The = sign is appended to the end of the method name to define it as a setter method. So now you have the name= method, which can be used to modify the data within the object. However, Ruby offers a short version of this as well. It's known as attr writer.
Attributes are unique characteristics of a thing. Methods are an object's abilities. All instance variables (attributes) in Ruby are set to private by default. It indicates you can't access them outside of the instance. The attribute can only be accessed via an accessor method.