Three Rubyists having conversations and interviewing others about Ruby and web development.

How Derek Sivers Uses Ruby And His Programming Philosophy

February 03, 2023 1:00:01 86.43 MB Downloads: 0

[00:00:10] Jason tells the story of getting Derek on to be on this podcast, that started with Chris telling Jason about a book that he thought he should read. 

[00:03:32] Derek shares his story of how he got into programming. 

[00:06:56] Derek explains when he learned Ruby and his Rails history, which he used to rewrite CD Baby. 

[00:13:24] Derek gives the best analogy for what it’s like to do two years of work and then decide this isn’t working and push the work aside.

[00:13:57] We find out where Ruby fits into Derek’s life, post CD Baby, what kind of things he builds with Ruby these days, and his experience in the Ruby community. 

[00:17:10] When Derek was first learning programming, he explains his only interest in it was to help musicians.

[00:21:12] Derek has some blog posts about ways to use the database and he tells us about a RailsConf talk from 2012 with Rich Hickey on YouTube that is the single most influential talk of his life and how it completely changed the way he approaches programming. 

[00:28:18] Whoa! Derek tells us he doesn’t use bundle, and only uses two gems, pg, the PostgreSQL connector and Sinatra.


[00:30:58] Jason wonders if code is still fun for Derek when he has to make updates or changes.

[00:32:05] In one of Derek’s books, he mentions he has a database of people he interacts with so he can remember, and he tells us more about that.

[00:36:11] We hear Derek’s philosophy on how he sees himself, and he explains that you give a different answer based on who you’re with. 

[00:42:17] Find out how Derek hosts all his stuff since he stopped using Git, where he hosts it, and how he gets the code there. Also, he tells us he wrote on his blog why he loves the OpenBSD.


[00:44:37] Does Derek ever feel like the simplicity comes with, I need to do something, but now I have to build up things in order to do this complex thing? 

[00:49:10] Derek shares what it means to be philosophical and why he gets philosophical about programming.

[00:55:17] Much of Derek’s history is as a musician, and Jason just wonders if he’s ever had the opportunity to intersect programming in music. Also, he tells us how he uses Stripe as his payment processor.

[00:58:30] We end with Derek emphasizing for everyone to check out Rich Hickey’s RailsConf 2012 talk on YouTube, and if you’re a programmer, please email Derek since he LOVES talking tech. 


Jason Charnes

Chris Oliver


Derek Sivers




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Chris Oliver Twitter

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Derek Sivers Twitter

Derek Sivers Website

Derek Sivers Store

Derek Sivers Tech Blog

Derek Sivers Books (Amazon)

RailsConf 2012 Keynote: Simplicity Matters by Rich Hickey



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