Michael Cordell's Blog

Book Review: Eloquent Ruby

Eloquent Ruby

By: Russ Olsen

Eloquent Ruby is an essential read for any aspiring or current ruby programmer. I think it serves particularly well as as an “intro” text to Ruby for those who have other programming experience and/or Ruby experience. Personally, I am often bored by intro texts, and lose intrest as they repeat dull language features common to many other languages. For example, I got through about 40 pages of The Well grounded Rubyist before I gave up and went hunting for something that wasn’t moving at a snail’s pace. Eloquent Ruby gives a expansive yet somehow compact view of Ruby development.

When I first picked up this book I had already worked through Hartl’s Rails tutorial and had begun working on my first module/gem. At that point, I liked Ruby but did not understand much of what made it tick. Moreover, I didn’t need long winded explaination of Ruby fundamentals (What’s a string?) or programming fundamentals. I wanted to get up to speed quickly on unique features of Ruby. It turns out that Eloquent Ruby fit very well into this learning niche. I tore through the book in a week or so and I was able to begin using what I learned immediately. More importantly, this text primed me to understand other texts down the road. I didn’t grapple with many of the concepts in Metaprogramming Ruby because Olsen had already introduced many of them.

Where I see value