[LRUG] Does Rails have an image problem?

Gerhard Lazu gerhard at lazu.co.uk
Mon Aug 17 09:40:58 PDT 2020

Don't sell technology, sell beliefs. What do you have to believe in for
Rails to be the right choice?

Most choices are made with the heart, not the mind. The heart in this
context is the limbic part of the brain. Your peers may have been hungry or
tired when they chose Ansible. They may have already chosen Kubernetes
before you have even mentioned it. WordPress is a foregone conclusion by
now, like always (never?) ice in my drink.

Lastly, it's not a zero-sum game. node.js is not taking "developer share"
from Rails, just as Golang is not taking developer share from
Ruby. Figuring out why node.js is perceived to be a better fit - the real
reason - is half the battle. The other half is figuring out what developers
really care about, and leaving preconceptions or egos out of this. Maybe
the right fit is FaaS, but none knows it, and the anchoring bias is making
everyone miss the whole picture.

To end the day on a half-true funny: *Rails chooses you, you don't choose

On Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 4:34 PM Edmond Lepedus <ed.lepedus at googlemail.com>

> Hi LRUG,
> Once again I’ve recommended Rails for a project, and once again, I’ve
> found it a really hard sell, and I suspect the decision will be to use
> NodeJS instead. It seems that outside of the Rails community, most devs
> have a pretty poor opinion or just lack of visibility into the awesomeness
> of Rails. I’ve been asked questions like “Isn’t Rails abandonware now?”,
> been pointed to StackOverflow’s developer survey (
> https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2020#technology-most-loved-dreaded-and-wanted-other-frameworks-libraries-and-tools-loved3) as
> ‘evidence’ for NodeJS’s superiority and been told that “the majority of
> Rails consultants make their money on migrating people to other platforms”.
> This is not a new thing. I’ve been recommending Rails for web projects for
> nearly 7 years, both as an employee and as a consultant, with zero success.
> And before you think it’s just my credibility, I’ve not had any issues when
> recommending, WordPress, NextJS, Kubernetes, Ansible etc. It’s just Rails.
> My current team would benefit hugely from Rails. It would do wonders for
> everything from code quality and productivity to documentation and our
> ability to hire and onboard new developers, but I fear that we will once
> again default to NodeJS and miss out on most of those benefits.
> The weird thing is that we use and love systems written in Rails, such as
> GitLab, and have enthusiastically committed to migrating our forums to
> Discourse, but the halo effect from those projects doesn’t seem to be
> affecting perceptions of Rails itself.
> How do you sell Rails in a compelling way?
> Thanks,
> Ed
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