Ruby on Rails is tremendous value for business

I've been developing in Ruby on Rails since the keynote at OSCON 2005 in August by DHH who presented the idea that programmers shouldn't need to do xml situps...

<situps>
  <situp position="up" />
  <situp position="down" />
</situps>

Pretty funny.

Smart convention over configuration was another philosophy.  Then infused into the paradigm was the notion of minimalism and the entire philosophy of "Getting Real".

In 2005, the design was revolutionary.  And it continues to be.  Other frameworks emerged to play catchup.

Each application I build in Ruby on Rails reminds me how little I have to do in terms of needless "situps", and how much I get to accomplish by way of the actual application logic.  My customers get to spend more money on the application as well.  

Development efficiency

The ease at which developers can now build database-backed web applications thanks to Ruby on Rails has lowered the barrier of entry for a new class of businesses to better serve their customers, deliver Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, and to systemize their businesses.  An ecosystem of new SaaS businesses provide services that make starting a consulting business simple for the first few clients (and free with most offering a free trial account).  

Rails has a predictable file structure and conventions that improve communication and eliminate confusion between developers, allowing for new opportunities in outsourcing, avoidance of vendor lock-in, and distributed team situations for businesses.

More value, lower cost

I've observed one project bid at $250,000 on another shall-not-be-named system and won by a Ruby on Rails developer for $80,000.  The total efficiencies created by Ruby on Rails are responsible for these reductions and has created tremendous value for customers to grow their business.  

For example, if developers already have a common convention to follow - meaning the database files, the Model files that access the database, the Controller files that handle web browser requests, and the View files that generate the HTML results - are all found in the same place ALL THE TIME, then it's much easier to work on a team.

Agile development, rapid prototyping

When your development team decides to jettison traditional Waterfall methodology in exchange for Agile development, then Rails can really shine.  Rails allows a developer to quickly prototype major features in Rails in a day or two, getting customer feedback and getting to the result much quicker.  Since the Rails ecosystem is Agile-minded, the cost savings associated with Agile are immediately available to Rails projects.

Comparison to C#

I've also observed a C#.NET project change hands from one developer to another, and the efficiency wasn't there.  From the customer's point of view, the new developer cost about 2-3 times the previous developer.  

The new developer was tripped up by a confusing file organization, compiled libraries with missing source code, license issues, and the use of non-standard generator tools.  The application architecture was divided into a rough MVC framework, however required interpretation and thought about the code structure.  

This customer didn't understand the overhead in having a new developer make changes to an existing project when the platform is not conducive to this common challenge.  In Rails, the MVC framework and the file structure is consistent and conventional, which allows a new developer the ability to easily pick up another's app and understand where everything is.  The immediate focus is on the business logic needed adjusting.  Quite a difference!

Summary

Ruby on Rails is incredibly efficient, and allows the developer to enjoy the process of development and the customer to enjoy lower costs over time.  The customer can then spend more money on design, marketing, or other important business features.

Cheers to the power and beauty of Ruby on Rails!

(Note: I am a Ruby on Rails consultant and capable of answering all of your questions about a potential project.)

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