Your lead developer was confidently espousing the benefits of Ruby on Rails.
“We’ll be able to move quickly because Ruby on Rails is easy to learn and is designed for developer productivity.”
For a while, things are going smoothly – your team ramps up quickly and gets the first release out the door on schedule. Users are happy and it’s time to think about the next set of features. This goes on for a while, but you start to notice things are becoming more and more complicated. The team is struggling to make new features fit into the existing model.
The database is getting more and more complex as the goals and objectives of your business evolve. What was once clean, simple, and flexible code has become hard to manage and difficult to change. Developers have resorted to monkey patching models to implement business logic which leads to confusion and frustration throughout the engineering team. Your developers start talking about needing to clean up technical debt or, god forbid, they throw up their hands and ask if they can rewrite everything from the ground up.
All the while, the cost of hosting your product in the cloud keeps going up as the beast demands more and more resources just to keep load times bearable. You’re worried about the cost and time requirements of starting over, but you see no alternative.
You can avoid a costly rewrite with a little discipline and some technical TLC. Ruby on Rails is in fact a great choice for web applications of all sizes. One of its main benefits is that it’s easy to read and understand by developers of varying skill levels. Rails enforces well established patterns and guidelines within your codebase so that any developer can quickly become familiar with code they haven’t seen before. And because the Ruby community values productivity and simplicity, there are a lot of great tools out there to enable the right team to clean up and restore old Ruby code to it’s former glory.
Is the business logic getting too complicated for your developers to manage? Domain driven design principles can help move some of that complexity out of the rails data models and into distinct layers that are composable, flexible, and independently testable.
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When Ruby on Rails is built right, it can be exactly what your project needs
Backend running too slow for your liking?
Ruby on Rails offers your developers a lot of flexibility and ease of use, but that can sometimes come at the expense of memory leaks and poor performance. By leveraging the power of the JVM using jRuby, it’s possible to identify and fix performance problem areas in your existing codebase.
Still need more performance?
A good caching layer using redis can spare your database server from a barrage of queries while Nginx and Unicorn manage concurrent user requests on the front-end. 50,000 requests per minute with less than 50ms response times is achievable with the right stack.
Are users experiencing unknown errors and don't know why?
Monitoring and logging tools like StatsD and Splunk ensure your whole team knows everything they need to know about bugs and performance on a minute by minute basis.
Problems with fragile code or recurring bugs?
Ruby on Rails and rspec make writing tests a breeze. Combined with a continuous integration and delivery system like Jenkins or Travis, your developers will have the confidence to continually improve things over time instead of being afraid to make changes. Your team will spend less time fighting fire and more time working on strategic features that drive sales.
The key to success is to identify small problems and make incremental changes at a steady pace.
If you are sick of developers burning out and getting nowhere with your mission critical Ruby on Rails application, call us today. Our solution architects are standing by.