My Work Space

IMG_0856As promised last week this is my work setup.  I sometimes use Ubuntu running in a virtual machine but most of the time I do my Ruby on Rails development in OSx on my Macbook Pro. This is my development setup.

The 19″ monitor in the middle normally runs an iTerm2 session full screen anytime I’m at the computer. I like keeping it open even when I am not doing development work as it reminds me of my UNIX dev experiences early in my career. Or course, it gets heavy usage when I am developing a Rails application. I just love being back into a UNIX like environment. It just feels so natural and familiar getting back to my roots. Since the photo was taken (about 2 weeks ago) I have raised the height of the monitor so that it aligns with the other monitors.

The 27″ monitor on the left is running a instance of Sublime Text 2 full screen. That is where I do my coding and its a quick three finger swipe on the Magic Mouse or the Trackpad to switch to a browser for testing. Sublime has become my editor of choice as I can use it in both OSx and in Ubuntu. I’m still learning my way around the interface figuring out all of the power user commands as my ultimate goals is to not use the mouse. For simple stuff when I’m in a terminal session I use Nano as it is included with the bash shell. Sometimes I use Vim as I know that I need to learn it but I’m putting that off for a future learning project.

The 27″ monitor on the right is where I keep any videos or tutorials I am using. It is also used for documentation or application specs and design docs along with email or any other application I may need during my development.

This is where I spend the bulk of my day. If I’m not actively coding I am reading tweets or blog posts related to Ruby on Rails topics. I also have several email lists that I participate in. And, being a true southerner (born and raised) there is usually a glass of sweet tea on the desk.

I want to mention another tool I use: Safari Books Online which gives me access to just about any computer related book or subject that I need. I always have several books in my queue that I am reading. My current book projects are The Art of Unix Programming and The Rails 4 Way.

In case you are wondering the window looks out over the pool and the lake so when I get stumped I can just look outside and concentrate on my problem. That and Stack Overflow usually solve all of by coding problems, But if they don’t I have a great bunch of guys at RubyJax that I can fall back on for help.

My goal is to blog at least once a week so I’ll see you next week. IN the meantime comments or suggestions are welcome and I would love to see your home office setups.


puts ‘ hello, world !’

I have been thinking for days on what my first Marshall On Ruby blog post should be about. I finally decided to put all my ideas together in one post concerning my thoughts on Ruby. And by “Ruby” I’m really referring to Ruby on Rails.

I have been primarily a Microsoft developer (6 time MVP) through out most of my career which now spans 28+ years. But my first developer position involved writing C code in a UNIX environment. I started out writing mortgage software on a 3B2. I eventually ended up porting the software to SCO XENIX and to AIX so Unix and the command line interface run pretty deep in my psyche. 10 years of doing anything on a daily basis kind of gets into your blood.

I remember my first taste of Turbo C as well as Microsoft C 4.0 as well as Quick C. My original copy of the K&R book is sitting on my bookcase less than 15 feet away from me as I write this. I also vividly remember spending some long compile times reading through the C library manuals.

Those of you who have followed my GotSpeechGuy blog posts posts know that I recently decided to rejuvenate my career and move into Ruby on Rails. As I delved deeper into my new language of choice I found that developing on a Mac was the preferred environment.  So I set up a dev environment on my MBP and also created one in Ubuntu and I have started working in a terminal session again. I now keep a terminal window open full screen on one of my monitors as I work.  Bash and I are old friends but its great to connect with it once again. As I got deeper I noticed lots of similarities between the RoR world and my old Unix/C days. Both worlds are full of developers and users who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences. In the old days we did this face to face and by reading stacks of documentation. Nowadays we have the Internet for sharing ideas and knowledge. But the same willingness to help is still evident.

Maybe all of that “openness” has something to do with the core beliefs in the open source initiatives that have their roots in the academic world of the ’60s and ’70s that spawned UNIX.

I am amazed at all of the tutorials, videos and blog posts I have found along with Meet-Up groups willing to get together to talk, demo or just spend time coding. Jacksonville is not exactly Silicon Valley but there are 3 local RoR groups plus a Ubuntu group. If I have an problem or bug with my RoR code (yes, there have been a few) I can usually resolve the issue myself but for those times that I can’t figure it out; an answer only takes about 10 minutes of Google searching.

I’ll dive deeper into Ruby on Rails in following posts but for the moment I thought doing a traditional “hello, word” type post would be a good way to start off this blog. for my younger readers that don’t know where this ritual started check out this link; “Hello, World!” program.

In my next blog post I’ll be writing about my development setup covering the hardware and software as well as my workflow. I also have a guest blogger lined up to add his expertise to the blog someday soon. Until then, enjoy and please leave your comments.