I am Aaron Patterson (tenderlove), Core team member of Ruby and Rails, and Software Engineer at GitHub. Ask me anything!

Started on March 14, 2019 6:00 PM

Hi everybody!

My name is Aaron Patterson, aka "tenderlove". I am a Senior Software Engineer at a small startup company called GitHub. I'm on the Rails Core team, which is the team responsible for developing and maintaining the Rails web framework. I'm also on the Ruby Core team which is the team responsible for developing and maintaining the Ruby language.

I love programming, cats, and cooking (specifically meat curing). I am also a mechanical keyboard enthusiast and amateur / beginning hardware hacker. Please ask me anything!

As some ideas for stuff to talk about:

  • I've been working on a compacting GC for Ruby so we could talk about that.
  • I've been looking at speeding up template rendering so we could also talk about that.
  • Concurrency and parallelism in Ruby
  • Making stuff with AVR chips
  • Which mechanical switches are best
  • Cat stuff
  • How puns are created
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74 discussions

What's your opinion on Crystal? Is it a good idea to make a statically typed Ruby (if you agree with that description), is that something Ruby needs? Is a new language better than a gradual change like e.g. Typescript or mypy?

OMG!! Thank you for this question! I love Crystal! Honestly, if I had more time in my day I would love to mess with the internals. Crystal uses the Boehm GC, and I think it could benefit from a custom GC like Ruby's GC.

As for static typing in Ruby, it's a tough question. I understand the benefits, but as someone that came from the Java world (don't tell anyone I came from the Java world), my hands are tired from typing types. I personally would prefer a gradual typing system like Typescript (but for Ruby). I know the Stripe folks have been working on something that seems extremely interesting.

I'd prefer to keep the same language, but introduce gradual typing. But that doesn't mean I would not use a different language 😉

I hope this answers the question!

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Thank you for doing the AMA

How did you first contribute to Ruby? In your opinion, what skill and what experience one need to be able to contribute to the Ruby language development?

And, how do you learn Japanese? :D

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So far, so good. 🤣

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What are your thoughts about Javascript Frameworks (React, Vue, etc) and Rails verses Rails + Stimulus/Turbolinks?

Hmmmmm, that is a good question. I really prefer to write as little JS as possible, so on personal projects I'll use Stimulus / Turbolinks. However, I have no opinion on what JS framework is best. I trust the front-end folks I work with to pick the best tool for the job, and I do my best to support their choice.

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I have noticed several developers are migrating from ruby to new languages, not because these new languages are better, but because developers like to be trendy. Do you agree this is not good for a developer's career? Since the developer doesn't deepen their knowledge in the language details and never becomes a real senior in the field. Also, companies are hurt by the lack of senior professionals.

I do agree with this. I think it's still possible to be a good systems programmer even if you switch languages, you just have to study POSIX. You'll have to learn how POSIX stuff is handled in each new language, and that can be a barrier. But I do think that frequent switching makes it difficult to be a senior in that language.

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