Noel Rappin Writes Here

Most Recent Books


Programming Ruby 3.2

The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide

Ruby is one of the most important programming languages in use for web development. It powers the Rails framework, which is the backing of some of the most important sites on the web. The Pickaxe Book, named for the tool on the cover, is the definitive reference on Ruby, a highly-regarded, fully object-oriented programming language. This updated edition is a comprehensive reference on the language itself, with a tutorial on the most important features of Ruby—including pattern matching and Ractors—and describes the language through Ruby 3.2.


Modern Front-End Development for Rails, Second Edition

Hotwire, Stimulus, Turbo, and React

Improve the user experience for your Rails app with rich, engaging client-side interactions. Learn to use the Rails 7 tools and simplify the complex JavaScript ecosystem. It’s easier than ever to build user interactions with Hotwire, Turbo, and Stimulus. You can add great front-end flair without much extra complication. Use React to build a more complex set of client-side features. Structure your code for different levels of client-side needs with these powerful options. Add to your toolkit today!


Modern CSS with Tailwind, Second Edition

Flexible Styling without the Fuss

Tailwind CSS is an exciting new CSS framework that allows you to design your site by composing simple utility classes to create complex effects. With Tailwind, you can style your text, move your items on the page, design complex page layouts, and adapt your design for devices from a phone to a wide-screen monitor. This new edition of the book covers Tailwind 3.0, which changes the way Tailwind generates its CSS and has a large number of new features powered by the new system.


Rails 5 Test Prescriptions

Build a Healthy Codebase

Does your Rails code suffer from bloat, brittleness, or inaccuracy? Cure these problems with the regular application of test-driven development. You’ll use Rails 5.1, Minitest 5, and RSpec 3.7, as well as popular testing libraries such as factory_bot and Cucumber. Updates include Rails 5.1 system tests and Webpack integration. Do what the doctor ordered to make your applications feel all better. Side effects may include better code, fewer bugs, and happier developers.

Most Recent Blog Posts

Books Recommendation List: 2022

Even by my standards, this one is slow to come out, so I’ll keep the intro brief. As I’ve done for the past few years, I quasi-obsessively rank the books I read, and I write about the top several. It’s 40 again this year, and again, I’m really sorry. As usual, don’t take the rankings seriously, they’re just here for some kind of organization. Book links go to Amazon Kindle pages.

Hi, All, It's a Pickaxe Q&A

I haven’t sent out a newsletter in 2022 – about 10% of people subscribed to this newsletter have never seen an actual newsletter in their mailbox. That seems like it should end, so… hi! I’m Noel. I write books, mostly about Ruby. I write this newsletter, which is normally about Ruby, Rails, Agile, and other topics, and is occasionally (like today) self-promotional. Under normal circumstances this comes out a few times a month.

Books That Made Me Happy: 2021

Welcome. Because of the exact kind of person I am, it’s always bugged me when people put out year’s best lists in early December – the year isn’t over, what if you read or see something on, like, December 29th that changes your whole list. (I realize this is a very silly thing to be bugged by.) I traditionally get around this by putting out my favorite book lists sometime around the Ides of March.

Redundancy, Terseness, and Code

Most human communication, text or written, is wordier and more redundant than it needs to be, strictly speaking. That previous sentence, for example, would still communicate its point in about a third of the words with “Most human communication is too wordy”. You’d likely still get the idea if I used about half the characters and wrote: “hmn comms too wrdy”. There are certainly reasons why you might include words when speaking or writing that are technically not needed:

Tech Done Right

Most Recent Videos

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RailsConf 2023

Rails on Ruby: How Ruby Makes Rails Great

April 2023
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RubyConf 2022

In Defense of Ruby Metaprogramming

November 2022
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RailsConf 2021

Hotwire: HTML over the Wire

May 2021

Copyright 2023 Noel Rappin

All opinions and thoughts expressed or shared in this article or post are my own and are independent of and should not be attributed to my current employer, Chime Financial, Inc., or its subsidiaries.