I was wondering what that term even meant. Is it something to do with one's amount of knowledge about the Ruby language or just the plain idea of using it. When can one call themselves a "Rubyist"?

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    To become a true Rubyist you must climb the Himalayas and survive for seven days and seven nights naked with one iron fork as your only weapon, all while singing "♫ Chunky Bacon ♫" at least five hundred times a day, which will attract all nearby snow leopards to you...
    – Saturn
    Mar 3, 2013 at 20:59
  • @Omega I thought snow leopards lived in Cupertino and were the reason that Ruby was preinstalled on macs?
    – user40980
    Mar 3, 2013 at 21:10
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    It's someone, who when forced to use another language, spends more time telling you how much easier this would be in Ruby than getting on with the job. Mar 3, 2013 at 23:17
  • How has this question not been closed?
    – James
    Mar 3, 2013 at 23:58
  • Maybe we should figure out what a programmer is first?
    – JeffO
    Mar 4, 2013 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


A {insert language here}ist (or -ite, or -er) is a person who programs in that language. It is an informal way of saying a "{insert language here} programmer." There are no qualifications for when one can call themselves by such an informal title.

Claiming such a title for oneself would imply some set of:

  • more than passing familiarity with the language
  • able to code in that language quickly and efficiently
  • familiar with the idioms of the language

However, as mentioned - there are no standards, certificates or qualifications for when one calls themselves a rubyist. More often than not, these are titles applied by one's coworkers on someone else in the team akin to nicknames.

  • Thank you very much for the answer. Much appreciated, it also helped me to make a conclusion on the fact that I'm not a Rubyist.
    – user79317
    Mar 3, 2013 at 21:40
  • I disagree with this answer. I don't think "Rubyist" is a synonym for "Ruby programmer". I think it is a synonym for "Ruby community member". Knowing the ins and outs of Ruby is neither sufficient nor even necessary for being a Rubyist. Those can be learned, but Ruby community values such as MINASWAN (Matz Is Nice So We Are Nice), Joy Of Programming or TMTOWTDI (There's More Than One Way To Do It) you either possess or you don't, but you cannot learn them. E.g. Zed Shaw, David Heinemeier Hansson are rather brilliant Ruby programmers but they aren't Rubyists. Mar 4, 2013 at 2:09