Meta-programming Ruby for Fun & Profit

Location: Portland Ballroom 252 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.24, 25 ratings)

This session shows one of the reasons that JRuby is the most powerful mainstream language today: meta-programming. It shows tons of meta-programming techniques in Ruby, including open classes, the shadow meta-class, defining methods, method_ & const_missing, dynamically adding and removing mixins, and more. And each of these comes with an example that actually makes sense!

  • Freezing
  • Messages and Dynamic Invocation
  • The Shadow Meta-class
  • Delegation
  • Open Classes
  • Aspects
  • Mixology
Photo of Neal Ford

Neal Ford


Neal Ford is a senior application architect at *Thought*Works, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery. He is the designer and developer of applications, instructional materials, magazine articles, courseware, video/DVD presentations, author of 3 books, including Art of Java Web Development (Manning 2003), and editor/contributor for the 2006 and 2007 editions of the No Fluff, Just Stuff Anthology (Pragmatic Press). He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, having spoken at numerous developers’ conferences worldwide. Check out his web site at He welcomes feedback and can be reached at

Patrick Farley


Patrick Farley is a developer and occasional tech lead with ThoughtWorks. He blogs on Ruby and Rails at

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