First, I needed to download Ruby, which like many languages comes as a free open-source file. (I later figured out that I did not even have to do that—my relatively new Mac already spoke it.)
Second, I needed to figure out how to create and save a program—in my case, just a single line of text. I started off by saving it as a Word document, but it needed to be in plain text. I saved it in plain text, but I needed to adjust the settings to a more-specific format. And how does a computer run a new program, anyway? The answer, in my case at least, was through a utilitarian program called Terminal, a basic interface panel that lets you talk to your machine.
I created my program. I saved it. I opened up Terminal, and told it that I would be talking to it in Ruby. I commanded it to run my program, carefully writing in the file name and where it would find it.
It would not run. It took me more than an hour to figure out I had left in an extra space in my code, preventing the whole thing from working right. But then, after some 98 minutes and some serious Googling, a three showed up in my Terminal shell. I had written a program.
Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and _why: The disappearance of one of the world’s most beloved computer programmers. - Slate Magazine
We are still far from solving one of the problems _why was working on: making programming approachable and fun.