Ruby: A Scripting Language Created for You

July 24, 2013

 

Ever heard of Ruby? No, we’re not talking gemstones, we’re talking programming languages! Ruby is a scripting language created specifically to make programmers happy because it was designed with a human in mind, not a computer. That makes it a good fit for beginners—it’s an easy programming language to learn, even if you don’t have any programming experience. You write the code, you use an installer and the program runs. (An installer is a software component for the installation, maintenance and removal of software. For example, when you install new software on your computer, you usually need to run an installer program. This program unpacks compressed data and writes the information to your hard drive so you can use it! Look, we’re learning new things already!)

 

Going back to Ruby…this is what it looks like:

 

Workshop.new(
:topic => ‘Ruby’,
:location => ‘Assembly_Coworking_Space’,
:is_awesome => true)

 

It might look like jibberish now, but to programmers it’s elegant and natural. Once you learn the basics, it’ll  look that way to you, too! If you’ve ever looked at code like PHP or JavaScript, you might have noticed that those languages use semicolons at the end of each line—not so with Ruby. That means fewer annoying errors that seem to happen for no reason. Another benefit: Ruby usually requires fewer lines of code to do the same job. We love shortcuts whenever possible (why do more work when you don’t have to?) so we really like this quality.

 

 “Ruby definitely makes my life easier—and it’s a pleasure to use,” said Lori Olson, the lead instructor for our Intro to Ruby class on August 10. Lori is the founder of a software consultancy called WNDX, and she has spent the last seven or eight years doing web development using Ruby.

 

There are different “frameworks” that developers can use to make programming with Ruby even more streamlined. The most well-known framework is Ruby on Rails, which Lori uses most of the time to build web applications. She’s also finishing up an iPhone application using the framework Ruby Motion. According to her, the great thing about Ruby is that you can use it for just about anything. That makes it a great tool for women exploring the tech industry—and for entrepreneurs who need a tool that can be used for a variety of different projects.

 

 

Lori actually started using Ruby when she attended a Java conference several years ago. She was using Java for the majority of her projects at the time.

 

“All the speakers could talk about in the lead-up to their talks, and at lunch, and in the hallways,” said Lori, “Was this cool new framework called Rails, and a scripting language called Ruby, and how totally awesome it was.”

 

“I was about to start on a new project, and they didn’t really care what we were doing it in, so we thought we’d try using Ruby on Rails to start off and see how far we got,” she said. “And it was so much easier and nicer to use than what we had been using before, which was Java, so I never looked back.”

 

Ruby is a great language to build things like apps and interactive websites. The image to the right is a compilation of websites that have been built using Ruby. So beginners, this one’s for you. Whether you want to test the waters with Ruby so you can do a deep dive on your own, or if you work with developers that program in Ruby, we’re creating a safe space to learn. Our August 10 workshop is a hands-on, foundation-level look at basic programming techniques and Ruby in particular. We’ll show you how to speak to your computer in Ruby and even re-create some popular math and word games. Sign up here.

 

We’re super friendly and our mentors are really helpful, so we hope to see you on August 10th! If you have any questions about the workshop, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact our Founder, Kylie Toh at kylie@thechicgeek.ca

Written by Jack Giesen

 

Jack is a communications freelancer and all-around social media geek. She helps local businesses create measurable, revenue-driven online marketing strategies, and loves to talk tech, design and local culture. Get intouch on Twitter or Google+

 

 

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