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A message from Paolo "Nusco" Perrotta, author of "Metaprogramming Ruby".


A few years ago, Ruby was the language to learn–the place were experiments were made and new things happened. Today, that role has been taken over by JavaScript (ugh).

Rails was the engine that propelled Ruby to the top tiers of programming languages. That engine is now declining, as the pendulum of mainstream development completes its next swing from the server back to the client.

Few people talk much about it, but the question is obvious: will Ruby still be relevant at 30? Will it make a big comeback like Python did, or will it slowly fade out like Perl?

I'll be honest: I really don't know. But I do know what Ruby did for me personally: it rekindled a fire that seemed lost forever.

As a kid, I still remember the exhilaration I felt when my first BASIC instructions turned into moving graphics on the screen. As I grew up, coding kept being fun, and sometimes exciting–but that first rush of playful joy was gone.

Then, some twenty years after that first BASIC program, I set to learn Ruby. And suddenly, there it was: that feeling of joy and discovery. As I dug deeper and deeper into Ruby, every piece of information locked into every other piece with a satisfying “click”.

I know that many developers could tell stories similar to mine. So, I don't know whether Ruby's future will be a peaceful old age, or a new rush of youthful energy. But until another language comes that makes people feel like that, coders around the world will keep turning to Ruby.

Because of the joy it brings.