Ruby on Rails for Startups!

3 May 2012 by Abhijit Rao 1 comment

Choosing a technology platform is a key decision for all startups and an adept entrepreneur never misses to consider both strategic and technology perspective while selecting one. What matters most for an intelligent startup?…time to market? quality? money? When enticed to take on the latest “silver bullet” technology, startups need to cautiously weigh the associated gains and trade-offs. Synonymous to rapid web development, ruby on rails is twice as fast to develop as Java and twice as maintainable as PHP. Gartner’s prediction of a fourfold increase of Ruby developers to four million by 2013 further substantiates this fact.

What makes Ruby On Rails a startup technology??

Less is More

Less time constructing, more time creating. Less code, more fun. That’s what Ruby is all about. The combination of the language (Ruby) and the framework (Rails) means you can do more with less code. Less code, with better-structure, implies enhancements are relatively painless, giving startups the flexibility to iterate and experiment more readily. Furthermore, readily available open-source gems and plugins for Ruby on Rails can help build anything from throwaway prototypes and internal utilities to meticulously crafted full-blown web apps.

It’s zen, it’s fun and it’s cool

Rails is cooler. Its true! Haven’t you heard about FullCodePress, a competition to build a website in 24 hours, won by a Kiwi team using Ruby on Rails. Ruby is not only very succinct, making it one of the most expressive language, but with well defined “full-stack” framework that covers both front-end and back-end design, making it a nifty tool for “jack-of-all-trades” developer.

Risk & Reward

No risk. No gain. And, what could be riskier than building a business on a relatively new technology platform? However, there’s a catch here. Since the project is open source one can easily fix it himself if things go downhill. Consequently, though all startups involve risk, its much wise to take risk on things one can control (like the technology platform) than taking on “market risk” and things that one can’t control. Additionally, quick, neat and easy development allows ROR professionals to help startups with quick turnarounds for less money, thereby providing provision to the startups to play with a not-so-great or non-existent market opportunity. If the business idea doesn’t sell, it only took a couple of months for the startup to build it anyways, giving newbies the confidence to just start over and get it right the next time.

Galvanize VC Interests

Venture Capitalists are always on the lookout for startups that believe in pushing the envelope on new technology and leverage the synergies that come with the seamlessly integrated and psychotically intuitive and elegant coding style that is inherent in Ruby On Rails. This also aligns with their focus on funding startups that are curve-jumping, paradigm shifting and market exploiting. All things being equal, you’re more likely to raise funding if you’re on RoR than if you’re using one of those other web platform/frameworks.

Guaranteed Good Design

Fact that the entire MVC pattern is “baked in” to RoR, it keeps newbies and intermediate programmers from shooting themselves in the foot. While one can do MVC with Java and C# as well but these languages give far too many options, creating dependency on the development team. RoR makes all the standard default choices for the programmer, allowing him to tap into the global development pool and be on top of the latest best coding practices.

Programmer Potency

Ruby, a language explicitly designed to increase programmer productivity, is adapted as an “escape” from conventional web development technologies such as .NET and Java, which aren’t as well suited for rapid web development. RoR can successfully turn a naive Java developer with 6 months experience into a valuable member of ROR development team. Subsequent increased productivity of RoR developer leads to the benefit of accelerated experience.

Abhijit Rao

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