Ruby is the best Christmas gift

Ruby is the best Christmas gift


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 :

require 'base64'
hello64 = 
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

Thank you !!
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