Ruby makes me want to rock out

During these past few weeks, I've been making a conscious effort to learn a couple of new programming languages, more specifically Ruby. As many people on the Internet, I was introduced to the beauty of the Ruby language when Ruby on Rails started to become popular around version 0.14. After reading a lot of Internet beginner tutorials, I decided to take the plunge and start learning Ruby now.

After grabbing the Programming Ruby book (lovingly known as 'Pickaxe' around Ruby circles), I have really fallen in love with this programming language. It's not too difficult to learn, and you can produce really clean, readable and over-all beautiful code. I even feel Ruby has helped me become a better programmer, in the sense that I am striving to have all my code as clean and readable as possible. Being a full-time PHP programmer, you can imagine that clean and readable code isn't my strong suit. After learning a bit more about Ruby, I'll go ahead and dedicate myself to start learning Rails. I know I can start using Rails without vast Ruby knowledge, but I want to start with the basics, and I feel that'll make me better at learning Rails.

However, the reason I'm writing this post today is because of an age-old question I've had ever since I started taking my programming courses in college. A lot of people question my choice of music while programming. This has popped up in some conversations because I love Rock music, especially anything that's Punk Rock or Metal. The harder and faster it is, the better. So in a profession where I need to have absolute concentration to produce the best results possible, how can it be that I can concentrate more with some Bad Religion or Bullet For My Valentine on my MP3 player? It's really weird.

At my current job, I tend to put some Rock music when no one's around (just because I'm considerate of others). When I do, I notice I don't move from my seat, and just start coding away. When I don't have any music on, I tend to be distracted more easily, and go out for frequent bathroom breaks or just to chat with other co-workers. I wish my current employers could notice this and let me bring my own MP3 player to work and just leave me alone for long periods of time. I can guarantee that I can work much better and efficiently this way. But that seems like wishful thinking for now.

This past week, I think I've learned a whole lot with Ruby, partly because I've taken more time out of my schedule to sit down and practice hands-on. But it could also be because I just bought a couple of more CD's for the collection, and I tend to listen to my CD's completely when I code, instead of just having them in my car and listening to one or two songs before I move on to the next. I should do a formal study of this some day. Has anyone else in the world noticed this?

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Dennis Martinez

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