As someone (Probably a really famous guy whose name I cannot remember) once said becoming a software developer means having to learn new things for the rest of your life.
This is just as true for Ruby as for any other language so here are the resources I like to use to keep up to date.
These are besides things like API sites and the ruby on rails guides etc.
Made by Ryan Biggs, Railscasts is a great site with webcasts exploring new and interesting things happening in the ruby world. As the name suggests it is more focused on Web Development and Ruby on Rails but it also explores technology that can be useful to other types of ruby developers.
There are free and paid-for episodes available (for US$9 per month) and every episode has source code avilable on github. Most episodes also have full transcripts, including code, which can be read if you are not a video-watching type.
If you do not have money to travel the world attending conferences and your company does not stump up the cash then Confreaks is a gem of a site. They record presentations at a lot of major development conferences.
Confreaks is very popular with ruby conferences so you can find a wealth of interesting talks there. (Most of the talks are about 40-60 minutes long which is perferct for filling up a lunch break while eating or watching on the daily commute)
Hacker News is a (mostly) news aggregation site that has reasonable high standards of submissions and comments. Like all aggregation sites it has plenty of stories that do not interest me directly but there is a lot of good technical news / startup news there.
Requires a bit more mental filtering but still worth it. Just be aware that it is quite start-up focused which can cause a bit of an echo chamber effect. A healthy dose of cynicism (realism?) is useful.
Ah, Reddit, the “Front page of the internet” and a hell of a good time-waster. Beware of this site in that regard.
Reddit has various subforums related to specialised topics. For the Ruby developer about town the following Reddits may prove useful:
Ruby5 is a podcast from the gents at Envy Labs which covers interesting ruby related things. They are relatively short and to the point (About 5 minutes)
To be honest, I do not listen to the podcast that often but they list each tech they talk about on the page for that episode which is what I usually have a look at.
In the same manner as Ruby5 above this podcast talks about interesting things going on in the ruby world. The podcasts from Rubyshow are a lot longer than ruby5.
Again like Ruby5 I mainly use this site for the list of technologies they have in the transcript rather than listening to the podcast itself. (Aren’t I an old fashioned duffer…)
While I am mainly a ruby dev I am also resposible for other aspects such as server administration etc. (Not my main job but hey).
Webpulp.tv is basically a series of interviews with employees of quite famous tech related companies.
The interviews usually focus on the technology used by the company, challenges they have faced and how they got around them etc.
It is exceedingly useful to see what others are using in their stacks and a good way to learn about new and interesting software / techniques that might be useful for you.
Unfortunately webpulp does not update very often but what the hey.
As well as the above I have blogs by various ruby related companes on an RSS feed. for example:
You should find companies doing stuff that interest you and sign up to their blogs
This is a handy little site which lets you write and test regular expressions as you write them. It is my go-to site when I need to use regexes (which is not that common, hence why it is such a useful site)
If you have read this far then I thank you for your attention and would like to use it to remind you of one thing.
Everything above is optional. What you should be doing anyway is being signed up to the security mailing lists of all the major components in your stack.
For example if you you Ruby on Rails with PostgreSQL and Redis datastores and a Varnish cache running on CentOS then you should be signed up to the security mailing lists of all of these.
A Final Warning / Bit of Encouragement
I have listed a reasonable number of resources above. This list is no-where near exhaustive and you should be building up your own list of go-to resources. As well as this you need to beware of something I call “Learner’s Paralysis”.
Following all of the above sites (plus ones you find yourself) can take up a significant chunk of your time if you let it.
Do not let it take up so much that you end up reading / learning a lot more than doing. This is a problem I suffer from, I find learning about these things so interesting (at a superficial level) that I don’t actually get round to doing anything. (Work on side-projects, think about that bootstrapped business I want to to start etc.)
Get out there and put the stuff to use rather than just thinking “Hey, I learned something” and leaving it at that.