Topic: What was your pre-RoR background?
If you were a programmer before you started with RoR what was your background? My impression is that RoR appears to attract people from a very wide background and that variety should provide a great strength to the community, as long as we all respect the various paths that brought people to Rails.
Me, I was a computer scientist in school, focusing on AI type stuff. Started working with PHP in 2000 when I was recruited for a side project with a lot of non-programmer helpers. I got introduced to TDD and formalized refactorings about a year ago and I love the way it helps keep me honest in my development. I've dabbled with Java for both desktop and web applications. I've normally used PostGreSQL as my database of choice, and have traditionally made a lot of use of business logic in the DB.
Finding Ruby and Rails has been a wonderful experience so far; I love the expressive power of Ruby, brings me back to my school days with Scheme and Haskell -- real closures and lambdas and fewer parentheses