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Ruby on Rails Development: Party like it's 1999!

Posted by Sun, 12 Feb 2006 23:13:00 GMT

12 comments Latest by baccarat game download Sun, 06 Aug 2006 06:26:38 GMT

I just saw this on IRC

<rend> i dont remeber things being this hot since 99

The context of our conversation?

Ruby on Rails development in 2006.

Is the market really that hot right now? I know that we’re pretty busy and we’ll be announcing (yet) another amazing employee to our Rails development and consulting team this week… but just how hot is it out there?

I am hearing rumors of too many clients and too much work. Is this more fluff... or is this the real stuff?

I’d love to hear some of your stories! I promise to tell mine… :-)

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  1. Avatar
    Justin Mon, 13 Feb 2006 02:54:12 GMT

    Send your clients to me! Just kidding. I am working on 4 different Rails applications that I am having a hell of a time finishing on time. The 10x hype is nonsense and any seasoned Rails developer would (and should) agree. One thing that I have noticed is a lot of potential projects where the client believes this 10x hype and are expecting a $100k project to only cost $10k. Who the hell told people that? My Rails code is much more maintainable (10x?) and I feel 10x as productive, but I don’t think it has proved to be 10x quicker and cheaper than (insert-incredible-bloated-languaged-here). It’s great to know that I am not the only guy who is swamped with Rails work right now. :-)

  2. Avatar
    David Heinemeier Hansson Mon, 13 Feb 2006 04:22:45 GMT

    Realize that Rails only helps speed up the raw programming of a project. That part can constitute any where from a whooping 80% to a paltry 5%. Other parts include figuring out what to do and designing the thing in the first place.

  3. Avatar
    Rowan Hick Mon, 13 Feb 2006 04:59:08 GMT

    Just moved to Canada from NZ and I think it’s crazy here. I just signed for a job, literally minutes after signing a contract I had a headhunter ringing me about a Rails dev position (I was still in the office), got home to my email to find an offer of Rails dev position from a different company… (they’d trawled through the rails list to get my email). The first position I applied to was a Rails dev job, so out of 7-8 oppurtunities I looked at in 3 weeks, 3 were Rails based. The amount of telecommute stuff out there shows there is no shortage of skills required. Admittedly theres a lot of “pay via equity”...

    All in all not bad for a framework thats only just gone 1.0 !! Big ups DHH.

  4. Avatar
    Robby Russell Mon, 13 Feb 2006 05:50:14 GMT Recommend me on Working with Rails

    Justin,

    I can relate to where you’re coming from as I’ve encountered similar inquiries from some potential clients. We’ve learned how to work around the 10x question that comes up and explain how Rails helps get projects off the ground quicker. When we get down to it… projects only get developed as fast as a developer can type and think. Often times the speed gets slowed by the developers trying to implement too much, too quickly. What we have found is that we are able to develop solid and well-tested applications in a simplistic fashion… and the developers love it. :-)

  5. Avatar
    Robby Russell Mon, 13 Feb 2006 05:57:44 GMT Recommend me on Working with Rails

    David,

    Exactly! Rails simplifies the doing... not so much the figuring out aspect of web application development. In contrast to previous development environments that I have been exposed to, both Ruby and Rails provide our developers with a very flexible environment that nourises creative thinking and best practices… rather than promoting the just hack on it til it works approach. I don’t have any hard numbers to back up 10x, 5% or 80%... but I know that we’re 600% busier than we were just six months ago. ;-)

    That’s not a bad thing… ;-)

  6. Avatar
    Paul Mon, 13 Feb 2006 06:07:00 GMT

    Very interesting discussion guys! It just so happens that I am currently contracting a Rails developer in Texas. He is charging me $50/hour to build a simple Ruby on Rails CMS and it is taking him a really long time. I was quoted a flat-bid of $14,000 to do the project in Java and the Rails developer is currently nearing $10,000 and there is no chance that he will finish within the next $4,000. He assured me that 10x was also just marketing fluff but I as I am not a developer, I have no way to compare his work to others. Is it common to pull the plug on one developer and switch to another mid-stream or is this bad mojo? The developer is not responding to my emails very often and when I ask him about delivery dates, he dodges the question and reminds me that he is very booked. What are us clients supposed to do if all the Rails developers are too busy?

  7. Avatar
    Robby Russell Mon, 13 Feb 2006 06:36:20 GMT Recommend me on Working with Rails

    Paul,

    Eek, I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing some troubles. Managing several clients at once is not an easy task. There is definitely an art to managing expectations of clients and it’s not something that can easily be taught. As you are the client, you are… ultimately responsible for the successful outcome of your project (probably even more than you think). The best thing that you can do is be the one in control of your project. While you might not know how the application is completely structured… if you have the time, ask to review the code. Ask about the database structure. Ask for a visual representation of the application domain, perhaps some UML would be useful to you. I’ve seen too many projects fall into the hands of inexperienced developers that don’t follow through and if you feel uncomfortable, ask questions sooner than later. If you can afford it, have another developer team audit the code base. Has the developer provided you with an estimate of how much longer the project is going to take? If not, start with that question.

    I love it when our clients keep us on our toes. It is the clients visions that we help produce… and we are not the keyholders to their success. Our development should be Agile, readable, and ready at any moment to be handed to another developer to take over… even if it means losing the project.

    Clients deserve more control and flexibility than developers generally allow for.

    We are part of our clients’ success… but not the key to it.

  8. Avatar
    Paul Mon, 13 Feb 2006 07:43:41 GMT

    Robby, thank you for the response and thoughtful feedback. I just emailed my developer to ask him! :-)

  9. Avatar
    Nathaniel Talbott Mon, 13 Feb 2006 15:45:05 GMT

    Paul,

    I recently had a client burned by a contractor that (I think) was based in Texas. Drop me an email – you’ll find my address on my blog – and I can verify that you’re not dealing with the same guy.

  10. Avatar
    brasten Mon, 13 Feb 2006 16:17:15 GMT

    Productivity is hard to measure. I definitely work faster in Ruby than I do in Java. I wouldn’t say anything close to 10x, though. For me, it’s more about building better code and being able to fit in the features that I really wanted in the amount of time I have.

    Doing the code-test-refactor-code-test-refactor cycle in Rails is easier (for me), and results in extremely well written, agile code that I feel good about.

    While it’s not a measurable indicator, I sleep better at night after a day of coding Ruby than I do after a day of coding Java. :)

  11. Avatar
    Jonathan Conway Mon, 13 Feb 2006 23:51:10 GMT

    In the UK there is definitely a boom as far as RoR web application development is going.

    However although I’m all booked out till May, it’s definetely hard finding good clients who are willing to pay a decent rate for a well written and extensible RoR application. I’m even considering that I may have to go back to developing Java/Spring apps for clients in the middle of the year. Scary thought.

    Hopefully other UK Railers are having a better time.

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