You should learn to program. No, seriously. YOU should learn to program.

In 2023, it’s a cliche to say that technology is important. Software has already eaten the world. Most of our lives are inter-tangled with software applications, both via computers and smartphones.

We are surrounded by computers everywhere. We all know that programming is a critical skill to learn. Almost all industries have a digital footprint, and many companies are evolving to become “software” companies.

The importance of programming is greater than it has ever been.

We also know that software industry is one of the highest-paying industries. You can work from anywhere in the world, (if you manage and communicate effectively) work any time you want (if you manage your time well).

A career in programming gives you the three important freedoms in life:

  1. Financial Freedom: Earn as much as you want (if you include software companies)
  2. Location Freedom: Work from anywhere in the world
  3. Time Freedom: Work whenever you want

But I guess you already knew all that. My goal is not to convince you about the financial or other material benefits of programming and software development.

I want to show you the other freedom of programming: The freedom to create; create whatever the hell you want; build your own digital world and cultivate an online garden. Experience the joy of learning about computers and the magical world of software development.

When you learn to code, you learn to tell your computer how to do something. You can create pixels on the screen, and change those pixels to however you want, whatever you want. You can create the digital world you want.

Ever since I learned programming, I realized that I could create almost anything I want. And that feeling, or the freedom to create is just amazing.

Not only that, but your world-view also changes when you learn to program. You don’t consider computers as some complicated machinery, but just some devices that can be manipulated via programs.

When you learn to program, you also learn to break large tasks into smaller tasks. Then you break those smaller tasks into even smaller tasks, until you get down to the few fundamental tasks that the computer can perform.

Breaking a large project into chunks of byte-sized tasks is a crucial skill in all domains of life, not just in programming. However, programming teaches you how to really do it.

Programming, to me, is all about freedom.

  1. The freedom to create whatever you want.
  2. The freedom to earn as much as you can, without an upper ceiling.
  3. The freedom to work whenever you want.
  4. The freedom to work from wherever you want.

Whatever. Whenever. Wherever.

So I encourage you to learn to program. I can’t promise that you will immediately get a remote, six-figure job as a software developer. What I can promise is that your world will be different once you learn to program.

Learning to program is a skill that will open so many doors for you that you won’t believe.

Learning to program is not hard.

Maybe you’ve heard that programming is hard, it’s full of complex Math. That’s wrong. Programming is not only about Math. Modern programming is much more than programming complex formulas. It’s about building websites, programming web applications, solving programs, designing web pages, and much more.

Maybe you’ve even tried to learn to code when you were in college, and gave up, because the language you were learning was C or C++, or Java, and you just couldn’t figure it all out.

The first programming language I learned was in college; it was C++, and I almost gave up on programming and know many other classmates who did.

The words pointers, polymorphism, inheritance, encapsulation were thrown onto you without explaining their need and the problems they were trying to solve, and you just gave up.

Maybe someone told you that you weren’t fit to code, you weren’t smart enough to be a programmer, and you believed them.

They were wrong. It doesn’t have to be that way. Programming doesn’t have to be hard.

One reason I am telling you that learning to program will be easier, because you will learn to program with me in one of the most elegant programming languages called Ruby. It’s one of the most beginner-friendly and one of the most beautiful programming languages in the world.

Ruby is a programming language. It was created by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto in Japan in 1995.

I’d go one step further and say that Ruby should be everyone’s first programming languages.

Don’t believe me? Let’s compare two programs that print the text “Hello World” on the screen.

Here’s the one in Java.

public class HelloWorld {
    public static void main(string []args) {
        System.out.println("Hello World")

Here’s the same program in Ruby. Yes, it’s a complete program.

print "Hello World"

Not only the programs written in Ruby are wonderfully short, they are also much more expressive than most other programming languages.

Ruby programs are also free from most of the punctuation rules such as semi-colons or brackets and parenthesis.

You can read a piece of code written in Ruby like pure English and make sense of it, even if you haven’t programmed before.

Ruby is a fun programming language. What’s more, Matz, the creator of Ruby, created Ruby in the first place to make programmers happy. Not the computer. Not the compiler. The developer.

Ruby is the only programming language focused on developer happiness. You will truly experience the joy of programming when using Ruby.

However, don’t think for a moment that Ruby is a “toy” programming language that’s fun to program but not build “serious” applications.

There’s nothing wrong with toys, toys are wonderful.

No matter what anyone tells you, Ruby is the best programming language to start your programming journey. Don’t think that Ruby is some niche language used by passionate hobbyists.

Ruby can be (and is) used to build some of the biggest applications and billion-dollar companies (like Shopify, GitHub, Airbnb, Zendesk) and multi-million dollar companies like 37signals, Cookpad, Intercom, and many more. The web application framework Ruby on Rails is written in Ruby, which lets you create amazing web applications pretty quickly. All the above companies use Ruby on Rails.

Ruby is a powerful programming language that can be used to build almost anything. In fact, you could say that Ruby is a DJ-mix of programming languages.

Ruby is also an incredibly concise and readable programming language. What other languages take multiple statements to express, Ruby can express it in often a single statement. Even developers who have never seen Ruby can see a piece of code written in Ruby and understand what it dos.

Ruby also has a wonderful, friendly community all around the world. Although you write programs alone, having support when you need it is essential. There are hundreds of thousands of developers all over the world who are there to help you solve problems and support your journey as a developer.

So these are the reasons we will learn to program in Ruby. If you’ve never written a line of code before, Ruby is a wonderful choice as your first programming language.

Hope my words have convinced you enough to learn to program and program in Ruby.

Now let’s get you all set up for writing Ruby programs.