When I started the Ruby Quiz project, I made some off-hand comment
along the lines of, "Surely I can keep it going for a couple of
years…" No matter how you measure, we have passed that goal.
The Ruby Quiz has now run for over three years calendar time. If you
prefer to count quizzes released, we're ten shy of three full years
of quizzes. That's beyond anything I ever imagined.
I cannot properly express how much I've enjoyed running the quiz. It
is, quite literally, how I learned the Ruby programming language.
Summarizing the solutions each week had me reading through countless
examples of great code where I picked up idioms, learned new
algorithms, and just generally saw what good programming looks like.
That's just what I personally got out of it.
Externally, the quiz grew well beyond my expectations. It spawned a
book, some of the quizzes have been translated into other languages,
and I've seen it referred to in many places as a terrific source of
"Getting Started with Ruby" projects.
I say it a lot, but I want to once again thank all who have
contributed to the quiz in any way. You have created an amazing
If there is a downside to running a project like this, it would have
to be that it eats time. I've automated the Ruby Quiz as much as I
am able to, but it still takes several hours a week for me. That's a
combination of all that it requires: generating quiz ideas, working
with contributors to get their ideas ready, preparing a problem for
release, collecting solutions as they come in, playing with the
solutions enough that I understand them, and summarizing what I saw.
I also try to participate in the discussions.
I've gladly maintained this continuing commitment, but I think we all
knew I couldn't keep it up forever. I'm involved in many Ruby
projects now and I would like to give some of them the time and
attention I've given to the Ruby Quiz these last three years.
Beyond the constraints of time, I'm running out of good quiz ideas.
The well isn't bone dry just yet, but I'm sometimes scrambling to
keep the ideas flowing now.
Given all of that, I've decided that the end of my watch over the
Ruby Quiz has come. I will run ten more quizzes, so we can say that
I covered three years no matter how the count is done. Quiz 156 will
be my last challenge.
Don't make the mistake of thinking this means the quiz is winding
down. We're going to have some great content in our last few months,
starting with this week's problem which I think is great. We're
going out at the top of our game like all the greats projects do.
My hope is that we'll see a new quizmaster grab the reigns and launch
Ruby Quiz 2.0. I often have to sit out problems I really want to
play in just because there isn't enough free time left for solving
after running the show, so you could count on the fact that at least
one person here would be an active contributor. Besides, if you want
to learn a whole lot of Ruby voodoo, I can assure you there's no
better way. Think it over.
I'll close this long message now and get back to running the quiz.
Send me your great ideas for our homestretch run.
Thanks again to all quiz fans.
James Edward Gray II