A new year is coming and so is a new Rails

In 2014, when I wrote my first Rails application, it was an awakening for me. Rails became a gateway into understanding not just web applications but software architecture in general. Before that, I wrote hermit scripts that died alone in shells and verbose yet static HTML and Javascript unaware of where it lived. Then, one command changed the game for me —

$ rails new

At first glance, it’s a simple, nondescript command. Under the hood, however, is a web of extremely powerful software written by a community of committed developers who genuinely love Rails. They have cultivated an anonymous framework made public by DHH in 2005, transitioning it from a tool into a mature ecosystem.

Version 5.0.0.beta1 has been released 10 years after Rails’ inception and it’s bringing many fun things to the party, WebSockets and a personal favorite in API mode.

To pay my respects to the Rails 5.0 beta, for having changed my life, here are 5 things Rails has taught or given me for which I am grateful.


Model-View-Controller

Rails taught me the basics of MVC and encouraged me to explore software architecture patterns.

Github

The Rails’ community is a ruby code machine, pumping out repo after repo of plugins, engines, tutorials, and examples. Whether you’re taking advantage of a gem or dissecting the particulars of an example, You can’t help but become a power Github user.

A playground

From rails new to rails g controller, a plethora of commands allows you to make things happen. After dropping in a few gems and writing some business logic, your prototype or proof of concept is up and running. This is incredibly valuable in 2015, both for fleshing out ideas and for experimentation.

Confidence

Having the opportunity to create and tear apart applications quickly and easily, to use a wide variety of middleware and gems, and to have a large community from which to seek help or answers has allowed me to build confidence in myself.

Don’t be complicated

Rails champions convention over configuration. Yes, software can be complex, and in fact, the best software will be complex. However, I have learned not to add to that complexity whenever possible. Each decision I make can increase or decrease the difficulty of the development process. It has become a genuine consideration.


Those are 5 of the most important things Rails has taught or given me over the last two years in a nut shell. What has Rails taught you? What would you thank Rails for? Sound off and let me know in the comments.

Happy holidays!

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