Recently I was asked to reflect on the Ruby and Rails eco systems. There are and there always will be developers and newcomers who doubt the thing they are learning. Rightfully so. Time investements are often risky. What if the tech you are using is declining and won't be used anymore?
So here's what I've seen for 2022 and what I sense for 2023.
I'm in the Ruby and Rails ecosystem for almost 3 full time years now. And if I'm understanding correctly, for the past 10+ years there are similar questions floating around:
- is Rails dead in 20XX?
- is Rails worth learning in 20XX as a beginner or career pivot?
- is Ruby better than Java?
Well, let's see...
The good stuff
Ruby launched Ruby 3 right at the beginning of the year with new capabilities around better performance, concurrency, and static types.
Rails went ahead to introduce Hotwire and importmaps as the default for the newly launched Rails 7.
So, there were major changes around the main technologies in the eco-system.
Other interesting points:
- Turbo mobile native technologies get more attention, as it's going to be more easy to wrap your app for the App Stores
- There are still a number of bootcamps that run with a focus on Rails.
- Le Wagon / App Academy - paid
- The Odin Project - free
- Start ups starting their journey to IPO or a well-running small business in the ecosystem (very subjective view of mine, things I've noticed while exploring the job market in 2021)
- There are a couple of game engines like dragon ruby
- Functional languages and frameworks like the Ruby-friendly Elixir/Phoenix are at your disposal if you really have enough of Ruby
- GitHub, Shopify, Stripe, and other big players still making heavy usage of Ruby and Rails and investing in it via open source and co.
- Rails got itself a foundation funded with a million bucks $
The bad stuff
I don't want to hide the negative stuff from you, but I honestly don't know what fuck-ups happened in the Ruby or Rails world this year that would effectfully harm the eco system as a whole.
No big companies left Ruby or Rails for good this year as of my knowledge and no big bootcamps stopped teaching it.
37signals, the Basecamp and Hey guys, Rails' motor and engine, had some bigger scandal around politics in 2021, but I guess they made good for it as of now. 2022 was a growth year they grew much above their usual "small company limits". Additionally, they launched some valuable developer blogs and got started the Rails foundation with some big funding bucks. Foundation means: more investment into the eco-system. Hopefully, this will go into focus areas like content creation and new developer acquisition.
The community and the job market still need to work on being more Junior-friendly, but companies might be opening up and events are including a low entry barrier more and more.
The big changes happened around beginning of 2021 with Ruby 3 introduced and beginning of 2022 the Hotwire framework introduced.
Companies, some slower some faster, are still migrating to Ruby 3 and higher Rails versions. Now there will be probably some more quiet time around adoption and stabilization.
We might see more content, development and maturity around building native mobile apps with Rails in 2023.
It's going to be fine and fun, just jump in and enjoy the trip ;))