Saturday, March 5, 2011

preliminary verdict

After Week 1, the new job is a thumbs-up. Nice, smart people, in a culture dedicated to having fun and shipping working software. And by "dedicated," I mean "willing to make serious changes in pursuit of the goal," rather than "spending hours in aimless meetings moaning about how we should make serious changes and then refusing to do so." It's pretty awesome.

I'm having fun working with the Ruby programming language. I learned the fundamentals before I started--the syntax, which is basically how to read and write it--but the standard library, which you can think of as the vocabulary to make useful programs, is large and I'll be learning that for some time.
(One example is how to make a directory on a hard drive: this turns out to be a function called mkdir in the module Dir. But to check if a file, including a directory, exists, that's the function exists? in the module File. It's hard to remember these things without using them at least a couple times.)
Ruby is quite a bit like Perl, which you could think of as my "native" programming language, the one I've spent the most intense and interesting time with. They're both called "scripting" languages, which isn't rigorously defined, but generally means "a bit slower, but lets you get more work done with less programming."

The people are really cool, I'm enjoying taking the train, and the food is good. Let's hope it keeps up.

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