I recently went through an employment change - I was CTO of a small software company, struggling to sell our Rails-based solution into the healthcare market. Selling to hospitals is tough for a small company - our customers were much larger than we were, and we were selling a core software component vital to running their business. It wasn't happening. Thankfully for our founder and our employees, we were acquired by a larger player several months ago, which gained us all some much-needed security.
The new company is heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, so I've had to make the transition. I have a good amount of Java experience so it hasn't been too tough to pick up C#, and I really love digging in and learning new stuff. There is a lot to recommend the .NET platform, particularly for line-of-business software, and WCF has some amazing capabilities.
I miss Ruby. I miss writing code like I write prose - not thinking about syntax or libraries, just clearly expressing my intent. No doubt some of this is a familiarity issue, but I don't foresee C# ever coming close to that feeling of fluency.
I miss the Ruby community. We have great discussions, even when they devolve into drama and controversy. We have companies and individuals that freely share code, best practices, tools, and their precious time to help the community at large. We share a love of well-crafted code and tools. It's easy to take all this for granted, but it's not like this everywhere.
I attended the local Ruby users group meeting last week, and it reminded me of these things. And it re-ignited my enthusiasm. I don't use Ruby in my day job anymore, but I'm excited about working on some side projects that have been kicking around in my head. I'm excited to try out Spine.js, and Rails 3.2, and Ruby 1.9.2, and the latest hotness in tools. Most of all, I'm just excited to have some fun writing code again.