did I choose? A new language I heard many good things about, which also had some roots in text manipulation. Pragmatic, wasn’t I?

I chose ruby. And I fell in love. The way I fell in love with Java. Do you remember the time you sat in front of your screen and thought: “everything is so much easier, everything feels much more fluently than in C++. Even if the JVM is much slower, this language is really fun!”. Same thing with ruby compared to Java.

2009 began with me putting myself into the position to spent less times in hotel rooms & airports, and more time at my adopted home town. Which was very good for my private life. But other troubles arose - no more time to read that much anymore. Which was a good trade ;-). Now, 2009 ended and I finally took a serious vacation. And had the first opportunity to get my hands on ruby again. I started this blog to tell about my experiences, since people in my surrounding mostly argument like this when it comes to the subject ruby & Java:

  • Ruby is slower - you can’t write efficient code with it, since it’s interpreted
  • Ruby isn’t close to the market. People have to install the runtime in order do use your software
  • Ruby is crazy - you can’t define the type of variables yourself?

Somehow reminds me of something, but I can’t really tell of what exactly. A little feeling of déjà vu.

Now, my vacation is over, and I promise myself to keep on getting to know ruby better. I want his blog to help me stay in touch with ruby, and hope to get in touch with some people who agree - and disagree.

I started diving into ruby & git, I evaluated some text editors for Mac OS & Ubuntu. I made some experiences I want to share. Which I will do over the next couple of weeks.