Ruby is the best Christmas gift
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Ruby is the best Christmas gift

WOVN MAGAZINE en

From Jerome, backend engineer at WOVN and in charge of the 15th day of the WOVN advent calendar.

Ruby and I

When interviewing candidates for a programming position at WOVN, I enjoy asking them what their favorite language is, and what they particularly like about it. Some candidates don't have a favorite language in particular and instead say they prefer to "use the best tool for the given task", which is of course a good answer ! But personally, my answer would definitely be Ruby.

Ruby was created 26 years ago by a Japanese developer, Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto (松本 行弘), and I discovered it in 2015 while I was in Tokyo on a Work Holiday visa. I was looking at programming jobs on an online job board and I noticed many companies were looking for Ruby engineers to do web programming, so I decided to give it a try.

My background at the time was in C++ and video game/3D programming, and compared to C++, it was refreshing to see how flexible the language was, and how I could quickly write short programs to do complex things. I immediately enjoyed the syntax, very concise, no more brackets and parentheses or types. It is said that reading Ruby code feels like reading English.

I had the feeling that Ruby was made for programmers first and foremost, whereas C++ had been designed for the machine. It is really the "programmer's best friend". After years of compilation time and memory errors, I  rediscovered the joy of programming. And as a result, a few years later I joined WOVN as a Ruby engineer.

Ruby, WOVN and Christmas

Ruby is closely tied to WOVN history, as our main product's backend was written using the Ruby On Rails framework . Though I wasn't there from the start, I believe this was a good choice that enabled fast iterations during the first years of the startup. Did you know that WOVN got the Grand Prize at the Ruby biz Grand prix 2017  ?

As it is important to give back to the community, WOVN is also a sponsor at the annual RubyKaigi Takeout 2021 .

Ruby is also tied to Christmas, as a new version of Ruby is usually released on Christmas day each year ! It is fun to witness the evolution of the language over time, with the new convenience methods it brings. Last year saw the release of Ruby 3.0, and I wonder what the next release will contain, only a few days left to find out !

At the end of the year it is common to reflect on the past year achievements and learnings, and to prepare some "New Year's resolutions" for the upcoming year. So, as a new goal idea for 2022, what about giving Ruby a try ? I prepared a small exercise to get you started, can you find what this program will output ? (Tip: if you don’t have Ruby on your computer yet, you can try it online instead : https://try.ruby-lang.org/)

require 'base64'
hello64 = 
'ICAg4piGCiAgIC9cCiAgLyEhXAogL1dPVk5cCiAtLS0tLS0KICAgfHwKICBNRVJSWQpDSFJJU1RNQVM='
puts Base64.decode64(hello64)

PS: If you enjoy easter eggs, try autocompleting "RubyVM" (i.e. write “RubyVM” then press TAB twice) in a Ruby console !

# Writer Profile
Name :Jerome
Division :Product Engineering
Length of WOVN :2 years


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WOVN MAGAZINE en
A magazine brimming with the very "WOVN-ness" that aspires to "Localize the Internet." Care for a taste of WOVN culture?