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Congratulations on a wonderful 25th anniversary of Ruby

Despite knowing absolutely nothing about programming, I somehow ended up becoming a programmer. The company I worked at mainly used C/C++. However, everyone used their preferred programming languages to create tools that made work easier, and some of them used Ruby. I didn't like using the same thing as everyone else, so I decided to use Python, which no one else was using at the time.

While doing this, I began to realize something. Those who preferred Ruby liked to show people their code. They used it as a means of communication, to express what they were thinking when they wrote it. Back then, I didn't understand that feeling. The syntax and range of things they could do wasn't that different from mine. Why was their attitude towards programming so different? At the very least, I could see that the Ruby users loved programming, and while I obstinately stuck with Python, but maybe, I was jealous of them.

I quit my job at the company, and gained a bit more freedom to choose the language I wanted. I picked Ruby without hesitation. Of course, one of the motives behind this decision was my former coworkers, who enjoyed programming with Ruby.

When I used Ruby, I truly felt it for the first time. Yes, Ruby is fun. But the source of that fun isn't only in its ease of use. Honestly, Ruby is hard to use well. The more you use it, the more you realize how difficult and deep it is. But it's an enjoyable kind of difficulty, and that's what's fun about it. There's a lot to think about when writing code in Ruby. "Can't I make this code any cleaner?" "If I do this, I can reduce the number of lines by a lot, but is it more difficult to understand?" These sound like normal issues, but Ruby gives you more freedom, so it feels like you're engaged in a dialogue with your own thoughts and mental model as you're writing. This is something unique to Ruby, and while I've had experience with a wide range of programming languages, I've never come across anything that feels quite the same.

Now I am able to understand what my old coworkers felt. In a sense, writing in Ruby is a kind of self-expression, and it's natural to try using it to communicate. This is one of the driving forces behind the OSS community, and stimulates the ecosystem. So as long as Ruby is Ruby, I believe it will continue to be loved by programmers, and if you look at people like Matz and the other committers, it's easy to see that Ruby will never stop being Ruby.

I'm so happy that Ruby exists. I'm so happy that I was able to meet Ruby. To every Rubyist out there, thank you. Congratulations on a wonderful 25th anniversary of Ruby.


Hirofumi Wakasugi (@5t111111) - Freelance Programmer

Japanese version => https://fiveteesixone.lackland.io/2018/02/15/message-for-ruby25/