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Rails TakeFive: Five Questions with Ryan Garver

Rails TakeFive: Five Questions with Ryan Garver

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Published by FiveRuns
The Rails TakeFive interview series is a weekly discussion with FiveRuns and noted developers in the Ruby on Rails community. In this edition, FiveRuns welcomes Ryan Garver, CTO at ELC Technologies. ELC Technologies is a software-consulting firm based in Santa Barbara, California, that has the biggest team of Ruby on Rails developers bringing new applications to global 2000 companies and startups.
The Rails TakeFive interview series is a weekly discussion with FiveRuns and noted developers in the Ruby on Rails community. In this edition, FiveRuns welcomes Ryan Garver, CTO at ELC Technologies. ELC Technologies is a software-consulting firm based in Santa Barbara, California, that has the biggest team of Ruby on Rails developers bringing new applications to global 2000 companies and startups.

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Published by: FiveRuns on Aug 01, 2008
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8/1/08 11:16 AMRails TakeFive: Five Questions with Ryan GarverPage 1 of 3http://blog.fiveruns.com/2008/3/1/rails-application-monitoring-takefive-five-questions-with-ryan-garver
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On Rails production performance and monitoring
Rails TakeFive: Five Questions with Ryan Garver
Published on February 29, 2008 by deanThe week, FiveRuns welcomes Ryan Garver, CTO atELC TechnologiestotheRails TakeFiveseries. ELC Technologies is a software-consulting firmbased in Santa Barbara, California, that has the biggest team of Ruby onRails developers bringing new applications to global 2000 companies andstartups. They are also a FiveRunspartner.
FiveRuns:
Welcome Ryan. What was your first “ah-ha” moment with Rubyon Rails and when did you know that the framework was a good fit foryou?
Ryan Garver:
I started using Ruby on Rails after developing a decentlylarge PHP application about three years ago. I felt like everything I had developed in PHP was custom,right down to the directory structure. It was maddening.At the end of the project I knew there had to be a better way to develop web applications. I looked at anumber of newer web frameworks including TurboGears, and Django. (I had an affinity to Python at thetime.) Along the way I tried Rails. By the time I had completed the DHH screencast and built a smallsample app, I was hooked. Ruby felt much more like English than programming, and at the time I wasonly just beginning to get a glimpse of some of the tricks the language and Rails held.
FiveRuns:
In hisRubyConf 2007 Keynotepresentation Matz stated that “The suits people aresurrounding us” – is this increasingly the case with the community, and what does this mean for thefuture of Ruby?
Ryan Garver:
I think with any new thing in technology, if you develop a good thing, it’s only a matter of time until the suits start showing up. What we do as programmers is in high demand and veryprofitable. When something like Ruby and Rails comes along and undermines the current thinking ontime to market and developer efficiency people will start to pay attention. I consider this a sign that weare doing something right and that the world at large is beginning to notice.As far as how this impacts the future of Ruby, I suspect that the primary focus will remain around Rails.Ruby will feel the trickle-down effect from that community. The biggest place where I see a need forchange (primarily driven by the enterprise) is Rails ease of deployment. Capistrano is great, but most bigIT departments are not designed like a startup where every developer is a systems administrator andhas the keys to the production machines. JRubyis doing some neat things in this department bysupporting Java-based deployments, which by now have a long history in the enterprise. This strategy isvery appealing to many enterprise customers, but using Ruby can restrict what Ruby libraries you haveavailable so there is still a cost. I expect that moving deployments to something that more closelymodels the WAR file approach is right on the horizon. Keep you eyes onEngineYard’smod_rubinius andthe others out there trying to make this better.
FiveRuns:
When is Ruby on Rails an appropriate choice for application development in the enterprise?
Ryan Garver:
I think as soon as you have a web-based project on a tight deadline you should take alook at Rails. In my experience, Rails consistently outperforms other technologies in terms of time tomarket and longer-term maintainability.
FiveRuns:
Is the Rails ecosystem missing any key tools that could make life easier for developers, and 
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