[LRUG] Convincing a bank to use Ruby

Ben Gimpert ben at somethingmodern.com
Fri Mar 17 01:46:21 PST 2006

Benjohn's suggestions are excellent, but assume some level of authority
in the organization.  If on the other hand you are a mere developer in
the trenches, or a contractor brought in for maintenance on a hemoraging
project (ahem), then you're probably not in a position to even *try to
assuage fears.  In that case, I would try the more guerilla techniques.


On Fri, Mar 17, 2006 at 09:23:18AM -0000, benjohn at fysh.org wrote:
> > I've just started at a bank and am hoping to help some fellow Rubyists
> > convince said bank to allow me to use Ruby.
> >
> > What arguments do you think I should use?  Preferably ones that can be
> > backed up (I'll develop 10x faster doesn't really cut it...)
> Having gone through a similar process that resulted in an 8:1 vote in
> favour of Ruby: you need to aleviate their fears and show them benefits.
> Fear: it's immature, lacks good documentation, libraries, tools and
> community, and no one big uses it.
> Answer: It has all of these. In fact: The Pickaxe is an awesome
> programming book (and there are others), there are numerous extremely
> good tutorials on line at various abilities; it's libraries are
> completely standard, extensive, and excelent (and also very good
> packaging under gems); it has superb standard tools (irb, rdoc,
> debugger, profiler, unit tests); and the community is very active (see
> ruby-talk). Plenty of people use it (links to follow).
> Fear: I wont be able to find anyone to maintain code written in Ruby.
> Answer: It is true that you will find it much harder to employ someone
> with extensive Ruby on their CV. However, the maintainability of code is
> not about it's syntax. I know c++ (12 years), but it took me 3 months to
> get to speed on the code base here. Ruby helps to _reduce_ this time
> drasticaly, because: it supports and encourages (almost demands) highly
> modular code that's extremely maintainable; it encourages inline
> documentation; and it encourages experimentation with irb. Anyone who
> can code will look at Ruby and get what's going on reasonably quickly. A
> few links off to web tutorials (put this info in a README, in your
> source tree, next to the code) will let them jump in to the community
> and be up to speed in days.
> Fear (not a big one, but I've heard it): Everything is an object,
> doesn't that make code rather verbose?
> Answer: Having everyithing as an object provides enormouse conceptual
> simplicity, but does not make code verbose. Ruby is just as able to do
> quick scripts as Perl; you don't have to think of it in an OO way, but
> the objects are there for when you need them.
> Benefits: It's actually more maintainable (for the reasons above). It's
> extremely productive (because of the standardised package with it's
> tools and libraries).

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