Happy birthday, Rails!

Rails was released one year ago. Can you imagine than its been that long? Or that short, really, considering how far we’ve come. What do you think it’ll look like in a year?

Buy the language and framework, get practices for free!

John Nunemaker was already “happy” developing application in Cold Fusion and PHP, so why bother learning a new language like Ruby? Or so went his thinking, until he saw the new 15 minute intro movie:

Within three to four minutes of viewing the intro, my jaw had dropped and I was beginning to giggle and snort as only a geek can. My mind began to race and when I say race, I mean I almost had a melt down. It looked so easy. I cleared my already empty Friday night schedule (Steph was shopping with her mom) and decided to go through a tutorial and give RoR a shot.

John went on to create his first simple Rails application in just an hour. It’s not only serving as an experience to get to know Ruby on Rails, but also a gentle way to be introduced to great practices for web development. Like using Model-View-Control.

I really like the idea of Ruby on Rails being a way of introducing great practices and patterns to a larger pool of developers who might not be working with them already. By lowering the learning curve of the infrastructure, the good development manners are much easier to sell.

Less infrastructure, more business logic

David from Canada is working on “…a web application to support restaurant/pub/bar managers in their efforts to schedule staff efficiently” using Ruby on Rails. He recounts his experience:

Rails, and the Ruby language, gets completely out of my way. It lets me devote nearly all of my brain power to the business problem that I am trying to solve, rather than how to solve it in the language/framework/tool that I’m using. Instead of worrying about how to implement user logins and access control, database access, and other problems that, frankly, add nearly no value to the customer, I am able to focus on solving their problems. This is where Rails has really shone for me.

This is exactly what the Agile Web Development with Rails book tries to get across too. Ruby on Rails brings you closer to the customer and her business concerns because there’s just so much less boring infrastructure to busy your mind with.

Moving from Cold Fusion to Ruby on Rails

Greg from Social Twister wants to hire Ruby on Rails developers to help the company move various Cold Fusion applications to their new platform. Greg writes about CF vs RoR:

For my fellow CFers out there, I’ll simply say that I still love CF, but Rails Rocks. My CF code was written very similar to the way Rails works now so it made a lot of sense. We’re planning to open source at least one major part of our system and that’s going to require something that’s freely available unfortunately.

Ruby on Rails podcast #2: Talking with Dave Thomas

Scott Barron has released the second Ruby on Rails podcast. It sounds a whole lot better than the first and there’s an even more interesting guest on the show: Dave Thomas. Get the story about how Dave got to be a Pragmatic Programmer and how he got in Ruby. And of course the full lowdown on the new book, upcoming mini-books, and much more.

And of course, it has the latest news from the Rails work. Check it out, yo!

Webmonkey introduces Ruby on Rails

Veteran web developer site Webmonkey has jumped on board with Getting Your Feet Wet With Ruby on Rails. A brief introduction to why you should care about Ruby on Rails and a brief look at tweaking an initial scaffolding setup. Their description of Rails is rather neat:

Rails is a programming toolbox, with a wealth of pre-written code that implements the structure and many of the common functions of a database-driven site. That eliminates much of the preliminary busywork necessary to create such a site, but also enforces a tight, sane structure on the code, which has the effect of making development very facile. It’s like working in a well-organized company: it takes a little time to figure out who sits where and what they do, but once you understand the structure, you can use it to your advantage without having to make lots of micro-managerial decisions all the time.

Two UK companies looking for Rails programmers

The population of professional Ruby on Rails developers is calling for growth:

  • Revieworld are looking for a Ruby on Rails developer to start in August. They’re based in Waterloo.
  • ReThink Recruitment are looking for a number of Ruby on Rails developers for various sites. They’re based in Leeds.

200+ professional Rails programmers across 33 countries

In just a few days, the list of people working professionally with Rails to earn “…a substantial or full paycheck” has blazed past 200! It includes programmers from 33 countries. From China to Finland to Jamaica to South Africa. But the United States is still the dominant force. Almost half of programmers on the list are living there.

Growing the ecosystem around Rails is very important and I’m thrilled to see the list so large already. Who dares venture a guess at the numbers in 3, 6, and 12 months?