REVIEW - Effective Ruby - 48 Specific Ways to Write Better Ruby


Effective Ruby

48 Specific Ways to Write Better Ruby


Peter J. Jones


Pearson Education (2014)




Simon Sebright


May 2015



Reviewed: May 2015

This is another book in the Effective series, started by Scott Meyers and lives up to that tradition well. Material is presented in 48 ‘Items’, each of which is a nice readable and understandable chunk from just over a page to several pages in length. Items are well-grounded and technically proficient. You can dip in and out – there is no need to read them strictly in order. The items are grouped into the following Chapters (themes):

  1. Accustomising Yourself to Ruby (things like equality, constants and warnings)
  2. Classes, Objects, and Modules
  3. Collections
  4. Exceptions
  5. Metaprogramming
  6. Testing
  7. Tools and Libraries
  8. Memory Management and Performance

The book is aimed at people who already know ruby to a reasonable level, it is not an introduction to the language or for beginners in programming. I fitted into this category and found the book not only very readable (well written and with a good sprinkling of humour), but also extremely informative and useful in how I should use the language. Although there is a chapter on tools, this book will not introduce to Rails, or any of the bigger topics – for that you’ll need to find another book!

I highly recommend this book to anyone using Ruby regularly who cares about how they write software and wants to get better at it.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.