NOTE: This post was originally published in April, 2014. It was last updated in November, 2019.

ruby language logoCreated by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto and first released (as version 0.95) in 1995, Ruby didn’t become massively popular until a decade later, when David Heinemeier Hanssen’s Ruby on Rails web application framework appeared on the scene. Today, the language boasts an enormous global online community of “Rubyists” that uses it for everything from NASA simulations and the Metasploit security framework to Google SketchUp’s macro scripting API and web applications like Basecamp and A List Apart.

The following list of developers represents a rich cross-section of the Ruby community. Some are best known as community advocates and activists; others have played a pivotal role in Ruby’s evolution as a language and pushed its limits in production settings. All are worth following for their insights, activism, coding prowess, and collective wisdom on learning and working with Ruby.

 

Sarah Allensarah allen

Sarah is CEO and Founder of Bridge Foundry, an organization dedicated to helping people from underrepresented communities around the world learn to code. She also co-founded RailsBridge, a “free and fun” way for people to learn Rails, Ruby, and other web technologies. Sarah’s career includes early dev work on After Effects and Shockwave, leading an infrastructure team at Google Cloud Platform, and serving as the 2013 Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution.

Blog: www.ultrasaurus.com
Twitter: @ultrasaurus
GitHub: github.com/ultrasaurus

 

Avdi Grimmavdi grimm

Avdi is an independent software consultant and trainer known for his Ruby Tapas screencasts: over 500 “laser-focused” episodes  covering style, patterns, practices, tools, essential libraries, and other advanced Ruby training topics. Avdi is an occasional co-host on the Greater Than Code podcast and has authored four books on Ruby, including the seminal Objects on Rails. He’s a 2016 Ruby Hero award winner.

Website: www.virtuouscode.com
Twitter: @avdi
GitHub: github.com/avdi

 

Aman Gupta

Aman is a Ruby core committer and former executive at GitHub, where he led the infrastructure team that scaled the org to millions of repositories across multiple datacenters worldwide. As a developer, Aman’s achievements include rbtrace, perftools.rb, stackprof, and gctools; more recently, he has branched out into golang and ffmpeg. His blog is no longer active, but you can still catch up with Aman on his Twitter account or at GitHub.

Twitter: @tmm1
Blog: tmm1.net
GitHub: github.com/tmm1

 

David Heinemeier Hanssen

David’s background is the stuff of legend: a programmer whose work as cofounder and CTO at Basecamp evolved into an open source project that would quickly become one of the world’s most popular web frameworks, Ruby on Rails. David is also a best-selling author and Le Mans class-winning racing driver (and as we write this, he’s probably hanging out with Tony Stark).

Website: dhh.dk
Twitter: @dhh
GitHub: github.com/dhh

 

Terence Leeterence lee

Terence is currently a senior Ruby engineer at Heroku; his work there includes leading Heroku’s Ruby Task Force curating the Ruby experience on the platform. His Ruby development highlights include work on mruby, mruby-cli, Bundler, and Resque; he is also a key contributor to the Rails Girls movement. Terence is a 2013 Ruby Hero award winner.

Blog: blog.heroku.com/authors/terence-lee
Twitter: @hone02
GitHub: github.com/hone

 

Linda Liukaslinda liukas

If you think it’s never too early for kids to learn coding, then you’ll love Linda, who wrote and illustrated the children’s book Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding. She also co-founded the Rails Girls initiative, which teaches coding skills to young women in 260 cities around the world. Linda is a  Ruby Hero award winner and was named “Digital Champion of Finland” by the European Commission in 2013.

Website: lindaliukas.com
Twitter: @lindaliukas
GitHub: github.com/lindaliukas

 

Akira Matsuda

Akira is the founder of Asakusa.rb—the most active Ruby online community in Japan, and by extension one of the most active in the world—and the chief organizer of RubyKaigi, one of the world’s biggest Ruby conferences. Akira is also a key committer to Ruby and Ruby on Rails, the creator of the RubyGems package manager, and the developer of Kaminari and ActionArgs.

GitHub: github.com/amatsuda
Twitter: @a_matsuda

 

Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto

“Matz” is the Ruby community’s founder and undisputed leader. He continues to maintain Ruby’s MRI reference implementation (also known as CRuby); and maintains mruby, a lightweight Ruby implementation designed to link and embed within other applications. Fire up Google Translate to access Matz’s Twitter feed, or just start with this interview.

Twitter: @matz
GitHub: github.com/desi

 

Desi McAdamdesi mcadam

Desi is currently CTO and cofounder of Nanno, an on-demand childcare platform. Desi is a widely respected Rubyist whose career has included stints at ThoughtWorks, Hashrocket, thoughtbot, and Pivotal Labs. Desi is also the founder of DevChix, an organization dedicated to training, mentoring, and advocating for women software developers.

