Well, in the ASP.Net, C# world, a lot of your time is spent writing code that tells your application how to talk to the database (Data Access Layers, XML Config files and all sorts of ugliness). Once you have that built (and tested), you need to created objects and controls to store that data. Then you need to write Stored Procedures to access the data in the SQL Server. And so on.
All of this is both time consuming and stultifyingly dull. Because you don’t have to do any of this in Rails (well, you do have to create your objects, but that’s easy peasy) you get to spend more time thinking about the application, how it works, and how to make it easier to use.
This means two things: Firstly, we can deliver a better website for the same amount of money, and secondly, we get to have more fun while we’re doing it, because we are continually astounded by Ruby and 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?
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.
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.
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.
Naviance is building a “school technology platform …primarily in Ruby on Rails” and is thus looking for a senior Ruby on Rails developer to help them lead the effort. The position is in Denver, USA and relocation may be provided for the right candidate.
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!
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.
The population of professional Ruby on Rails developers is calling for growth: