Where does Ruby go from here?

I’m fortunate with my job at WePay that I get to meet a lot of developers from many different places and communities. For the past year or so, I’ve participated in Ruby-focused events on 5 continents and have been noticing a trend, one I’ve talked to a lot of different developers about. This trend is a move beyond Ruby.

Ruby isn’t dead, nor is it dying, but we are growing as a community. We’re a unique community of friends who all happen to use Ruby, and share the core set of values that Rubyists have embraced; happiness, productivity, and openness, just to name a few. But we have technology needs that aren’t going to always be well served by Ruby, and that’s a good thing-it means we’re growing as developers. Instead of casting out those who have found new joys in other languages, let’s focus on building a community that uses the tools that best optimize for developer happiness and productivity, while embracing practices like testing and agile.  You can only learn so much from your peers who are doing the same things as you with the same tools.

In a way, Ruby Conferences are already embracing this. I’ve seen talks on JS, Clojure, Go, and many non-Ruby technologies at conferences supposedly devoted to Ruby. This is a natural evolution for developers who have branched out from Ruby. But how do we bring these values, ideals, and happiness to other developers who may never have had these experiences in different communities?I believe all developers, regardless of language, should have their lives optimized for happiness like us Rubyists are lucky to have.

With that, I’m initiating the creation of the Happiness Manifesto, what I hope to be the nexus for Happiness Driven Developers (HDD). And I invite you help write it. Submit a pull request, make comments, let’s discuss as a community what this will look like. What do we value?

Check it out here on Github

Special thanks to Mark Bates & Johnny Boursiquot for their support crafting this. Also Ernie Miller for his lively conversation on the topic and his keynote/presentation at Burlington Ruby on the future of Ruby.  And lastly Sandi Metz and Brett Chalupa for all their great thoughts and feedback. Thanks all :)

6 thoughts on “Where does Ruby go from here?

  1. I wish there was some focus on performance and end user experience. It seems like these kinds of manifestos are so focused on ourselves that they don’t seem to have any empathy for the people using the software we create. Without happy end users, we shouldn’t be very happy with what we create IMO.

    1. The idea is opening up our development practices so it’s easier for us to optimize for performance and end user experience. If our tools and practices make it easier to do our jobs and build our products (which requires good performance and UX), then everyone wins.

    1. ++1. Into Big data and machine learning these days, and starting to flirt with Raspberry PI. For all these, would opt for ruby if it was a viable option, but it isn’t. So using Python.

  2. I like this statement: “…You can only learn so much from your peers who are doing the same things as you with the same tools…”

    This mentality is what I discovered along side with Rails at the beginning and it disappeared in recent years.

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