Twitter: @desi
GitHub: github.com/matz

 

Sarah Meisarah mei

Sarah is a software architect at Salesforce, but that’s just her day job. She co-founded RailsBridge and, later, Bridge Foundry with Sarah Allen. She also sits on the board of of Ruby Together, a non-profit dedicated to “preserving and strengthening the Ruby language infrastructure.” Sarah serves as a director of Ruby Central, which runs RubyConf and RailsConf—two of the world’s biggest Ruby conferences.

Blog: www.sarahmei.com
Twitter: @sarahmei
GitHub: github.com/sarahmei

 

Sandi Metzsandi metz

Sandi Metz makes it clear: programming is her profession. But she’s also a talented educator and outspoken proponent of “SOLID, object-oriented design.” Most of her talks from the past decade or so are online at ConfreaksVimeo, and YouTube. You can also learn more about her programming principles in her book, Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby or even via one-on-one custom training sessions.

Website: www.sandimetz.com
Twitter: @sandimetz
GitHub: github.com/skmetz

 

Erik (Michaels-Ober) BerlinErik Michaels-Ober berlin

Erik’s career includes work as a software engineer at firms like Instacart and Soundcloud, and executive roles as CTO as social advertising firm 140 Proof and currently as CEO of social podcasting platform Breaker. Erik is also a 2011 Code for America Fellow and the author of many popular Ruby libraries.

Twitter: @sferik
GitHub: github.com/sferik

 

Charles Nuttercharles nutter

How did a veteran Java developer and senior software engineer at Red Hat land in a post about leading Ruby developers? For more than a decade, he has helped to lead the JRuby core team, bringing Ruby language support to the Java VM. Charles also maintains an active blog and Twitter feed, both of which are a rich source of hard-core Ruby coding insights.

Blog: blog.headius.com
Twitter: @headius
GitHub: github.com/headius

 

Katrina Owenkatrina owen

Katrina is currently an ecosystem engineer at GitHub. She co-authored a book on object-oriented programming with Sandi Metz, but her best known achievement might be her work as the creator of exercism.io, which offers, “Code practice and mentorship for everyone” and now includes more than 3,000 exercises across 52 languages.

Blog: kytrinyx.com
Twitter: @kytrinyx
GitHub: github.com/kytrinyx

 

Aaron Pattersonaaron patterson

Don’t let Aaron’s provocative, slightly creepy, and utterly irrelevant moniker put you off: He’s actually a very accomplished Rubyist whose responsibilities include maintaining the Ruby and Rails repository at GitHub. He’s also a sought-after public speaker; a committer to Nokogiri, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails; and a 2010 Ruby Hero award winner.

Blog: tenderlovemaking.com
Twitter: @tenderlove
GitHub: github.com/tenderlove

 

Mike Perhammike perham

Mike is another member of the exclusive programmer-turned-CEO club. He’s currently the author and maintainer of Sidekiq, Sidekiq Pro, and Sidekiq Enterprise (the background job framework for Ruby), while also serving as founder and CEO of Contributed Systems,

Blog: www.mikeperham.com
Twitter: @mperham
GitHub: github.com/mperham

 

Evan Phoenixevan phoenix

Evan is a director of Ruby Central, an organization “dedicated to the support and advocacy of the worldwide Ruby community” that also organizes two of the world’s biggest Ruby events,  RubyConf and RailsConf. Evan is also the co-founder and CEO of Vektra and previously served as Rubinius lead at Engine Yard.

Twitter: @evanphx
GitHub: github.com/evanphx

 

Sam Saffronsam saffron

Sam is the co-founder of  Discourse, a widely-used, open source community forum platform, and co-creator of Media Browser (now Emby). He’s a 2015 Ruby Hero award winner.

Blog: samsaffron.com
Twitter: @samsaffron
GitHub: github.com/SamSaffron
Stack Overflow: stackoverflow.com/users/17174/sam-saffron

 

Koichi Sasadakoichi sasada

Koichi is a computer scientist and engineer at Cookpad. He’s also a Ruby core committer and the developer of YARV, a bytecode interpreter designed to greatly reduce the runtime of Ruby programs. Koichi is a 2016 Ruby Hero award winner.

Website: www.atdot.net/~ko1/
Twitter: @koichisasada
GitHub: github.com/ko1

 

Charlie Somervillecharlie somerville

Charlie is a systems engineer at GitHub and a contributor to numerous Ruby and open source projects. Charlie’s website may be one of the most interesting—or frustrating, depending on your point of view—works of guerrilla art you’ll encounter online these days. (Hint: It helps to have an abnormal fondness of 1990s Microsoft Windows releases if you plan to pay a visit.)

Blog: charlie.bz
Twitter: @charliesome
GitHub: github.com/charliesome

 

Get started with New Relic for Ruby >

Want to suggest another name to add to this list? Tweet your suggestions to @NewRelic with hashtag #rubyexperts.

Matthew McKenzie is a Senior Content Editor at New Relic. He's a veteran writer, editor, content strategist and IT industry analyst with more than two decades of experience following the evolution of cloud computing and related technologies. View posts by .

Interested in writing for New Relic Blog? Send us a pitch!