I've been programming with C# for >90% of my professional career. It was the second language I learned (the first being Java - yeesh!) and I immediately fell in love with the tools and development environment that came with the territory.
Coding in C# was a blast because all of the tools worked amazingly well together. C#, Visual Studio, .NET, the debugger - things that I had missed elsewhere and learned to rely on.
I was there when .NET 3 shipped with the new version of C#.
And when .NET 4 shipped I just about soiled myself with how amazing Entity Framework and Linq were. A match made in heaven. No longer was I burdened with writing CRUD code with horrible, horrible
using (SqlConnection yada yada yada)
Programming was fun again!
It's free to look at the menu!
I had always kept an eye on new programming languages and frameworks, despite working 100% in C#.
I like to read up on tech and software engineering in general to keep me on my toes. Sometimes you invest in something new and it pays dividends down the line. When SignalR came out, I was one of the first, if not THE first person to use it in a commercial application. (It was for a penny-auction site). Now, SignalR is becoming part of ASP.Net Core. I feel some sort of geek-pride in saying I was there from the start!
Other times investments fail miserably. If you spent months learning how to use Expression Blend, that's down the toilet. If you became a "master Silverlight" developer, woops - that won't exist anymore.
During one of these gold-hunt searches I typically make every day during lunch, I found Ruby on Rails.
Ruby's so hot right now
I saw the 15 minute blog screencast and was floored. He had built an entire website in 15 minutes! How?!
And not only did it work, the code for it was absolutely beautiful! Sleek and concise with little room for errors and misplaced semi-colons.
I do have to admit that I was a bit uncomfortable with the fact that he used the terminal to invoke some sort of witchcraft (I now know it's the scaffolding which devs rarely use in real web applications).
Slowly but surely, I started my learning path for Ruby and Rails.
How to learn Ruby on Rails?
Every person is different. Here's how I learned and continue to learn Rails.
Bare minimum, fresh without ANY Ruby knowledge, I bought and read the book Agile Web Development With Rails (4th Edition).
Follow up with watching Rails for Zombies. To-the-point exercises that get you familiar with Rails and ActiveRecord.
Build a Cookbook. That'll put some hair on your ass.
Re-read the book in point 1. Really, read it again. You'll be surprised how many things you missed and how many things you will assimilate correctly now that you have context. I read the book over 5 times already, and I'm still catching bits here and there that I have overlooked.
Tackle a personal project and see it through. Nothing makes you learn something like actually building it. If you watch 9 hours of Railscasts for a month, I guarantee that at day 32 of this little experiment you will not be able to write Ruby code for Ruby on Rails.
No more C# for me.
Knocking on wood! But if I had a say in it, I will work primarily with Ruby from here on out. It's easier for my hands, makes me happy and the community in very unique. Drama filled and entertaining during my coffee break.
Who knows, maybe in 5 years I'll ditch Ruby for Clojure.