I’d like some advice about selling Ruby on Rails in my existing
organization. I’ve only been at this company for 4 months, but I’ve
been handing out Pragmatic Programmer books like samples at a Weight
Watcher’s convention. I also got myself and 21 of my co-workers to go
to the Dallas No Fluff Just Stuff a couple of weeks ago.
When we got back from NFJS (best quote was from the Herding Racehorses
talk: “I just kept wanting to stand up and applaud!”) we all got into
a big meeting and talked about what we wanted to try out. I brought
up that I would like to look at Ruby on Rails. There were several
concerns (it’s new, it’s not Java, we fear change, etc.) which I did
not immediately address. At this point I just wanted all the people
who always have to make a comment to get it out of their system.
I did, however, find unexpected support for the idea of looking at
Ruby on Rails. The turning point was when one of the other developers
said “If you will right a Rails application I can do it in less lines
of code with JSP”. As someone else put it, the gauntlet has been
Now I need some pragmatic advice on how to present Rails. Here’s my
approach so far:
- Take an existing application and re-write a small piece of it
(search screen and one or two CRUD screens) and keep track of my time.
- Put together a handout with some screen shots, the time and
functionality involved, and some of the better Rails quotes.
- Present it at the next meeting with better justification. Make a
short, clear case for rails. Point out that in JSP it doesn’t scale
How does that sound? Any other suggestions? This is my first Rails
app, but I want to gather any low-hanging fruit. Is it difficult to
get distributed ruby working? Is there anything else that I’m
“For a new software system, the requirements will not be completely
known until after the users have used it.” Humphrey’s Requirements