Where The Action Is

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There’s an interesting shift in the perception of Ruby recently, with some people in the community claiming that it’s becoming a dying language.

No major startup is lauding their use of Ruby and existing businesses are migrating away or simply writing new applications in a different language.

That last part has certainly been true for my company, and even early champions like Twitter have largely moved on to other tech stacks for what they’re building.

I still love using Ruby. And Rails is a great framework for building web apps. But it’s no longer where the action is for the main parts of what we’re building. The main things we’ve built in the past year are a real-time auction system/ad server and several client-side apps. Those represent the 2 areas where Ruby/Rails falls short:

  • back-end applications that need to be fast and scale well
  • rich client-side applications that need more than standard CRUD functionality. Ruby’s a great base but we need to lean more and more on Javascript and associated libraries (jQuery/Backbone/Marionette) to get the user experience we want

After using Ruby for 2 and a half years I now consider myself more of a Javascript developer than a Ruby developer, based purely on how much time I spend in both and where my head’s at on a given day.

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