For many developers, it’s been a while since they got together with their current programming environment. They’ve hit the 7-year-itch mark with their current language/platform partner. They find themselves in a rut. Coding is mundane. Routine. Boring, even. It’s the same old roll-over, perfunctory foreplay about which frameworks to use, same decisions and scripts every time, same results, same good-night kiss and back-to-sleep as the last project, and the project before that and the project before that and the project before that…
Ruby is new. Exciting. It makes you feel alive again. You feel appreciated. You feel loved. Like the language was made just for you. It caresses your desires, gives you new ideas, molds itself to what you want it to be. It makes your jaw drop and say, “I didn’t know you could do that!“. It leaps to your will, and does so much more than you thought a partner could do. You wonder what you ever saw in that language you left behind.
At least at first.
Over time, though, the infatuation ends as most affairs do–in time, you discover a certain comfort in your language of choice. Sure, it’s not perfect, but you know it well, you can get the job done, and what’s more, everybody’s content. Not ecstatically happy, sure, but “good enough”, and besides, it’s hard work trying to learn the nuances of a new partner. Nobody likes to admit it, but sometimes comfortable is better than exciting.
You never forget those heady days, feeling the wind in your hair and reliving your younger days as a programmer. It reinvigorates you, reenergizes you, makes you feel alive. It gives you something you didn’t know you needed, but in the end, fires you up to go back to what you know best, brimming with fresh ideas and energy, ready to spice up your partnership so that you can remain happy for the next five, ten, even twenty years.
Ruby is a love affair.