I was equal parts encouraged and discouraged at this recent post by Uncle Bob. As a software development community, we rally around the flags of .NET, Ruby, ASP.NET MVC, Python, Rails, Clojure or whatever platform, language, framework you want to throw out there. I was encouraged that there are people, like Uncle Bob, who feel that craftsmanship and good practices can transcend language or choice of platform, but also discouraged that this opinion seems to be in the minority in the larger development community. Another good read along the same lines is this post by Pierce Wetter, aka The Opinionated Bastard.
I started out as a C/C++ programmer (actually if you want to get technical my first professional programming was using Allen Bradley ladder logic) and eventually moved on to C#. Along the way I was fortunate to find some good mentors who challenged me to improve my design and development skills and practice better ways of developing software through Agile and XP techniques. This has pointed me in the direction of trying to keep up with new practices, languages, tools, and frameworks.
Along those lines, I have been dedicating some of my spare cycles lately to learning Ruby. The initial draw to Ruby was that the Ruby community seemed to be focusing on good development practices. I hope this adventure continues to lead me towards more good practices, more great tools, and more smart people to learn from.