One of the great strengths of Ruby is that it is easy to pick up and be productive right out of the gate. But Ruby is such a rich, full-featured language that there are probably a lot of things you aren’t aware of that can make you a better developer.
I recently received a copy of Effective Ruby by Peter J. Jones, and I really enjoyed it. This book is a good addition for beginner and intermediate Ruby developers to learn more of the language features and write better, more maintainable code. The author has geared the book towards people who have some experience with Ruby and points out some of the common pitfalls that developers new to Ruby might face.
The book has 48 items to help you improve your code and covers everything from Ruby basics to an overview of the garbage collector. As someone who has been using Ruby for a few years, I learned a few new things about collections, Ruby’s inheritance hierarchy, exceptions, and performance tips.
I thought the section on testing was a little thin, but there are entire books dedicated to testing and it is a tough topic to address in a single chapter. I think the author’s intention is just to make the reader aware of the testing tools and methodologies available.
All in all, I thought this was a good read. I’ll keep it handy and look forward to applying and experimenting with some of the ideas.