Announcing the RubyLetter Podcast

The RubyLetter podcast is a short weekly podcast dedicated to giving you the tools and news you need to stay in-the-know about what's happening in the Ruby community. We'll talk about Ruby news and events and highlight tutorials and resources that we found useful.

Draft Blog Posts in Middleman

We love the static site generator Middleman and used it to build RubyLetter. But Middleman doesn't come with a drafts folder like Jekyll does. In this blog post, we walk through how to simulate Jekyll's '_drafts' folder in Middleman.

A Rubyist's Guide to Postgresql's Explain

If you want to understand why your database queries maybe aren't as fast as they used to be, nothing beats a little feature of postgres called 'explain.'

Shared Libraries: How Ruby and C Work Together

If you take a look under the hood, you might be surprised at how much Ruby depends on C. MRI is written in C. Gems use C for performance. And much of Ruby's standard library consists of Ruby wrappers for C libraries. In this article we'll discover how this is possible by building our own small C library and using it in Ruby.

Puts vs Return in Ruby

It's easy for beginners to mix up puts vs. return in Ruby. If you're a new programmer, or interested in mentoring new programmers in Ruby, this article explains the difference.

How to Read Ruby Documentation

Beginners use tutorials while experienced programmers read and refer to documentation. But how do you do that, exactly? This post explains the anatomy of a Ruby doc to help expand your understanding of Ruby.

Beginner's Corner: Mythical Structs and Where to Use Them

An introduction to Ruby structs, their abilities, and when to avoid them.

When Method Names Should Go Out with a Bang

Why do some methods in Ruby end with an exclamation mark while others don't? This quick post explains the bang conventions of destructive methods.

Beginner's Corner: A simple introduction to class variables

Class variables have a bad reputation in Ruby. But what exactly is a class variable, and what can it do? In this blog post, we introduce class variables and their capabilities.

An Easier Way to Think About `self`

Ruby's `self` method can seem arbitrary, but there is an underlying structure to its behavior. When you understand it, not only will your own programs make more sense, but so will many advanced Ruby techniques which may have previously been shrouded in mystery.

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