Read my latest article: 8 things I look for in a Ruby on Rails app (posted Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:59:00 GMT)

Programming Rails - Alpha Book

Posted by Fri, 03 Feb 2006 18:34:00 GMT

12 comments Latest by fabricio Sun, 12 Feb 2006 07:23:26 GMT

Up until today, I have had a small group of individuals (people like harrisj) helping me with the peer review process for my upcoming book, Programming Rails. We’re getting it ready to launch as a Rough Cuts book in the near future and I wanted to allow a few of you to be part of the pre-Rough Cuts review process.

I’m opening this up to 6 lucky winners!

Send me an email to with a short description of your experience with Rails so far. I want 2 newbies, 2 intermediates, and 2 advanced Railers.

Only do this if you can spend time reading material and posting notes on each chapter. :-)

Visit for more information about my book and apparently… you can add it to your Amazon Wishlist.

UPDATE No longer accepting applications! I got 50+ in 2 hours… eek! :-)

Ruby eye for the anti-newbie guy

Posted by Wed, 18 Jan 2006 15:44:00 GMT

7 comments Latest by fabert Mon, 30 Jan 2006 15:51:50 GMT

I was skimming over a few RSS feeds ( ) this morning and came across an entry by Griffin Caprio. He shared his thought on the new book by Chris Pine, Learn to Program and says the following:

”...You wouldn’t see these types of books in other professions like medical, engineering, or accounting because there are boards that prevent just any old person from practicing in those fields.

Not so in computing. But is this what we want to encourage? Anyone and everyone picking up software and just giving it a go?

And I understand everyone’s love of Ruby, but come on people. It’s just a language.”

Actually, yes. Learning to program, build, create, test, problem solve, etc… are all things that we should encourage.

Let’s do a quick search on amazon for the following, Learn to Program. I’m pretty sure these books have been common place for the past 20+ years… so, what’s the big deal?

It’s like telling a kid not to build a bird house until he gets a contractors license and a permit.

...or telling someone to not pick up a guitar until they had proper lessons.

...or maybe you shouldn’t be running a business without graduating from college.

I could go on and on.

Oh… and by the way…

puts "Hello World"

is much sexier than

public static void main(String[] args) {
  System.out.println ("Hello World"); 

On that note… check out Learn to Program by Chris Pine.

UPDATE Griffin has followed up to my blog entry with another. He goes on to say, “The kid who builds the bird house above would never be hired to build an actual house. Not true in Software Development.” (read more)

I think this problem raises a completely different problem. Why are unqualified people being hired to do things that they aren’t qualified for? Do we blame the people learning to program or do we look at who hires these people in the first place? I’m still confused by his argument.

That kid may not get hired to build a house, but he may get interested in that as a career and continue to pursue it… if someone hires him to build the whole house, then the person hiring should be held accountable do some degree as well. Check references! ;-)

On the flip-side… is this an argument to only take people who have been approved by some board (...MCSE?) seriously when hiring developers?

Update #2

Griffin has outlined his points in more detail in this third entry.

Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby in PDF form!

Posted by Tue, 13 Sep 2005 11:57:00 GMT

The famous, Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby has been released as a nicely formatted PDF.

Thanks to Leon Spencer for providing the world with this PDF.


DHH interviewed by O'Reilly

Posted by Wed, 31 Aug 2005 11:46:00 GMT

I just finished reading a very nice interview of David by O’Reilly

You can read it here.

While reading it, I recalled a brief conversation that I had the other day, when someone said that they didn’t like Rails because, “it assumes things” which translated to the fact that they didn’t like that it had a uniform directory structure, pre-defined naming conventions, etc.

After spending this whole year, teaching myself Rails, reading the documentation pages… (probably at the API site a few hours a day), this concerned me. A lot of people are quickly turned off by the fact that Rails has opinions. But, let’s think about this for a moment. Rails has opinions built-in that help speed up the development process when you accept those opinions. If you don’t, you don’t have to pspend any more time than you did prior to using Rails. So, their argument is, “why bother with Rails?”

At first, the answer isn’t so obvious…. but if you consider all the opinions that Rails expresses, do you honestly feel that every one of them is wrong? If so, Rails is probably not for you. If you find a good portion of them to be quality opinions, then… Rails just might be your cup of tea afterall.

Pluralization make you feel weird? Turn it off. (one line of code will do this for your whole application.

Wait, you want to use category_id as your primary key?

class Category < ActiveRecord::Base
  set_primary_key "category_id"

Yes, I know… it’s tough. ;-)

Another thing that I am wondering now… what is the conductor?

My guess? Some added bonus for Rails that allows you to run a Rails application off of one or many servers… now that would be nice. That’s my guess though… what is yours?

Older posts: 1 2