Who is this site for?

Any developer who aspires to level up, but who feels like working on mission-critical open-source apps is “out of their league”. If you’ve ever said to yourself “Maybe an engineering manager or a staff engineer could grok that, but I’d never be able to”, this site is for you.

Warning: Here Be Errors

These posts represent my best understanding of the domain at the time I wrote them. That said, I’m a journeyman engineer myself, and I guarantee you there are errors within these posts. This project started out as an attempt to level myself up by “teaching what I’ve learned”, and that will continue to be the case going forward.

If you spot an error and want to help fix it, feel free to reach out by email at impostorsguides [at] gmail.

Why the focus on Ruby and Rubyists?

I mostly work with Ruby in my day job. I got my start in Ruby, at a bootcamp. I love the Ruby community and want to give back to it.

What prior knowledge do you need to follow these posts?

  • You need to know how to use git. If you don’t yet know this crucial tool, a good free resource is the “Pro Git” book, a free, comprehensive book available entirely online.
  • You need very basic knowledge of how to navigate in a terminal. You should be familiar with cd, ls, pwd, and similarly elementary commands.
  • You need some basic programming knowledge, such as familiarity with if-blocks, case statements, what variables are, etc.

This Site’s Principles

  • The best way to learn something is to teach it.
  • If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it well enough.
  • Teaching someone to fish is better than giving them a fish.
  • Experiments help you verify something works on your own machine.
  • They’re also great hands-on activities.
  • Whenever possible, use resources that are free (as in beer). This guide is for everyone, and everyone can afford “free”.

A Note About Links

I use internet-archived links whenever possible, so you can see what I saw at the time I encountered the pages that I reference.

My first choice for these archived links is usually The Wayback Machine, since they don’t obfuscate the links and you can see what link you’ll be visiting. Occasionally, specific URLs get excluded from Wayback, and in these cases, I use Archive.ph instead. I’m looking for a back-up archiver which doesn’t obfuscate links, and would appreciate any suggestions.

Also occasionally, I have no choice but to link to a Youtube video. These links aren’t archivable, as far as I know, so I link to the original and pray that the video stays up forever.

Want to support me?

Instead, please consider supporting the Internet Archive / Wayback Machine. This site makes liberal use of their link archiving feature, without which it would be a much poorer offering. You can find their “Donate” page here.

How to contact me

I’m happy to hear from you! I can be reached at impostorsguides [at] gmail.


This site would not have been possible without inspiration from:

Thanks for paving the way, y’all!