Let me recollect not very recent past. It was 2008 and recession was at its peak. Back then, I was largely a self-taught developer and had a working knowledge in struts & ejb (the java heavyweights at that time). After unsuccessfully trying to yield a job, I finally decided to pursue my masters in computer applications (out of necessity, or so it seemed back then).
During this frustrating period, I heard about Ruby On Rails, which was touted as the next-gen platform/language. As with other people, I was quite scared of it as the name sounded very unfamiliar. So, I didn't pursue it. However in the summers of 2009, as I was idling across the netbeans.org looking for some interesting activity to do, I came across this '5-minute Weblog' exercise on rails and decided to have a go.
Believe me, it was one of the turning point in my career and I spent more than an hour figuring out exactly how I was able to generate a web application just like that using practically no big tools.
As the things turned out, I was not the only one who leaded this entirely new approach. During a recent magazine interview(http://www.pragprog.com/magazines/2010-12/chad-fowler-on-ruby), Chad Fowler, a prominent figure on Ruby Conference and a ruby authority echoed similar views.
During this interview, it was interesting to observe the maturing of ruby as a language and a platform (performance wise and lightweight for mobile devices).
My current job deals with java, however Ruby & Scala have kept my other side of programming (hacking & open-sourcing) buzzing with activity and with a healthy mix of curiosity and satisfaction.