Whew! four months of nose-to-the-keyboard development work, and we launched our new product! Because it was the first time we designed, developed, and deployed a complete web application with our new team, we wanted to chronicle our experiences over the whole process – particularly with Ruby on Rails. We thought doing so would help us improve on our experiences in the future. And we hope it can help you too…
In the beginning there was Java and it was good, but something was missing. Java as a partner was not particularly pretty, it was not very fun to wake up to in the morning, but it got the job done. In late May Daniel sent an IM to Matt, He was having problems with eclipse and svn and went off on a tangent. The IM went something like this:
Daniel: “I see why the RoR people are in love. Not that SVN has anything to do with RoR”
Daniel: “Ruby on Rails, I was playing with it yesterday”
Matt: “I see, is it good for backend? frontend? both?”
Daniel: “If you are ok with going with the defaults it lets you focus only on developing features, so you don’t have to worry about backend or frontend. Some of the deployment tools are pretty neat too. Ok, back to topic…”
Daniel had just watched the Rails Screencasts and was in love. The concerns we were having with Java and Google Web Toolkit seemed like they would probably go away with Rails. It took a long time to develop new features the way we had been doing things. After debating the topic for a while we had a founder’s meeting in the car while driving to Target, and decided: we would devote two weeks to try our hand at porting (rewriting) YouBook from Java to Ruby on Rails. We quickly purchased the PDF+Hard Copies of “Programming Ruby” and “Agile Web Development with Rails” from Pragmatic Programmers, and the adventure began.
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