[Pdx-pm] How quickly could you pick up Ruby?

Phil Tomson ptkwt at aracnet.com
Wed Jan 21 21:08:12 CST 2004

I'm contracting at a large corporation on the westside and we're looking 
to develop a cross-platform app with GUI.  Prior to my arrival at large 
corporation on the westside the proposal was to do it in Flash.  I'm not 
sure how Flash is as a programming language (we need more than just a GUI) 
but I suspect it's lacking in that department.  Fortunately, there has 
been a lot of opposition to using Flash from the Linux side of the house.

Since they seemed to be at an impasse, I suggested that they consider 
doing it in Ruby/FLTK.  Why Ruby/FLTK you ask?  Well, for one thing,  Ruby 
is probably my most productive programming language at this point (and 
I would be the main developer) and for another some very large 
(and critical) applications have been written in the same corporation 
(but in a different group) using Ruby and FLTK so I know that there are 
Ruby programmers at large-corporation-on-the-westside and that we could 
show off some of the apps they had written to show that it's  a 
for-real option.

So this morning we had our demo from the other group and people were 
pretty impressed.  

Now we're off to present to the next level of management.  The question 
that is being raised (understandably) by some of them is that they've 
never heard of Ruby (these are management folks, remember) and where would 
they find Ruby programmers (turns out that there are Ruby classes offered 
at the corporation).  Since I came from Perl to Ruby my reply is that Perl 
programmers can pick up Ruby and be productive in about a week.  In my 
experience I felt I was _more_ productive in Ruby after about 2-3 weeks 
than I had been in Perl (and I had been programming in Perl for 6 years). 

So, that's why I post here to the Portland Perl Monger's.  How about it - 
if you had a copy of "Programming Ruby" (online here: 
http://whytheluckystiff.net/ruby/pickaxe/ ) how long do you think it would 
take you to come up to speed with Ruby and be productive?


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