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deciduously profile image Ben Lovy ・1 min read

Much to not-too-far-past-Ben's surprise, I accepted an offer this morning for my first full-time software engineering role. Beginning June 1, 2020, pending a successful visa process and a potential global pandemic, I will be working for Dalia Research in the role of "Backend Engineer".

A few points of interest:

  • It's primarily a Ruby/Rails job. If you take a quick look at my post history, that's...not one of mine. I will have some Ruby to learn. (I told them this.)

  • This company is located in Berlin, Germany. It's not a remote gig, and I live in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. To avoid the prohibitive commute, I'm relocating to Berlin. I will have some German to learn. (I told them this.)

  • DEV's work_status boolean is entirely to blame. Thanks, DEV, very cool!

The point as it pertains to DEV, I guess, is that I'll probably start writing about Ruby! I'm already a fan.

Plot twist, right?

I would love any recommendations you may have for high-quality human-language self-learning. While the office speaks English and Berlin has a high concentration of foreigners, I will want to attain at least ILR 2 - of course not necessarily entirely before I go. Is Rosetta Stone worth the cash? Pimsleur? I've started the Duolingo track but that's really just practice, I need something more substantial as well.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

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To avoid the prohibitive commute...

You weren't down with having a daily morning swim, eh? Just as well. I heard traffic in the mid-Atlantic can be a real bear.


It's 2020 already, I was told there'd be jetpacks and teleportation...


Fax machine works good for long distance commute, assuming the destination machine has enough toner and there's a decent bicycle pump on hand.

Okay, I'll bite. What's the pump for?

Because when you come out of the fax machine, you're always pretty flat.

I'm reporting this joke.


It's primarily a Ruby/Rails job. If you take a quick look at my post history, that's...not one of mine.
I'm relocating to Berlin. I will have some German to learn. (I told them this.)

A commitment and brave decision to your life and software career, good luck and best wishes !!


I've been programming in Ruby for almost 10 years, a few suggestions I might tell you:

  • I believe the best way of learning Ruby on Rails is through the book: Agile Web Development with Rails, it starts with an example app which I think it's very instructive.

  • Ruby has its flaws, it's good to recognize them from the beginning, that will help you in the future, being a dynamic language can be frustrating sometimes, the way the community compensates that is through unit testing, you need to tests a lot, things that with a static language you don't need to.

  • Avoid metaprogramming as much as you can, might seems pretty cool but in the end the code turns out a little bit hard to follow for your coworkers.

If you need any help feel free to contact me.

Best regards.


Thank you so much, this is great. Will definitely keep this comment around.



I'm living in Germany for some time and my German is still(shame on me) very basic. I can't talk about Rosetta Stone, but Duolingo is pretty cool for increasing your vocabulary.

The tip my coworkers always give me is to try italki. I never tried it, but the ones who did here say it's affordable and you can find good teachers.


Thanks so much for the tip! Never heard of this.


So happy for you Ben! Good luck and welcome to the Ruby side 😂

I've only been in Berlin once and in the depth of winter but I loved it!

Your post is a testament that knowing a language is not always required to get a job, skills are very transferable between programming (and sometimes spoken) languages.

If you want to play with Ruby and Rails, DEV runs on Rails and it's open-source 👀😊

See github.com/thepracticaldev/dev.to


I was thinking this might be what finally pushes me to do something with my local copy of the DEV repo :)

Thanks very much. Ruby is quite nice!


Congratulations! I lucked out in that my first position is remote and I have to pop over to Cambridge for the (very) occasional 1 on 1, but getting out of Boston is one of the best things any dev can do, just because traffic and living expenses are so out of control.


Oof, I know! It's my childhood hometown, but it's just become ridiculous.


Congratulations! Working abroad in Berlin, what an adventure.

Haha, most brilliant piece of subdued humor I've come across in a while: "To avoid the prohibitive commute" :-) :-) :-)

Well, learning German might turn out to be the hardest part ... I think 2000 years ago English and German were somewhat similar, but that's not really the case anymore, be prepared to learn a lot of "Schwere Wörter" ... well maybe this one is for you:


and reassuringly it says "The German language and the English language have the same roots", but don't expect all too much of that, yes the most basic words often have a similarity so that does help, but it ain't gonna be easy (although a lot easier than, say, Chinese).

But most Germans do know English and I think they're fairly tolerant of a foreigner's mistakes when he's trying to speak their language. And I think it can be great fun to learn it.

Finally, from what I've heard Berlin is just a fantastic city, and since you'll be in the "Schengen Zone" (EU region with free movement of persons) you'll be able to travel freely to other countries, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, you name it (not the UK though).


Viel Glück, Ben! Ich habe Deutsch an der Uni gelernt, und sie ist eine sehr schöne Sprache. Deutschland ist auch ein schönes Land mit viel zu sehen und erleben.

German is very similar to English grammatically and in terms of the sounds. There are some weird quirks that, once you get used to them, will seem very naturally.

Also, what's your secret? Landing a gig for a language you don't know is pretty tough—but in a different country? Those are some mad social skills :)


Thank you! I did take a single semester about a decade ago, I have some of the sounds and basics still in my head somewhere - excited to have a reason to start again!

The interview was more about drilling in to whether I understand the platform, not so much the specific tools. I used Rust throughout and was able to demonstrate that I do. Also, it is an English-speaking workplace.

Trust me, I'm pretty surprised too. This was a loooong shot.


Congratulations Ben 🎉

P.S.: I've no clue of Ruby, I would not be against a first beginner friendly post 😉


That's a good idea, once I get my bearings!


Congrats Ben good luck


Congrats, good luck!


Indeed not what I would have expected, but congratulations.


Thank you!


That's amazing! Congratulations, and good luck with the move!


I've seen you turn from a "newbie" (your words not mine) into an awesome developer. I'm proud to call you my DEV pal, good luck and I'm sure mastering Ruby will be a piece of cake.


Thanks so much, Yoandy!


Congrats!! Hope this new adventure brings you tons of success and happy experiences :D


Cool! I'm surprised you got the job lacking both Ruby and German. Good luck!


Trust me, so am I :)


Congrats man! I have no doubt that you'll be teaching us all Rails through your posts in the not too distant future!


Ben, if you need any help with either Ruby, Rails or German, feel free to get in touch!


Thank you, really. You should expect a ping.



Congrats, Ben!


Good luck Ben,,I think ,,it will be success story


Wow congrats! Sounds like it's going to be an adventure for you.


Thank you! Quite the understatement :)


The Assimil method is pretty thorough, for any language.


Finally, Ben Eleven