A Studio just for Ruby

by Caleb Tennis

About six months ago, I announced that I would be attending a Pragmatic Rails Studio in Chicago. Now, I'm not a hard core rails user and I am certainly no web designer. But we use Rails for a number of our internal sites and I wanted to get a little more firm footing with it.

I went into the studio already knowing a lot about the basics. Thus, I was a little worried that after the 3 days I might not take away much. Boy was I wrong.

Certainly, I learned a lot of Rails tricks from Mike and Dave. But there was also a lot of value in other things I learned, from talking with people who were using Rails. From seeing other people and their development environments. From discussing deployment strategies and where certain code should go (does it go in the model, the controller, the view, or a helper?). This is the stuff that you can't put a price on.

One feedback item I (and I'm sure others) gave was that I would really like to see an offering for just Ruby. See, I'm much more of a Ruby guy than a Rails guy. I use Ruby all of the time, and more so than just for quick scripting. We have five $100,000+ motor controllers at our facility running on Ruby scripts. There are a number of backend scripts we have that keep this place going 24/7 all utilizing the power of Ruby. Simply put, Ruby is very important to me and to our company.

So, I'm sure you understand that I'm ecstatic to see that there is now going to be a Pragmatic Studio devoted solely to Ruby. The first (of hopefully multiple) such studios will be help in September in Boston and taught by Justin Gehtland and Stu Halloway of Relevance. What's neat about this is that it's not just a sitdown and learn Ruby type of show, it's a "how can I use Ruby at work to get things done". Think of things like LDAP, XML, and Domain Specific Langauges. Think of some of the things we take for granted in the Ruby community, like Rake and built in unit testing. This is where to learn it.

The thing about this is, even if you've been programming Ruby for a (relatively) long time, there's most likely still something you'll take away from this. Obviously, if you got into Ruby from Rails and want to learn more, this will be very good for you. But even if you're a self-professed Ruby expert there's still always something to pick up. It seems like a new Ruby library/binding/toolkit comes along almost everyday. Now you've got a great way to make sure you're keeping up.

Now, I just need to ensure that they teach a short lesson on QtRuby.

* A quick note for the weary: If this sounded like an advertisement, well, it sort of was. I was very happy with my previous Studio experience and I wanted to share and make sure folks out there knew this was available in case they were interested. Please note that I received no sort of compensation related to this in return for writing it.