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Up Front

Ruby Is Twenty

by Michael Swaine

Generic image illustrating the article

Lots of good stuff this month: Ron Jeffries, two articles on Ruby, and more.

In honor of the Ruby language’s 20th birthday on February 24, we’re emphasizing Ruby in this issue, with two articles on where Ruby is going.

Clay Allsopp writes about Ruby as a development language for iOS apps, using RubyMotion. In “Expressive iOS Development,” he shows how Ruby and Objective-C can coexist peacefully in iOS app development.

Joe Kutner takes Ruby in another direction, into the cloud. In “Deploying with JRuby in the Cloud,” he walks you through the options you have for heading into the cloud by way of the JVM. As Joe explains, by moving to JRuby now, you’ll be preparing yourself for the multithreaded future.

While Clay takes you mobile and Joe takes you into the cloud, Nick Krym will take you around the world in his article on “The Five Cs of Offshore Communications.” Whether your offshore project succeeds or fails can depend almost entirely on how you communicate with your offshore team. Nick’s advice will keep you out of trouble.

Teams applying Agile ideas almost always get some improvement. One guess is that the overall improvement due to Scrum, for example, is about twenty percent over what the team was achieving before Scrum. Some teams do much better, and legendary programmer Ron Jeffries thinks he knows why. These teams understand that “Estimation is Evil.” Ron reveals all in this issue.

And there’s more. Steven Roberts continues sharing everything he’s learned in a lifetime of gonzo engineering, from scrounging parts to finding sponsors. Our resident curmudgeon, John Shade, tackles prediction. Plus we’ve got a Quiz, our Events Calendar, and some odds and ends in a collection we call Choice Bits. And in a blast from the past, we dug up some ancient comments from Bill Gates about writing his first Basic and selling it to MITS for the Altair computer.

Finally, a request. We have been producing PragPub free of charge for almost four years now, and unfortunately, that’s just not sustainable. We don’t really want to go the ad route, and we’re wondering if you would be willing to pay something to have PragPub delivered to you monthly. If you would, could you drop us a line at Thanks!