My Favorite Ruby Rogues Episodes - Book Club Series

As I taught myself to program, Ruby Rogues podcast has been invaluably helpful to me. Books and blog posts could teach me specific technological knowledge, but they couldn’t provide me a broader perspective about programming. Ruby Rogues podcast filled that gap. Charles Max Wood, the host of the show, and panelists and guests have my deepest gratitude. You can read the separate post that I wrote about Ruby Rogues here.

When I first started writing this blog post, I wanted to pick my favorite episodes out of the 300 Ruby Rogues episodes. But as I went through the list of episodes, I realized that I liked almost all of them. They all taught me something.

Still, if I had to pick, I would pick the book club series first. In the book club series, the authors of the selected book and panelists discuss the contents of the book and share their thoughts. They are like timeless classics that provide enduring insight.

Book Club Series

019 RR Book Club: Exceptional Ruby with Avdi Grimm

This is an in-depth discussion about exceptions. What are exceptions? How are they different from errors? How should they be handled?

023 RR Book Club: Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns with Kent Beck

Kent Beck and panelists discuss best practices in Smalltalk, the mother of all OOP languages. It’s amazing that those practices are still relevant after 20 years since the book’s publication.

033 RR Book Club – Eloquent Ruby with Russ Olsen

This is an in-depth discussion about Ruby in general. A great episode for Ruby programmers, but maybe not for non-Ruby folk.

043 RR Book Club: Land of Lisp with Conrad Barski

A discussion about Lisp. Unfortunately, I don’t know Lisp well and couldn’t get something out of the episode.

058 RR Book Club: Working with Unix Processes with Jesse Storimer

Same as above - my proficiency with Unix is mediocre at best so I couldn’t get much out of the episode.

068 RR Book Club: Growing Object Oriented Software Guided by Tests with Steve Freeman and Nat Pryce

A discussion about how to design OO application through tests. The panelists speak about a more fundamental perspective regarding the Test Driven Development than about specific techniques of it.

087 RR Book Club: Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby with Sandi Metz

Another in-depth yet easy to understand discussion about the design of OOP rather than techniques of OOP. Many valuable insights about design process, rules to follow, and the importance of knowing when and which rules to break.

097 RR Book Club: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture with Martin Fowler

The word “enterprise” became a sort of scarlet letter among programmers, but at the time Martin Fowler wrote the book, that word simply meant “commercial”. The panelists discuss what it takes to build a proper, reliable app.

104 RR Book Club: The Rails View with John Athayde and Bruce Williams

You can probably skip it. Not that it’s a bad episode, but the topic, Rails View, has changed too much since the recording of the show.

111 RR Book Club: Explore It! with Elisabeth Hendrickson

The author is a seasoned professional tester. Her insight lets you think about programming from an angle that’s completely different from that of a programmer.

120 RR Book Club: Understanding Computation with Tom Stuart

Computation often gets dismissed as a boring academic topic, but the discussion in this episode is so lively and illuminating that it would make you reconsider if that was how you thought of it.

128 RR Book Club: Confident Ruby with Avdi Grimm

Confident programming is the opposite of defensive programming, which refers to a style of programming that involves things like repeated checking against nil value or switching on the type of input values to avoid errors. The panelists discuss the implications and examples of confident programming.

137 RR Book Club – Functional Programming for the Object-Oriented Programmer with Brian Marick

The title says it all! The discussion is about difference between FP and OOP, and how to approach FP for those more familiar with OOP.

146 RR Book Club – Ruby Under a Microscope with Pat Shaughnessy

Deep dive into the internal workings of Ruby, particularly MRI. Even if you’re not interested in reading the book, just listening to the episode will grant you a better understanding of Ruby.

157 RR Book Club – Object Design Book Club with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

A discussion about the software design process. What are the factors you should consider in each step of design process, and what are the tradeoffs you have to make in each step?

178 RR – Book Club: Refactoring Ruby with Martin Fowler

The panelists discuss the characteristics of Ruby in relation to refactoring. They don’t do actual refactoring of code in the episode.

243 RR Books That Aren’t POODR

A list of all kinds of insightful books that would be useful to a programmer, ranging from technological ones to business ones.

More to follow

I’ve split the episodes into three categories: book club, personal growth, and career and organization management. I will post the other two categories in separate posts.