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Ruby’s Creator, Matz, Joins Heroku

By Peter Cooper / July 12, 2011

Yukihiro Matsumoto, creator of Ruby and more commonly known as Matz, has joined Heroku, the Ruby cloud hosting company, as its Chief Architect of Ruby.

Being the creator of Ruby and a much respected developer in his own right, Matz is hardly itching for a new job to pay the bills, but a head position at the biggest Ruby-related infrastructure company (perhaps excepting Engine Yard) is bound to provide Matz with the resources he needs to make an even bigger impact, particularly in the West.

I decided to join Heroku because they are committed to openness and developing Ruby further. I want to make the Ruby development experience even richer, more natural and more productive than ever for all Ruby developers.


For Heroku's part, they've placed themselves squarely at the forefront of the Ruby industry with the recruitment of its friendly figurehead and benevolent dictator - usually Google or academia snap up the top language creators.

It seems that Matz won't be jetting off to live the Californian lifestyle too soon, though. He's continuing his work as research fellow of the Network Applied Communication Laboratory in Shimane Prefecture, Japan, and will also retain his position as fellow at Rakuten Institute of Technology. These are positions which, I assume, already give him a lot of leeway to work with his Ruby projects of choice.

I scooped up some opinions from Twitter and IRC about the announcement:

I think it's equivalent to shouting from the rooftops that Ruby is the language to pay attention to. While Oracle may be trying to revitalize Java, the industry is looking for a better language, and there is one: Ruby

Brian Ford

I need to know what the interview process was like... "What would you say qualifies you to work at Heroku? Are you a contributor to any open source projects?"

Jason Seifer

Good on him!

the rue (via IRC)

Wow, Matz is joining Heroku? That is awesome!

John Nunemaker

Ruby stays open and development speeds up. That seems like a very positive thing to me. I admit I was worried when Saleforce snatched up Heroku, but this looks like a great move from them. Looking good so far...

James Edward Gray II

Congratulations to both Heroku and Matz from Ruby Inside!

Top-most photo is a collage of Creative Commons licensed work by Shintaro Kakutani and Adam Wiggins.

Update: The Bamboo Blog has posted an English version of an interview with Matz about being hired by Heroku.

A choice fragment:

When I last met Mr Marc Benioff (CEO of he asked me how he could support the development of Ruby.

So I told him that I want to improve the situation which the majority of Ruby Core developers face, that they are either doing their work in their own spare time or they worry about their job security.

He said he could provide us some support and that's why I decided to join through Heroku (Note: Several members of Ruby Core are currently under negotiation to join Heroku).

So, the core of our work will not change. Our mission is to develop Ruby Core, to make Ruby more functional and higher quality. Having said that, I am expecting that the job security we are being provided and Ruby usage feedback we get from heavy Ruby users such as Heroku will accelerate the progress of Ruby development. Otherwise, there would be no point to accepting the offer.


So it seems like more Ruby core team developers might be supported by Heroku soon, somewhat like VMware is doing with Salvatore Sanfilippo and Peter Noordhuis of the Redis project. Good news!


  1. Gustaf Lindqvist says:

    I think it's great for the development of Ruby and the community around it. Congrats to the team at Heroku, good job! :)

  2. Dino Reic says:

    great news for heroku and ruby/rails community kaizen!

  3. Jean-Paul says:

    Great news! Looking forward to Heroku's further development :)

  4. John Joyce says:

    This is wonderful!
    If ONLY more tech companies would take such an interest in building tools like this by providing resources to the build software and hardware tools for the sake of building them, like the old days.
    Yeah, they have a vested interest in it, but as long as it stays open, it's great!

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