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From Java to Ruby: Things Every Manager Should Know (Pragmatic Programmers) Paperback – June 28, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0976694090 ISBN-10: 0976694093

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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf (June 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976694093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976694090
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,111,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruce Tate is a father, kayaker, author and independent consultant in Austin, Tx. The international speaker worked for 13 years at IBM, in roles ranging from a database systems programmer to Java consultant. He left IBM to work for several startups in roles ranging from director to CTO. He now has his own consulting practice, with emphasis on lightweight development in Ruby and Java, and persistence strategies. He is the author of seven books, including the best selling Bitter series, the Jolt-winning Better, Faster, Lighter Java, and the Spring Developer's Notebook.


More About the Author

I started in this industry back in 1985, as a co-op with IBM in Austin. I joined IBM full time in 1987, and spent 13 years with them. I later left to join a startup, and ultimately started my own business where I focus on helping customers build software with lightweight technologies.

I've been writing technical books for more than 10 years now, with the last 7 coming since 2000. I write for the love of the craft.

Others have told me that my fundamental strength as an author is the ability to quickly recognize emerging trends. I do tend to find emerging frameworks just as they become popular, and that skill is a mixed blessing that--combined with my complete lack of political tact--gets me in trouble sometimes, as it did with Bitter Java (Java is too hard), Beyond Java (Java is not going to last forever), and most recently, From Java to Ruby: Things Every Manager should Know (there's a better language for some problems, but our managers don't know it yet.)

My promise to you is this: I will always seek to find better ways to do things, and will work hard to tell you the truth, without regard for any notion of political correctness. Thanks for reading.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Carl Graff on July 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have migrated from language to language as the software landscape has changed over the years. Pascal to C to C++ to Foxpro to PowerBuilder to Java and now to Ruby. Can you imagine where I would be at this point in my career if I were trying to develop Web Based Database programs in Turbo Pascal?

It will be almost impossible to convince some Java programmers that Ruby on Rails and LAMP in general is a better platform to do anything compared to Java. After all they have invested *HUGE* in Java and it has and is putting food on their table. But perhpas this is a moot point as I an convinced the latest generation of programmers are embaracing dynamic languages such as Ruby and Python over the older generation languages such as C++ and Java. So it is more of a question of when this will happen then if this will happen.

Bruce has been a strong Java advocate and practitioner for many years, as have many of the most influentual people in the industry from highly respected organizations such Pragmatic Programmer Inc, ThoughtWorks, and O'Reilly. So when they collectively agree that Ruby and RoR is offering huge advantages over Java in many areas it pays to not only listen but give Ruby and Ruby on Rails (Ror) a decent try-out.

I will be shocked if any Java programmer truly investes one month learning Ruby on Rails and still believes it is not a more productive and agile environment. Skimming a book and making a conclusion is a weak argument indeed. In my case it took 6 months to feel comfortable with Java and 3 weeks to feel cofortable with Ruby. I have also trained other employees in both, and the learning ratio for the students was similar. So for new programmers, IMO, Ruby is a no brainer over Java.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Breaux on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Not much objective information, and despite its claims to the contrary, this book really seems to be for those who have already decided to switch to Ruby and just want to convince themselves or someone else. Most of its "evidence" seemed to be anecdotal and personal experience.

Since I hadn't yet decided that I wanted to make that move, I was looking for more objective data. For that reason, I also couldn't get myself to read the second half, which is even more for those who have decided and want to know how to get started.

I think if you fit the target audience, it would be more helpful. Because of this, and because it did make some good points about tradeoffs and trends, I still felt it was a decent book. In fairness, its focus is probably consistent with the title and aim of the book, but I still felt the material had a pretty subjective feel to it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Sletten on July 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
The only complaint I have with this book is that it is difficult to listen objectively to an Evangelical. The title of the book and its presence in the PragProg Ruby series reveal Bruce's conclusion in most cases (although don't worry, he does agree that Java may still be your answer if your pain measurements align that way).

In practice, that is a minor complaint compared to the value of this book. The negative reviews below suggest that this is more of the same and I couldn't disagree more. "Beyond Java" was a book to open developer's eyes. This book is a nod to the decision making responsibilities of managers and senior engineers.

We can no longer pretend that the engineers can be left in the corner. In the face of agile methodologies, outsourcing and increased competitive pressure, we as an industry must have open channels of communication in order to succeed. This fits in nicely with some of the other recent PragProg titles such as Venkat Subramaniam and Andy Hunt's "Practices of an Agile Developer : Working in the Real World".

In the real world, decisions have consequences, but as this book points out, so does indecision.

Bruce Tate and this book will not solve your problems (unless, perhaps if you hire him). But, by engaging managers into the discussion, he may just enable them to make the decisions that are right for them.

Read this book if you are an engineer and need to be reminded about things like risk and business value. Read this book also if you are intrigued but afraid by Ruby's perceived fringe status (it will embolden your efforts to master the language!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damian Wheeler on February 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because it isn't a technical reference or a tutorial. I am a developer, but have the opportunity to drive what technology is used for projects in-house. This book shows where Java (or C or other things) still have advantages over Ruby, but in most cases shows case studies of how Ruby or Rails is introduced into a development environment successfully. It also shows where Ruby is headed and talks about what potential there is for further improvement.

Although it is candid and unbiased, I did still find it a bit preachy in places, but that is basically what marketing is. Still, this is a book that I'm handing around to people in the office as it is easy to digest and will raise awareness of Ruby before we try a pilot.
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