My five-year anniversary with Viget Labs is approaching quickly – I started here back in February 2005. Before I reach that milestone, though, there’s another that’s been at least as influential in my life: this month is my five year anniversary of using Ruby and Rails. I started experimenting with ‘em during my last month at Nextel, when I was using classic ASP and C# in the office and looking for PHP jobs (which, to bring it back around, led me to Viget). I really only played with Rails for a few months, but by mid-2005 I’d gotten deep enough into it that I started talking about it at the office. Even more importantly, I was able to bring concepts from Rails into my PHP projects, which made for visibly better code. By 2006, people got tired enough of me pointing out how easy it would be to build the next project in Rails, so we tried it out on a client, and the rest fell into place very quickly. Aside from that, though, Ruby’s been very good to me, personally. It’s allowed me to speak internationally, write a book, organize an event series, co-chair a global conference, and (last, but far from least) meet and befriend some amazing, brilliant people. I can honestly say that starting with Ruby and Rails five years ago was one of the best decisions I made in the last decade – and while I don’t expect to work in Ruby forever, I hope that every technology I use in the future has a community as devoted to excellence and civility as this one.