Using Blocks in Ruby

A Brain-Friendly Report

Using Blocks in Ruby

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Unannounced and unmarked, blocks turn up all over Ruby programs. Their use ranges from some of Ruby’s most basic structures, such as loops, to some of its most sophisticated tricks. Similar to closures or lambdas in other languages, blocks enable some of Ruby’s vaunted efficiency. Blocks even allow other people to write some of the code you use.

With this excerpt from Head First Ruby, you’ll learn about blocks by looking at each concept from different angles. Exercises throughout will help you understand and remember how these closure-like structures work. In fact, these exercises are key component to our unique, hands-on Head First approach.

  • Bend your mind around blocks and methods
  • Build blocks into larger structures
  • Do heavy lifting easily with blocks
  • Get more done with less code

Why Head First? Based on the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory, Head First guides use a visually rich format to engage your mind, rather than a text-heavy approach to put you to sleep. Why waste your time struggling with new concepts? This multi-sensory learning experience is designed for the way your brain really works.

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Jay McGavren

Jay McGavren

Jay McGavren was doing automation for a hotel services company when a colleague introduced him to Programming Perl (a.k.a. the Camel Book). It made him an instant Perl convert, as he liked actually writing code instead of waiting for a 10-person development team to configure a build system. It also gave him the crazy idea to write a technical book someday.

In 2007, with Perl sputtering, Jay was looking for a new interpreted language. With its strong object-orientation, excellent library support, and incredible flexibility, Ruby immediately won him over. He's since used Ruby for two game libraries, a generative art project, in support of a Java development job, and as a Ruby on Rails freelancer. He's been been working in Rails in the online developer education space since 2011.