I’m at RailsConf right now. Just saw DHH’s keynote about what’s new for Rails 2.
Basically there is not much new and that is good news. It consists mainly of further simplifications and optimizations.
Anyway if you’re here come up and say hi.
There were many great talks, but this was one of the best. Filled with the kind of insight you only get after very painful trial and error.
The slides themselves are available on Slide Share
Warning, yet again this was taped without the use of tripod, so you may feel a bit like you’ve been riding a camel when you finish watching it.
At the last Copenhagen.rb meetup in November we discussed how to get Rails in to our enterprise customers.
I am thinking more and more that lets use it with the one or two visionary enterprise customers that exist. But let’s not kill ourselves trying to get it in to the enterprise. Subversive uses are great, but we won’t see any major projects for a while.
Listening to the audio book of Seth Godin’s Small is the new Big last night he gave an example of the employees in a large company being concerned more with doing stuff to appear to be doing the right thing in the short run while knowing the strategy wouldn’t work in the long run. I thought it pretty similar to the choices that enterprise software customers make.
- The pick non production ready “enterprise software” like Websphere and my current hell Oracle Application Server as it won’t get them fired. This even though they will need to invest a lot of money in man power and hosting iron to get it to a state resembling usable.
- They pick architectures like J2EE, SOA, .NET etc. as again no one will ever be fired for it, even though the costs are considerably higher and the technologies themselves are extremely risky.
- Prefer to use either “low paid” regular programmers rather than the hotter than shit programmers, who’s needs may be a bit different than the norm.
- Go with large “unproven” (their projects almost always fail) consulting firms rather than smaller more responsible firms (like the ones doing rails)
There is no way competing with quality and speed that good rails developers have in this field, because quality and speed are irrelevant. Rather I am a big believer in taking them on directly as competitors and not customers.
First time I mouthed off about this at a Copenhagen.rb meetup I had no idea that I was preaching to someone who is actually doing just this. Robert and Arkadiusz are doing just that with their startup FairRates. Rather than figuring out how to get in and sell Rails to Danske Bank they took them on. They will be launching Denmark’s first social lending platform for which I am long fully waiting my beta invitation (hint, hint). While the Danish banks will probably pretend they don’t exist, they have a potentially good market for something like that in Denmark.
The Danish investment bank SaxoBank also went down a special purpose technology track and are cleaning house world wide right now. Saxo Bank uses .net technology, but have some really smart tech people behind it. They also decided to not stick with the god awful status quo that is traditional enterprise systems.
So please don’t kill yourself trying to get Rails into the Enterprise. The ones that deserve it are an easy sell. The ones that are a hard sell probably don’t deserve you or even care if they deserve you or Rails. They are more interested in their own short term career goals.
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