David Heinemeier Hansson was virtually unknown in the Ruby community a year ago. Back then, he was pumpin out jams. Now, he’s easily the most pertinent player in Redness, with Rails and Instiki busting their way up the download charts. His contract work for 37signals, finely-crafted products such as Basecamp and Singlefile, has won Ruby a pile of street cred. When I checked this morning, looks like he qualifies for the list of Famous Danes according to Google.
1. The year 2004 was huge for Rails and Instiki, which translated into growth for Ruby. What are your plans for 2005? You can tell us.
World domination, naturally. Isn’t that what everyone has planned in 2005 or do you need a cat on your lap, a leather chair, and smirk for that :) ? No really. It is. I feel like a mormon missionary I meet on the plane from Copenhagen to Chicago earlier this year. He knew that he had a better way, so he felt obligated to share his revelation with the world.
Ruby is the better way. I feel obligated to share. I have a deep sense of responsibility for the productivity of the world. There’s so much to do that I’ll be damned if we’re not doing it the best way possible. And now I found a way. Or at least part of one. I’d be ashamed of myself if I weren’t trying to share.
So 2005 will be the year where Ruby on Rails gains widespread mainstream adoption. Hopefully we’ll see books (yes, plural), conference speeches, workshops, all that jazz. Oh, and a flow of high quality applications launched, of course. Basecamp will just be one poster app among a new crop of web2.0 contributions where small, elegant, and amazing are among the key words.
2. It seems like you’re trying out all kinds of techniques for teaching Rails. You have short videos at the Rails Academy, live presentations at conferences, assorted tutorials, sample applications, RDoc sites. Is there an ideal starting place for a Rails newcomer?
There will be shortly. A new website is in the works. More videos planned. But the best way to get started is really installing Rails and playing around. The new generators in the 0.9 series makes for an excellent starting point. Generating an idiomatic CRUD-controller with
./script/generate scaffold is a great way to get started.
3. Have you ever had an idea for a project, but you never got to it, and now you’re glad you didn’t go through with it?
All the time :) 2005 will hopefully also be the Year of the Focus for me, personally. Do less stuff, better.
4. Do you listen to music while you code? Any Danish bands you can share with us? If you have a link to an mp3, that would be excellent.
I can’t work without music. It’s terrible. At times, I need not only music, but headphones. Even in a quiet room. It’s interesting how that can really focus you.
Danish music.. I’m not listening to anything actually in Danish, but quite a few English-singing Danish artists. Including Randi Laubek, Caroline Henderson, D:A:D, and Sound of Seduction. I don’t have any MP3’s that wouldn’t get me in trouble, though.
5. Is there an English word that cracks you up?
I’ve always laughed over “Skyscraper”. It sounds like a word a Danish really bad at English would come up with. The Danish version is “skyskraber”. So very close.