Learning Ruby

A coworker asked me about some useful online resources for learning ruby, and I’ll just put it on tumblr right away. We’re both working our way through the pickaxe, but the new edition got rid of the nice jukebox example so it gets a bit “dry” from time to time. Here are two links to get yourself going again ;-).

  • 15 Exercises for Learning a new Programming Language
    These are some really useful exercises. It covers tasks for basic IO & parsing text, plus all the usual suspects that you learned to love during your studies are here: Fibonacci & Reynoldsto name a few. The funny thing about this tutorial is: in ruby, most things that you can spend quite a time on coding C++ or Java work right out of the Box. Swap variables, process CSV, cut useful information out of HTML files.

  • Ruby Quiz
    OK, to be honest: I didn’t contribute there yet. I saw they had a Conway contest that I missed, but I just had to implement that one first. But I really like the idea of challenging yourself to solve these little tasks you woudn’t have come across elsewhere.

So - seems like I only suggest sources for tasks to get into the language. But I think that’s the main point. For example, I did my SCJP last year & I can tell you: digging deep through the syntax & features of a language doesn’t get you anywhere. It didn’t hurt since I have a long Java history. It just didn’t contribute to my skill set.

What really let’s you master a language are the problems you solve with it. After all, the language is just a tool. And you don’t learn how to drive home a nail by knowing all about the hammer.