An Interview With Jim Weirich

This appeared on last week; just getting around to posting a link to the interview here also....

Jim Weirich is the Chief Scientist at Neo

I’ve been familiar with Jim Weirich’s name for a while; among other things he wrote the “rake” tool which most of us use on a daily basis. Then I was lucky enough to see Jim do a presentation at GoRuCo this June, when he explained some of the more advanced features of rake. I was immediately struck by how Jim was able to explain a very complex topic in a natural, straightforward way. Later this Fall at RubyConf I saw Jim gave an amazing keynote address that derived the Y-Combinator from first principles, explaining some of the basic ideas behind Lambda Calculus along the way. This time he not only clearly explained an even more difficult topic, but was able to make what would normally be a dry, mathematical subject very entertaining.

This month I was thrilled had the chance to interview Jim for RubySource; it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about him and how he approaches public speaking. We also had a chance to talk about how he got started as a computer programmer, why he learned Ruby, functional programming, Ruby’s threading model and also his new RSpec-Given framework. I’ve typed in the interesting parts of our conversation and posted them on