If you want to tackle challenging tasks, for example climbing a big mountain, you have the choice: either you join a large climbing team and use a lot of expensive equipment, or you try it alone using free climbing.

In the software world, the task is the software to be written, the climbing equipment are the compilers, servers and strongly typed C# or Java programming languages. The mountains are really large “enterprise” applications. The ropes correspond to compiler checks and type safety. The problem is if you don’t have the right team or don’t select the right path the mission will end in a big mess, nightmare or death march.

Programming Ruby and Ruby on Rails is much more fun. It is a bit like free climbing: full risk but very rewarding. Immediate feedback. No protection (by strongly typed languages and bloated compilers), but no ballast either. A single person can do the work of a whole team. Try it out! Ruby offers full object-orientation and garbage collection, has dynamic typing, strong support of hash tables and collections, and is very compact, readable and easy to use. (The Flickr Photo is from the Flickr user laughingmonk)