Programming Heroes – The Rails Core Team

Monsters Inc. is one of my favorite Pixar films. I love the slow-motion scene where the monsters are walking into the scare-portal room to begin work and the young intern monster says in his teenage voice, “Wow! They’re so awesome!” That’s how I feel about the core team behind Ruby on Rails.

I spent a little bit of time this week reading through the profiles on each of the core team members and found myself grateful for contributions that each of the members had made. Each one contributed something new and innovative to the web development community. Each one has made our work as developers hurt less.

David Heinemeier Hansson kicked it all off by sharing with the world his framework that he so ingeniously created while building Basecamp. He’s a true pioneer of the web who journeyed away from the comforts and frustrations of php to a marvelous yet-to-be-taken-seriously-on-the-web language of ruby. Ruby is now my weapon of choice, but I’m convinced that I would have never discovered it without rails.

Sam Stephenson and Thomas Fuchs have made building web interfaces fun. Sam is responsible for fixing Javascript with his Prototype.js framework. I used to hate ever doing anything with Javascript. Since discovering Prototype, I actually enjoy Javascript programming. Thomas developed the awesome script.aculo.us visual effects, controls, and ajax libraries. Script.aculo.us is built on top of the prototype.js. Script.aculo.us makes it possible to build cool Web 2.0 applications. These two libraries together are incredible.

Jamis Buck writes an awesome blog on rails tips and tricks. He’s the genius behind many Ruby libraries for web communication. He’s contributed some awesome libraries and plugins, including Capistrano. He graduated from BYU, my alma mater.

Finally, to everyone who has contributed to making our lives better, THANK YOU!