April 7, 2012
I picked up the Pickaxe in 2001 and was immediately impressed by Ruby's clean, consistent object orientation, utility and human-oriented syntax. I eagerly replaced Perl 4 with Ruby as my day-to-day scripting and data munging language while working at Luxoflux on the True Crime game series. Then in 2005, when I was working at Santa Monica game studio Luxoflux, I became convinced by Paul Graham's essays, and attending 2005 Startup School, that hackers should start their own companies to achieve their full potential. I had hoped to start a game studio with friends, but in the pre-mobile era it seemed extremely difficult to produce a top-quality game with a small team. I also discovered Rails and the potential of web apps, and the next year left the game industry and co-founded LALife.com. I've been doing freelance Rails work since, apart from a year when a friend at Blizzard got me to come help on the tools for their next-gen MMO. I am relieved to be back working in Ruby full-time.
I've probably gotten the most use out of Dragonfly, mini_magick, authlogic and an old Google Maps gem called ym4r that I've customized a lot. For the best usefulness-to-size ratio, I think will_paginate is tough to beat.
A freelance Rubyist who started in hardcore game development.