Dmitry Buzdin wrote:
> First of all want to thank all of You who posted comments here. Special
> thanks to James Edward Gray II for pointing at the misstakes,
> incompleteness and obscure language!
> 
> When I have posted at Ruby group I have expected far more "blunt"
> relpies, believe me ;)
> 
> Now allow me to try to 'defend' myself a bit :)
> 
> What we are talking here about is a bit different, than traditional
> certification. The main purpose is learning. You pass the exam and see
> that You don't know some answers. After the exam it is possible to see
> the explanation and to learn (multiple-line comments is realy a good
> example :) ) As I have mentioned before, everyone will be allowed to
> add new questions and the best of them will be chosen by approval
> process. No single no-expert person (like me) is going to create a set
> of questions and call it a certification. I will be posting mine and
> humbly waiting for other Ruby specialists to rate or comment it. And of
> course public mailing list and practice ARE better ways to learn :)
> 
> And tell me one more thing - why some of You afraid of Ruby becoming
> popular? 
> 
> Dmitry
> 
Hello all,

I am just learning Ruby, new to the mailing list/Ruby world so plz no 
bashing (especially because I am partially on Dmitry's side ;-).
Currently i am a professional Java/J2EE coder, for the last 5 years.
I have picked up Python about 2 years ago, and fell in love with it 
immediately. I have found much more productive, effective, quick and 
mainly fun way of developing SW.
However, some weeks ago gave Ruby a try (I did know about Ruby for 
years, but i said Python is essentially just the same with different 
syntactic sugar, so why waste time to learn the same thing twice) - but 
now, to say the least i am really happy that i did sacrifice some time 
to read the pickAxe. Just now i am thinking about switching to Ruby from 
Python.

Why i am writing this? Because i remember having exactly the same debate 
on the python-tutor list. Somebody asked for some kind of python 
certificate, and got crushed by several guys in matter of minutes. What 
was even worse there, they did not even explain him what they do not 
really like about such a certificate.

Believe me, I can absolutely understand your points. I do not like to 
work in Java at all, it is obscure, not suited for creative thinking, 
byrocratic, overcomplicated (With my pythoninc friend who dislikes java 
too, we designed once a tutorial for absolute beginners: You had to 
install HelloWorldFramework where you only had to implement IHelloWorld 
interface to get started to write your first 'Hello World' app ;-) .

Unfortunately at my current company we are doing something big and it is 
not possible for us to switch to python/ruby, and as i am interested in 
the solution we are developing, i have to stick with Java, despite my 
disgust. Of course i do not like it's certificate approach, which values 
lexical knowledge of idiotic obscure language details over natural 
talent/creativity (which is hard to measure anyway).

But still, I can understand Dmitry's point as well. I believe (hope) he 
is looking for a different facet of a 'certificate' (probably the word 
'certificate' is flawed right away) than a test which certifies you are 
a good/bad ruby programmer. I can summarize this feature in one URL:

http://www.pythonchallenge.com/

I also solved the python challege up to level 20 or something when it 
got too time consuming. To sum it up: to get to the next level you 
needed to apply some python technique/module (like regexps, loading a 
web page, IO, gfx, GUI, etc) and it was gradually getting harder and 
harder. The catch was, that even the non-programmers rushed to learn to 
program - because there was no other way around to get to the next level 
and because you wanted to get to the next level badly (it was kinda 
addictive). When the next level came up, it was immediately clear that 
you are missing info on this or that technique/module/feature of the 
language.

I know that the ruby-quiz is around, and i think it is a great idea - i 
hope i will manage to find some time to play around with it. However, 
what was different in the case of the python challenge: it was 
hierarchical, and in a very natural yet funny way it somehow certified 
your skills in python/programming (i.e. if you got yourself to level X, 
you had some experience with regexps, IO, web, UI, ...). I think this is 
the kind of certificate which would be interesting to see in Ruby as 
well - and not the Java style experience-with-obscurity-is-knowledge 
style crap.

peter