Use this command line tool to back Kickstarter campaigns.

gem install kiq -v 0.1.9


Kiq Build Status Gem Version Inline docs Code Climate


Kiq is a crowd funding application that can be run from your command line. This project was a learning experience. Key learning points for me were:

  • Building a Ruby gem.
  • Struggling with deciding if I should use other gems and build in dependencies.
  • Testing Ruby and making code more modular.
  • Getting over my Rails addiction.


This is a Ruby Gem! It can be found on the rubygems site here and easily implemented on any operating system that has Ruby installed with the command gem install kiq.

I tested this gem out on OSX El Capitan, OSX Yosemite, Microsoft 10, and Linux. Just make sure you have [](Ruby installed on your OS). RubyGems comes with a Ruby installation.

This gem uses serialization to store the projects in a .kiq yml file. If you don't want this file in whatever folder you are currently in, I would suggest creating a new folder to use the gem:

cd projects  
mkdir kiq  
gem install kiq  

And then you're off! If you ever want to remove the .kiq yaml file, delete it from the folder with:
rm .kiq

If you're interesting in developing with the code, use git to clone this repo:
git clone

The tests can be run from the terminal with the command rspec. This repo is also set up with Travis CI, so you can see the build status here.

Sample Input and Output

> kiq project Awesome_Sauce 500  
Added Project: Awesome_Sauce!  
> kiq back John Awesome_Sauce 4111111111111111 50  
John backed Awesome_Sauce for $50.  
> kiq back Sally Awesome_Sauce 1234567890123456 10  
ERROR: That card fails Luhn-10!  
> kiq back Jane Awesome_Sauce 4111111111111111 50  
ERROR: That card has already been added by another user!  
> kiq back Jane Awesome_Sauce 5555555555554444 50  
Jane backed Awesome_Sauce for $50.  
> kiq list Awesome_Sauce  
Project Name: Awesome_Sauce  
Amount Remaining: $400.0  
Backer John, Amount: $50  
Backer Jane, Amount: $50  
> kiq back Mary Awesome_Sauce 5474942730093167 400  
Reached goal!  
Mary backed Awesome_Sauce for $400.  
> kiq list Awesome_Sauce  
Project Name: Awesome_Sauce  
Amount Remaining: $0.0  
Reached goal!  
Backer John, Amount: $50  
Backer Jane, Amount: $50  
Backer Mary, Amount: $400  
> kiq backer John  
Backed Awesome_Sauce for $50 dollars.  


Why ruby, why a gem (and the downsides to those choices)

  • I chose Ruby because I'm the most familiar with it. If I were doing a longer form of this project I may try to build it in Go for better performance. However, for the scope of this project Ruby worked well.
  • I was also interested in Ruby because I thought a gem would work well. I had never build a gem before so it was a fun challenge to tackle.
  • I spent most of the planning for this project thinking about whether I should use a gem like GLI, or build out the whole app myself. I ended up choosing to go without a dependency on another package. I thought deeply about this. Probably too deeply. I weighed "Not Built Here" Syndrome with having to rely on how another person packaged up the CLI app. I ended up siding with less dependencies. I took some tips from the UI in a couple apps, and built out the rest of it myself, which worked well. I watched Dave Copeland's talk on CLI apps and while I like Methadone and GLI, I don't particularly like Cucumber, which the built in dependency on Aruba was heavily trying to get me to use. If I were building a bigger project, however, and needed a more stream lined UI, it looks like GLI, Methadone, Highline, and Main are all great gems to use for it.

Architecture Choices


I used serialization with a yaml file for storage and made it human-readbale. This helped me not only organize the data but visualize it as it updated. If this project were bigger and had more objects I would want to use a relational database. However, with just two models, Projects and Backers, a hash to handle the Backers worked out well. It also really helped to be able to read the collection of projects from the file.

Hash Usage

I employed several hashes for O(1) access. Projects are stored as a hash with the name as the accessor. Backers are stored as a hash with the credit card as the accessor. I know projects weren't required to have unique names, but I built that into the app and it made it easier to assess if a project existed or not.

To Do (if only there was more time)

I have a lot of remaining thoughts. A few things that I'd like to work on in the future:

  • Make it look prettier, research UI gems like highline and colorize and look for ways to implement them.
  • Refactor the specs. There's a lot of repetition there.
  • Add more specs for handling user input.
  • Anything! Incorporate an API! Make this an awesome app that you can text to add money to kickstarter campaigns. I was really excited working on this project.