Six Figure Ruby: 10 ways to make money with Ruby right now

Like I wrote earlier, it’s frustrating to learn a new language when you don’t get to use it straight away. So I’ve come up with 10 creative ways that will get you started today with making big money (or fame) with your newly acquired Ruby skills.

1. Convince the company where you’re currently doing a Java project (you are, aren’t you?) that they should hire you to convert their corporate website or intranet to Ruby on Rails. Use terms like ‘enterprise ready’, ‘cluster aware’, ‘web 2.0’, ‘TCO’, ‘ROI’, and you’re in business! Now you’ll only have to tell the 5 Java coders who are currently maintaining these sites fulltime, why they’re losing their jobs thanks to you…

2. Take a weekend off to write the successor to in Ruby — now that Yahoo bought it, there will be plenty of people looking for an ad-free alternative (so you should wait a bit before selling it to Google).

3. Start your own line of merchandising around the world-famous foxes. Sure, there’s the t-shirts already, but I’m talking about a much bigger picture here: cute pluche foxes, fox mugs, fox mousepads, fox gloves, fox pens, fox caps, fox laptop bags… And all this royalty-free, thanks to the generosity of Why!

4. You could always go earn your money in a decent way: write the next big Ruby book (we’re still missing The Ruby Bible, The Complete Ruby, Ruby in Action, Data Structures in Ruby and Algorithms in Ruby, to name a few). Actually, books won’t make you rich, so you’ll have to complement your income by doing training sessions and presentations on Ruby.

5. File a patent (in the USA of course) describing a method to “combine a really simple but powerful computer language(TM) with a framework that utilises conventions and best practices to speed up development, in order to create dynamic, hypertextually linked pages with information to be displayed electronically.” While you’re at it, trademark the names Ruby, Rails, Rake, Gem etcetera. And don’t forget to trademark the foxes!

6. Start a language war with the ‘non-converts’ (the Java people) over some aspect of the language where you know Ruby will win hands down. For example, compare Ruby’s ‘throw-it-all-in’ kind of apis with Java’s ‘if-you-can-code-around-it-we-shall-not-include-it’ ones. All this will hopefully establish your name as a Ruby guru.

7. Become a supermodel slash Ruby programmer and start blogging about yourself. Ask Anina for tips. Maybe it won’t make you rich (unless you’re really a super supermodel), but you’ll certainly acquire fame and glory as you’ll get invited to every Ruby related event and get drooled over by the entire Ruby community. That is, assuming you’re female. If not, move on to #8.

8. Set up your country’s Ruby user group. I suspect that this will not work in Japan or the USA, but the Netherlands, for example, lack any form of organized Ruby user networking. (I hereby claim the name Dutch Ruby User Group, although I’m not too sure abou the acronym.) Will it make you rich? Well, with the user group comes the magazine, the yearly conference (RubyPolis?), the member fees, the sponsoring from consultancy firms who are desperately trying to find Ruby coders… There’s got to be money in there somewhere.

9. There’s a whole lot of Java-related websites around that will be needing a Ruby equivalent in the time to come. There’s your,,… they’re all for grabs! You won’t have to think hard what to put on them, and building them won’t cost a lot of time either — provided you’ll use Rails of course.

10. In your Ruby blog (which I assume you already have), include lots of 10 item lists. “The 10 Best Practices For Ruby Coding”, “10 Reasons For Choosing Ruby Over Java”, “10 More Ways To Extend the Array Class”, “The 7 Deadly Sins of Ruby Programming” (7 is okay too). These lists have proven to be a guaranteed crowd puller for blogs. Don’t forget to plaster your blog with ads though, or you’ll never reach six figures!

2005-12-11. 6 responses.


  1. Ruby致富十大秘诀


  2. […] Then there was the query for “six figure income blogging”. Unfortunately, I’m still working on that one. Right now, any one of those six figures is still a long way away. I did write Six Figure Ruby, describing 10 creative ways to make money with Ruby. I’m not so sure if it really works though, I’m still waiting to make my first Euro with Ruby. […]

  3. […] 10 ways to make money with Ruby right now,是bd7lx介绍的一篇Weblog,很快在泽欧里 | Zeal’s Blog上面释出了中文翻译的版本。当你开始学习一门新的开发语言(例如Ruby 和 Rails)的时候,如果没有一个明确的应用目的,没有足够多的说服你自己的理由,进一步讲没有下定决心。那么可以预计这对于任何一个人来说都是一件很难坚持的事情。你的目的可以由你自己来定义出很多种,增加你的收入?提升你的水平?扩展开发应用的平台?还是Just for fun and be cool ?都可以成为你去做任何一件事情,学习任何一种语言的目的跟理由,关键在于目的是否明确,理由是否充分了。假如你开始学习Ruby 的目的在于提高你的收入的话。OK,Danny 跟Zeal 给你带来10 条建议: […]

  4. Danny, this is hella funny! I was at RubyConf this year and it seems that everybody is doing item 4, writing the next great Ruby book. I myself have tried number 10, writing several ‘top 10’ posts about ruby… I still don’t have the six figures though. 🙁

  5. Nice. I like how you transitioned to ads in the end. It almost made me click one of yours.

  6. @Anonymous: great, so you almost made me 0.0002 cents richer!