MRS 017: Hal Fulton

Today's episode is a My Ruby Story with Hal Fulton. Hal talked about his contributions to the Ruby community. He is the author of The Ruby Way. Listen to learn more about Hal!

[01:20] – Introduction to Hal Fulton

Hal is the author of the Ruby Way, which was one of the books that Charles picked up when he started programming in Ruby. It’s still being published and still up to date. Hal still loves computers and programming but he admitted that he can’t keep up with it anymore.

[03:50] – How did you get into programming?

Hal didn’t really have the opportunity to get into programming at a young age. So, the first chance he had was when he just turned 17, he went to a summer program, which was a 6-week program at a college. It was dealing with Genetics and Population Genetics. He had lab work and learned some mathematical models. He also learned BASIC and a couple of primitive microcomputers with different versions of BASIC. His first BASIC programs were the hello world and followed by Population Genetics.

[06:20] – How did you get into Ruby?

Hal went to college and majored in Physics. But he was taking Computer Science courses along the way. He dropped Thermodynamics and made a C in Differential Equations. Then, he had to change his degree. He always wanted to major in Physics but he thought that Computer Science is easier and more fun. For him, it will be 10 times easier to find a job and it will be 10 times easier to make money.

Hal worked for a community college for a while. Then, he went to IBM in Houston for a series of contracts. He ended up 7 contracts at IBM, making some 6 months to 2 years. He knew more about their internal processes and procedures. One of the last contracts he ever had in IBM was in October 1999. Someone at IBM told him that he should know Ruby and pointed him to the website.

According to Hal, he was busy learning Ruby. He didn’t know Ruby yet but he knew that he can write.


Hal Fulton

Charles Max Woods