> That's a pretty narrow view of how managers and employees (or customers
> and contractors) relate as people within an organization. There's an
> awful lot of literature about this, some good and some bad, and one can
> choose to take a cynical view or one can choose to learn the better
> ways. My point is that *you* choose your attitude -- it is *not* defined
> for you by anyone else.

No, really that's how we operate.  Stop by some time and I'll show
you. :/  It's not the best job, but my and my colleague's opinions are
not taken very seriously, even though we're the professionals.  It's
the pointy haired boss syndrome (PHBS). ;)

> Meaningful to whom? I learned Laplace transforms in graduate school
> because they were interesting and because they might or might not be
> useful to me some day. I learned sales and marketing for the same
> reason. And I'm learning Ruby for the same reason. I'm not going to
> demand that anyone pay me to program in Ruby, but it gives me another
> option. There are starting to be opportunities for Ruby programmers,
> especially Rails developers. So go ahead and learn Ruby and Rails, but
> also learn networking skills and sales skills too, because ultimately
> that's *how* you will make your learnings meaningful.

But everyone has their own reasons for learning, no?  Some people can
already use Ruby skills if they have them; I had an opportunity to do
that here.  I piddled around with this or that project, but to really
make sure I could use Ruby, I just had to use it.  Plain and simple.
I really think this is a diffrn't strokes for diffrn't folks kind of
issue.

> But what we *can* do is network, and I think we *are* doing that. And
> for what it's worth, I do think a web page with Ruby success stories has
> value, as long as everyone realizes that it is only *part* of an overall
> marketing plan.

Oh, of course!  But I think for a lot of people (ones that I've
encountered) that's a big part.  For some people, language features
matter, for some the toolkit, and for others its success in "the real
world."  As I've said before, it can be used to install even just a
little trust in ruby (and sometimes that's all that's needed).

> Well ... I encourage you to pursue Ruby even if it currently isn't
> paying the bills. And go find situations where what they are doing isn't
> good enough. :)

Haha it definitely isn't paying the bills right now, but I'm in a
situation right now where I can learn it and apply it without a
problem on my own time.  I wasnt in that situation a couple of years
ago. :p  I'm hoping that in another couple of years...it will pay the
bills...and it will be in a place that is vital and always looking for
things that aren't good enough.

-- 
My free Ruby e-book:
http://www.humblelittlerubybook.com/book/

My blogs:
http://www.mrneighborly.com/
http://www.rubyinpractice.com/