ruby is fast maturing

Here’s a quote from RailsConf2007 that I find astonishing:

“There seems an excellent chance that Ruby and Rails could become a significant platform for IT develop over the next few years. We’re already seeing signs of this at ThoughtWorks – 40% of our new business this year in the US is Ruby work.” — Martin Fowler

Forty percent?! That’s amazing.

I do now find myself using Ruby freely as the main scripting and general project automation tool, but always with a hint of nervousness. Because it isn’t yet sufficiently mainstream that I can expect my scripts to run everywhere. There’s still some way to go before I can expect to be able to ship Ruby-enabled stuff to end-user sites, for example. And even within development shops I find the spread of all the bits n bobs (eg. the copious numbers of gems required in order to do anything unusual) is still very sparse. Maybe JRuby will help.

The rest of Martin’s conference report is well worth a read, as are the many others appearing in our aggregators this week. I’m not sure Ruby will help us end world poverty, but that figure of 40% is possibly a (startling) sign of things to come.

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2 thoughts on “ruby is fast maturing

  1. I think the comment reflects a selection bias because members of the ThoughtWorks team are known to be strong and capable supporters of Ruby. If I had an enterprise budget and a Ruby requirement, they’d definitely be the first name that comes to mind.

    There are the people at RailsConf, then people at other programming conferences, then the people who turn up to local user groups, those who may read blogs, and those who just turn up, write code and go home. The last group is in the majority so I think when people at RailsConf speak to each other it is both exciting and misleading.

    I missed RailsConf as I was at a Code Generation conference in Cambridge, but again, coming away from that it is hard to believe there are still programmers who don’t explicitly worry about DSL evolution, approaches to references between non-orthogonal domain models, and who don’t grok the different between abstract grammars and concrete syntax. However, I hear rumors that not every programmer is focused on those concerns (not even all of the Ruby ones who should know better :->).

    I am looking forward to the Fowlers of the world blazing a trail we can all follow, but I think adoption (as always) will continue to be a bumpy ride. Hence the benefits of projects like JRuby so we can quit scaring the data center guys.

  2. For me, Ruby is an essential tool that helps me do my job better than ever before (I’ve been a developer since 1978). Peter, are you seriously suggesting there are developers out there who who just do their jobs, without the desire to constantly improve?! ;-)

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