Zed Shaw

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Zed Shaw
Zed Shaw in Montreal cropped.jpg
Shaw in Montreal, 2008
Occupation Software developer
Website zedshaw.com

Zed A. Shaw is a software developer most commonly known for creating the Mongrel web server for Ruby web applications,[1] as well as his articles on technology, business, and technical communities. His most famous and well-covered piece was his article called "Rails is a Ghetto"[2][3] which has since been removed from his site.[4] Zed is also behind an initiative entitled, "Programming, Motherfucker" the manifesto for which he claims that his group of programmers are "tired of being told we're autistic idiots who need to be manipulated to work in a Forced Pair Programming chain gang."[5]


Shaw authored the Mongrel web server for Ruby web applications.[6] Mongrel was the first web server used by Twitter, and inspired Node.js, according to its creator Ryan Dahl.[7] Mongrel2 is the language-agnostic successor to Mongrel.

He has also written a Python mail server called Lamson,[8] on which the mailing list site LibreList is built.

Learn Code the Hard Way[edit]

Shaw is the author of learncodethehardway.org, which offers to teach users Python, Ruby, C, Regex, and SQL.[9]


Python 3[edit]

Shaw does not consider Python 3 as a language suitable for beginners, citing issues such as strings being statically typed between bytes or UTF-8 characters, the multiple string formatting options, and the community's insistence on pushing problematic early releases of the language. Nonetheless, in February 2017 he published a first draft of Learn Python 3 The Hard Way.[10][better source needed]

He sarcastically declared in November 2016 that "Python 3 is not Turing complete" due to claims from Python project developers that Python 2 code cannot be made to run in the Python 3 VM.[11]

Criticism of certain behaviours within startup culture[edit]

Shaw has spoken about the amounts of vague and misleading information that is pervasive on the startup and entrepreneur culture, particularly concerning self-proclaimed startup advisors or entrepreneurship "gurus", having demonstrated publicly how some notable figures in the industry appear to speak and provide advice from a background of success that they never actually attained. [12]



  1. ^ Mallett, Steve (17 May 2006). "Zed on Ruby, Rails, Mongrel, and More". O'Reilly. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  2. ^ Arrington, Michael (1 Jan 2008). "Zed Shaw Puts The Smack Down On The Rails Community". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  3. ^ Manchester, Phil (8 Jan 2008). "Uncertainty for Ruby and Rails despite changes: Zed rails, Bray dizzy". The Register. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  4. ^ "Rails is A Ghetto". Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. 
  5. ^ "Programming, Motherfucker Do you speak it?". Retrieved 2015-04-20. 
  6. ^ Eyler, Pat (24 Aug 2006). "Making waves in the Ruby world". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  7. ^ Synodinos, Dio (13 Dec 2010). "Deep inside Node.js with Ryan Dahl". InfoQ. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  8. ^ Dziuba, Ted (3 July 2009). "Lamson - email app coding without the palm sweat". The Register. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  9. ^ Zed, Shaw. "About Learn Code The Hard Way". Retrieved 2015-08-01. 
  10. ^ https://learnpythonthehardway.org/python3/
  11. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20161123042252/https://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/nopython3.html
  12. ^ https://vimeo.com/53494258

External links[edit]