José Mota — The blog

Extract your business

26 June 2012

  • development

I've come to realize one big factor to consider when building Ruby apps.

I've given a talk at AgilePT on how agile is Ruby on Rails. I should know better than just encouraging businesses to adopt Ruby and Rails into their development. There's one thing that so many people face and most of the time evangelists discard: regression.

I love working with Rails, it's a living organism. It's in its nature to survive, it won't stale like most software tends to at some point. However, because of that it's important to consider its volatility. How is a product supposed to follow the ever so changing nature of the framework?

Why isn't your business a gem of its own?

The business of a product is as important as the tools you use, perhaps even more important. As product owners we ought to care more on how our business logic is managed. The good thing about Rails is that it's so well organized and its conventions are so straightforward that it's not really that hard to set your logic apart from the framework.

If you care enough about your product and also you constantly strive for innovation and early adoption, then it's best to protect your software from the framework, not just because Rails is often patched and upgraded with new features over time but also because it allows you to change more easily.

It's totally acceptable to acknowledge you might not be into Rails anymore, or perhaps there's a feature in the framework you're not so fond of and you wish to defy standards by adopting a different solution for a certain problem:

Change is always imminent. I learned that the hard way and Ruby now gives me confidence upon change. TDD is an awesome leader that accepts change as a reality and no longer a challenge. Also, it provides guidelines to better app design which increases maintainability.

The framework should only support common tasks, that's why it's called a framework. All the MVC paradigm, boilerplate, persistence, helpers, templating and email can be handled by Rails, it can be safely upgraded without compromising your business logic. It will be my personal goal to improve on this as I have a lot to go through yet.

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