The Future OF RUBY and RUBY ON RAILS

DO you guys see Ruby and Ruby on Rails sticking around for a while? and
do you see an increase in demand for ruby/ruby on rails developers?

Regards

Musdev Musdev wrote:

DO you guys see Ruby and Ruby on Rails sticking around for a while? and
do you see an increase in demand for ruby/ruby on rails developers?

This question comes up a lot, and speaking for myself I get sort of
tired of answering it. Besides, it's a pointless question that nobody
can really answer. None of us knows the future.

A much better question is whether Ruby on Rails fits your project needs,
and is it an environment that makes you happy as a developer. Only you
can answer those questions.

I guess what bothers me a bit about this question is it sounds like it is coming from a place of hedging on a technology - like “should I learn this just because I want to be employable in the future — or maybe I should pick something else”. I understand that is not an unreasonable question but is not really a well grounded inquiry.

Consider philosophy. I have fallen in love with Ruby and Rails for the philosophy - in fact over my self-taught career (and time with Microsoft technologies) I have made so so many mistakes that I have derived for myself the need for much of what these technologies (RoR and alike) afford - from the precept of “programmer happiness” to “convention over configuration”, “DRY”, ORM layers, TDD, (not that RoR has a monopoly on these, I just think it does pretty well with them). So if Ruby and Rails die tomorrow I carry the principles and create something new because I have a philosophical foundation which has been paid forward by using such. If you have not gotten to this point in your philosophy, start with Rails and you will start in a good place.

So to rephrase the question: Will agility, flexibility, adaptability and results stick around for awhile? Good chance with RoR unless the technology goes the wrong direction — and even so, dont worry about it, because the principles for sure will not die b/c they are attributes of the natural world.

I definitely see an increase over the past several years. Pretty much
can't help it with something new, unless it sucks horribly (and
doesn't have huge marketing muscle or government requirements behind
it).

Will it stick around, is another question. Another framework could
some along that would make RoR look horrible by comparison. Rails 3
could suck horribly. (Though even then, we'd still have Rails 2 to
use.) My crystal ball is in the shop.

I'm sure hoping it sticks around, though. I kinda missed the boat
with Java -- learned it in about 1998 or so, but didn't row hard
enough to get much work in it. Now it seems like 95% of the openings
are in Java, but I don't have the several years of experience most of
them demand, while kids who will work for half my salary are coming
out of school with at least solid training. I don't want to miss the
boat with Ruby, either by my not rowing hard enough to catch it, or by
it sinking. (I'll dispense with the obvious Khayyam pun.)

-Dave

Dave gets +1 awesome on the "missing the java boat" point. Same deal
here.

Ruby is a great language. Rails is a great framework. There's no
rule that says that this technology CAN'T go away, but the trend with
Ruby/Rails has been "explosive growth" for the last five years or so.
I've personally been working with it for three years, and just got
offered a job today as a Rails developer.

From a business/career perspective, I advocate technology
"agnosticism" as far as what you can work with - David Kahn's points
about taking TDD, "DRY", ORM and other concepts into new languages/
stacks holds very very true. However, you're totally welcome in IT to
have preferences. Some people prefer Microsoft over *nix/open
source. Some prefer Cisco over Brocade. Some one might prefer
shoulda over Test::Unit. Neither is necessarily "right" or "wrong" -
they all have their place. Knowing when to use which technology
platform and how to implement it is the key.

Rails is a tool in the tool box. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Learn to use various tools for various jobs. For web applications
development, Rails just happens to be the best tool I've found for the
job. But maybe some one prefers the "grip" of merb or sinatra better
- no problem! The point isn't so much about which is the "one true
faith" so-to-speak, but about knowing the strengths and weaknesses of
all of them, and the proper business and technical use cases for each.

From a career growth/job availability perspective, let me just tell
you this: I'm basically what you'd call a "mid level" developer. I'm
28, been working as a web applications developer for 9 years this
winter, have no *formal* training in OOP methodologies or design. I
put my resume up on dice.com as a searchable resume only three weeks
ago. My phone has been ringing with NEW calls from recruiters all
over the United States to the tune of anywhere from 3 to 10 different
jobs being thrown at me as potentials every day. And that's only
looking at Washington DC, Denver, CO and Austin, TX. In spite of
targeting those places, I'm getting calls from recruiters in San
Francisco, LA, New York, and others as well.

On Thursday of last week I interviewed for a position. It was offered
in writing today (Monday). Less than a week from interview to offer,
and I'll probably start next week (still nailing down a few details).
That's my personal experience with RoR as a career choice for
technology platform :slight_smile:

There DEFINITELY is growth in the Ruby/Rails space, and a lot of very
large, important platforms are built on an RoR stack. My personal
prediction is that this technology will be around for a while. It's
going to take a decade or more to rival the popularity of .NET or
Java, if it ever does (and I don't think it ever will, lacking major
corporate backing like Sun/Oracle or Microsoft), but I see it becoming
as popular as PHP/Drupal and similar stacks in the future.

You should have seen the "job board" at RailsConf - it was roughly 20'
by 6', filled with mostly openings and business cards from all over
the world. Pretty cool... here's a photo I found (not mine), to give
you a sense:

http://developer.idapted.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/DSC_0104.jpg

--Matt Jones