Iterating over a CSV file to return specific information

Ben McLaren

February 19,2020

For this challenge we want to implement a most_successful method that returns the movies (a certain number passed as a parameter) published prior to a given year and with their associated earnings. The returned list should be an array of movies. Each movie should be represented by a hash with keys: name, year and earnings. Ex: { name: "Avatar", year: 2009, earnings: 760505847 }

We have been given a CSV file containing the data that we need.

We need to put require 'csv' at the top of file. This makes Ruby’s CSV library available to your program so that you can then use the class CSV.

We start by writing a method that will allow us to access the data from the csv file.

def load_movies(file_path, max_year)
  movies = []

  CSV.foreach(file_path) do |row|
    year = row[1].to_i
    next if year >= max_year

    movies << { name: row[0], year: year, earnings: row[2].to_i }


  1. Our method load_movies takes two parameters of file_path and max_year

  2. We begin by initialising an empty array which we will use to store our data. Here we have called it movies.

  3. Next, we can use the class CSV and use a .foreach loop which we pass file_path as an argument. This will iterate over each row in the csv file.

  4. Couple of Steps:
  • Inside our block we are creating a new variable called year. This is equal to targetting the row and specifically the element in the 2nd position (row[1]) which is our year. We then call .to_i on this to transform it from a string to an integer.

  • We then have a next if statement. This simply means move on and skip this iteration if this condition is not met. The condition we give it is if the year is greater than or equal to the max_year.

  • The last thing to do in this block is append this data into our currently empty movies array. We can do this by giving the csv file some headers which will make it easier to read and access data from. This is what this everything inside these brackets means {}. We have name: row[0] which means that the element in the first position in the row is called name. We have year: year which is equal to our variable of year which we created earlier. Finaly we have earnings: row[2].to_i which is equal to the element in the final position in the row converted to an integer.

  1. To finish off we simply return movies.
Now that we have written a method to get all this data we can write our method that will actually do something with it. Here, we have a method that takes three arguments. The number, max_year and file_path.

def most_successful(number, max_year, file_path)
  all_movies = load_movies(file_path, max_year)
  all_movies.max_by(number) { |movie| movie[:earnings] }

  1. We start by creating a new variable called all_movies. This is equal to calling the load_movies method with its required arguments.

  2. We can now use the method .max_by. This method will return the the object with the maximum value that is specified in the block. We say for every movie grab the earnings using the notation movie[:earnings].