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Finished Reading: Ruby Performance Optimization
Jan 03, 2017

New year 2017 starts with a bang!

I said I was not going to spend any more of my time doing Ruby stuff, but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to read this book, I did not know for sure if it was good or bad, not a lot of information out there, but what could go wrong if I read it?

Ruby Performance Optimization (affiliate link) was written by Alexander Dymo and published by The Pragmatic Bookshelf in 2015, I got it during a sale and I couldn’t be any more happier after reading it.

I enjoyed the book a lot, I’m surprised is not more popular, maybe Ruby developers don’t care too much performance? Not sure. The key takeaways from this book are the following:

  • Using iterators incorrectly could be a reason certain code is underperforming, too much Rubyisims chained together may kill the radio star.
  • Explicitly indicating the fact you can not, and should not, try to use Ruby for everything. Thing which for whatever reason sometimes I find difficult to understand why some Ruby developers don’t get, some swear by the language and want to use it for everything. Strange.
  • The introduction of several profiling tools, a new one I did not know: KCachegrind
  • Several tricks using ruby-prof, a well known Ruby gem.
  • Confidence interval
  • Query Tests, to actually test the generated SQL, and Benchmark Tests to have proper way to determine if the code degraded (or improved!) after a change.

Overall great book, I really hope all Ruby developers find it sooner than later because it covers a lot of great/fundamental topics and includes clear explanations describing how to properly benchmark code by using all the available tools. Nice.

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