Ruby for Perl Programmers

About 2 and a half years ago, G. Wade Johnson began working at CoverMyMeds as a full-time Ruby programmer. During this time, he has observed both this company's Ruby developers and some of the wider Ruby community.

The linked presentation covers the conclusions he planned to talk about. He expected to have about an hour's worth of presentation. However, the subject apparently touched a nerve or something, because the audience asked enough questions to almost double the expected length of the presentation.

Most of the questions dug into the same topics a bit further (or jumped ahead a bit). After the presentation had ended, the general discussion went for another hour.

Overall, Wade described a community that is very similar to the Perl community at the point of the Enlightened Perl movement. They are very enthusiastic, proud of their language and convinced they are doing software right. On the other and, they are discovering principles and practices that the Perl community embraced several years back. They push some practices that many in the Perl community have learned cause long-term maintenance problems, after we embraced them back in the day.

One attendee asked Wade if writing Ruby made him happy as is one of the stated goals of the Ruby community. Wade said it was a good language that he could do good work in. But, it doesn't make him happier than any other language. Given no other constraints on a problem, he would still be more likely to reach for Perl.

We had 10 people attending this month. As always, we'd like to thank HostGator, LLC for providing the meeting space and food for the group.