[LRUG] Does Rails have an image problem?

Ed James ed.james.spam at gmail.com
Mon Aug 17 10:06:06 PDT 2020

Interesting topic.

Ed > it’s not entirely clear from your original message who exactly it is that you’re selling Rails to - is it the dev/tech team or the business? 

In my experience selling Rails to the business has always been the much easier sell, with the only reassurance required being the availability (and cost!) of developers. However, trying to sell Rails to a team of developers is likely to be extremely difficult in most cases. 

It’s probably also worth thinking about whether it’s difficult because "Rails is Rails", or whether it’s difficult because "Rails is different-to-what-is-already-being-used”. Any tech team worth its salt will know that moving to any other tech stack is a big commitment which will likely have an early adjustment period of bewilderment and steep learning curves, resulting in reluctance/resistance to change.

Hope that helps.

       	Ed James 
I will respect your spam <mailto:ed.james.spam at gmail.com>

> On 17 Aug 2020, at 16:29, Edmond Lepedus <ed.lepedus at googlemail.com> wrote:
> 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 <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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