The Devil in Ruby — Installing Gems

I traveled to Chicago last Thursday to meet up with Mike for some pairing, as well as attending 8th Light University on Friday.

We were going to use my laptop for the pairing when Mike discovered a problem with my Ruby install. The gems hadn’t fully installed. While my computer re-installed everything, we used Mike’s computer to build a coin changer program. Once we got rolling, my brain finally started wrapping around the syntax of Ruby and all it has to offer.

My computer and rvm weren’t so lucky.

The install of rubygems failed again.

It continued to do so even after I completely removed rvm and started from the very beginning several times. (Side note: I find it hilarious that to uninstall rvm the command is ‘rvm implode’!) I did some googling around trying to find different uninstall and reinstall options for rvm, ruby and gems to work my way around the issue.

One of the biggest problems I had while searching this error was that when I search the error in its entirety nothing shows up.

This error has been the bane of my existence for the last 18 hours or so:

There is no checksum for ‘’ or ‘rubygems-2.1.8.tgz’, it’s not possible to validate it.
This could be because your RVM install’s list of versions is out of date. You may want to
update your list of rubies by running ‘rvm get stable’ and try again.
If that does not resolve the issue and you wish to continue with unverified download
add ‘–verify-downloads 1’ after the command.
There has been an error while trying to fetch rubygems.
Halting the installation.

Eventually I used the information found here and here to get around the issue. I tried several of the options at both places to no avail, but when I did the steps from the two combined, I had success!

So, first, you’re going to want to start over.

  1. Remove rvm and ruby.
    • Run one at a time:
      • rvm remove ruby
      • rvm implode
  2. Re-install ruby and rvm (towards the end of the command running it will prompt you for your admin password)
    • curl -L | bash -s stable –ruby
  3. Reload rvm (if you try and skip this step the terminal will make you do it anyway, so just do it.)
    • rvm reload
  4. Install another (failing at gems install) run of 1.9.3
    • rvm install 1.9.3
  5. Run a fix to install the gems
    • rvm get head && rvm-smile
  6. Install the latest gems
    • rvm rubygems latest

At this point is where you should use ‘gem list’ to see that it (and any other gems you’ve installed) are there. I did not use this command, which caused me to freak out because I thought I was getting the same error as above, and that did not make me happy. I spent the weekend diving into a rabbit hole that didn’t exist.

You code, you learn.

I’m glad (although a little pissed) that it was user error and my steps above worked!

How was your weekend?

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing – A WRAP UP!


What an adventure! My first Grace Hopper conference has come to a close. I am writing from the Minneapolis Airport, gate F10, where I am thinking about the whirlwind that the last few days have been.

It has been a very inspirational four days. Being surrounded by 4,600 other technical women is a boost for me.  Although I know that there are other women in tech, I don’t see them in person as much as I see men in tech. My husband’s entire team (save for two amazing women) are men. So many prominent people in tech are men. But I think we can change that, and I am really excited to be a part of making that change.

I wanted to share what I learned (or what I was reminded) over the last four days.

1. Women are awesome. AWESOME.

2. Women don’t negotiate their salaries enough and most often they are paid $6,500 less than their male counterparts – and that’s just starting salary.

3. I learned how to use Google Glass, and I had the opportunity to play with it. The wifi wasn’t working in the career fair center, so I didn’t get to use it in that capacity, but it was fun. I don’t know if I will ever want to own a pair, but it was fun to play with.

4. Fabulous resource. I had an opportunity to meet Matt Wallaert, one of the minds behind the site. He is a great speaker and I really enjoyed his lightening talk and speaking with him after. One of my favorite things that he said during his talk was, “Telling me that I care about feminism because I had an awesome mom is like telling me I only care about racism because I have black friends. And that is fucking bullshit.” I love that, we need more fantastic men helping women advocate for themselves and advocating for them when they can’t or won’t do it for themselves.

If you get the opportunity to see him speak, do it, he is a very energetic, engaging and funny speaker.

5. When speaking to a client about their product, write it down and follow up after the meeting via email to keep everyone on the same page. The human memory is faulty.

6. The Mall of America is huge. That has nothing to do with the conference, but I’ve never been there before, so that’s something I learned.

7. There is a very diverse opinion about MOOCs. Not all good, either. But I like them, a lot. They are an excellent resource to learn something new.

8. Brenda Chapman.

9. The TSA likes my Box shirt. Always a good thing, right?

10. Always talk to every company at a career fair, you never know where your next opportunity might present itself.

11.  Networking is EXHAUSTING.

12. Don’t forget to have fun!

There is a lot to learn by attending conferences, and I am really glad that I went. It helped, in a strange way, to combat my impostor syndrome. I hope it sticks around.