At this CodeMash, I resolved to get outside my comfort zone and learn something new. Today, that new thing was Ruby.
I have literally minutes of experience thinking about reading about developing applications in Ruby.
In other words, I'm a Ruby virgin.
Joe O'Brien and Jim Weirich hosted a learning session on Ruby at the CodeMash Precompiler Day (sort of an optional Day 0 for the conference). I wouldn't call it a class or a seminar. Joe and Jim spent only a few minutes at the front of the room introducing the topic. But they did provide about25 hands-on labs for us novices to work through. And they walked around providing help and answering questions for us novices struggling through it.
For me, it was perfect. I had a chance to get some hands-on experience with Ruby for the first time. I learned many of the basics of Ruby - testing, arrays, method calls, testing, blocks, iterations and testing. Did I mention that testing is important to Ruby developers? Because of Ruby's "duck typing" (variable types are not declared in the code but are inferred by the values assigned to those variables), the compiler will not catch as many errors as the C# compiler. This forces Ruby developers to write many unit tests to verify their code behaves as expected.
Appropriately, most of the labs revolved around writing unit tests.
I am now looking at the schedule for the next two days to see if I can learn more about Ruby while at CodeMash.
I don't yet know if I can use this knowledge to benefit my day job, but this exposure will enhance my coding perspective in the long run.