Tuesday, February 1, 2011


A few years ago I decided to follow the Pragmatic Programmer's suggestion to learn a new language each year.

I started with Groovy. I make my living coding Java. I figured that I would get the most bang for my buck with Groovy. Groovy's XML utilities alone have saved me tons of time. I've also done a project in Grails, and I would gladly do another one.

I picked up Python next. I like Python, and I have had some fun monkeying with Google AppEngine. I have not had the chance to use it professionally.

I had intended to pick up Ruby last year. Several of the best people I've worked with, one of whom is a best selling Java author, have extolled Ruby's virtues to me. Hectic schedules and a job change threw a wrench into my plans so I'm picking up Ruby this year.

I have been enjoying rubykoans for the past couple of days. The koans consist of a handful of ruby files full of assertions that don't pass. By correcting and filling them in the files of course begin to work.

Simply running "rake" in the directory tells you how many you have completed. You are even rewarded with ASCII art upon completing a koan.