Should we develop it using Ruby on Rails?

Around a week ago, a budding entrepreneur met me. He had an idea and was trying to determine the best technology that can help him to convert it into an online application. At that point of time, he knew PHP very well and had heard a lot about Ruby on Rails. After visiting few blogs and trying out few tutorials on Ruby and RoR, he had almost decided to use Ruby on Rails as the technology for his application until he came across this post.

PHP or Ruby on Rails

In the post, author describes his experience while he was trying to rewrite his application using Ruby on Rails. As per the post, the author switched back to PHP after spending two years rewriting the application using RoR. Due to this post, the entrepreneur was not able to make a final choice and thus wanted to know my opinion.

At this point of time, I do agree that Ruby is one of my preferred programming languages and Ruby on Rails is an excellent framework. However, I do believe that Ruby and RoR are not the silver bullets and as such, they cannot be used for almost every application. I had come across the post long back, but this time I found out that the author had eventually switched back to Ruby on Rails (Refer to the Foreword of Ruby on Rails Tutorial Book).

The post lists 7 reasons that made the author switch to PHP from Ruby on Rails initially. However, none of the reasons are specific to Ruby on Rails or PHP. For example, a good code is always a result of the developer’s discipline and not a feature of any programming language (With respect to the 7th reason). Also, you can implement whatever is possible using almost any programming language (with respect to the first reason). Similarly we could talk about other reasons as well, but that would be the topic of another post.

When I had first started with Ruby on Rails, I was so impressed by its meta-programming features, that I was trying to use it wherever possible, but not necessary. At that time, my senior had warned me by making me realize that though it looks cool to use those features, it also makes it difficult to debug and maintain. Thus, we should use those features only when they are absolutely necessary. That was really an interesting lesson and eventually I realized that most Ruby on Rails project fail as the developer gets carried away with these meta-programming features.

Finally, coming back to our main topic, I met the entrepreneur again and asked him following questions:

  • Are there any existing gems or libraries that can result in faster development of the application using Ruby on Rails?
  • Will the application be largely dependent on external APIs and services? (In Ruby on Rails, you can preload objects and connections in an application scope for better performance)
  • What are the deployment options? (shared servers, cloud servers etc.)
  • Finally, is Ruby on Rails a option just because it’s cool?

It’s always difficult to choose the right technology for any application. It depends on lot of factors. But one thing is certain, and that is, the choice of a technology should never be made simply because some other developer or team had a great success (or failure) with that particular technology.

We are hiring.. (September 2012)

Apply NowWe are looking out for talented professionals who:

  1. can quickly learn and adapt new and latest technologies
  2. like to write bug-free code
  3. loves his/her work as software developer
  4. keeps himself/herself up to date with latest trends in software development

Last date of receiving applications at info[at] is tomorrow : 12th September 2012.

Hiring process:

There would be a coding round where we would send out two simple problem statements to the applicants, who need to code them (in any object oriented language) and send it to us. After that, there would be one round of technical interview.


3 reasons to use online tools to manage your business

Are you one of those who feel that you are equipped with power of information technology just because you are using some applications developed using FoxPro or Access to manage your business? In case your answer is yes, then you should understand that by using these applications, you are using the power of computer and software technology, but not of IT. To start using IT in your business, you will need to use applications that use digital network (mostly Internet) to manage and share your data. In this post, we will look at three reasons to use online tools to manage your business.

  1. Online application allows you to access data from any location: As these applications are running on the net, you can create and manage your data from any system with Internet connectivity. In most of the cases, you can even access such applications from your GPRS enabled mobile phone.
  2. You don’t have to depend on costly and power-packed PCs or laptops: You don’t need to buy a costly computer with costly operating system in order to use online apps. You can manage your business using low cost laptops (netbooks) with free and open-source operating systems like Ubuntu.
  3. You don’t have to worry about disk crashes: Vendors of these applications take care of regular backups. Thus, you don’t have to worry about loosing your important data due to disk crashes. In cases your computer fails to work, you can continue with work using a different computer till the time it is repaired (Refer to point 1).

I hope these reasons will convince you to start using online applications. This can be  a good way to start implementing IT in your business. In case you want to know more about online applications that you can use, refer to this post which lists 270+ tools for running a business online.

Cost of applying information technology to business

Some people feel that implementing information technology can be too costly and thus, won’t be of any help. To understand the cost involved in implementing IT, let us try to answer few question.

How much does it cost us to use GMail or any other email service? Well, most of them including GMail allows us to send and receive emails for free. But if we try to look at benefits that we can get by using email, we will see that it’s really a very helpful service. When compared to postal service, which used to take days to deliver a message, email is delivered instantly. That’s a huge benefit. Email service also helps in saving mass cutting of trees, as it is not dependent on paper. Consider all these benefits and compare it to the cost of using postal service.

How much does it cost to make international calls using VOIP systems? In some cases we can make VOIP calls for free, and in few other cases it turns out to be lot cheaper than regular international phone calls. That’s the reason why we see lot of people using services like skype.

How much does it cost to create or edit documents using tools like Google docs? Thanks to such tools, we don’t have to be dependent on one machine to work on our documents. We can create our documents from one machine connected to the Internet and access or edit it from any other system connected to the net. We can also allow other people to simultaneously edit those documents. Tools of this sort have helped lot of organizations to collaborate easily and effectively.

Thanks to the tools and services available on Internet, we can start applying information technology to your business either for free or at a marginal cost. Even when the cost is involved, we can see that these tools offer us lot of benefits that are not provided by the traditional services.

Power of Information Technology? Decide for yourself……

Information Technology is one of the most widely used technology mankind has ever created. However, lot of people do not seem to understand the power of this amazing technology. To understand where information technology stands today, take some time (around 6 minutes) now and watch the following video.

The video was published in 2009. At that time, MySpace had over 200 million registered users and facebook had over 300 million users. Number of active users in facebook increased to 350 million users from 150 million users in just one year (January 2009 to December 2009).

As of now, servers at facebook needs to handle over 400 million users.

Compare this to the growth of any other media you know.

The Impact of Information Technology on Business

Information Technology is essentially a wide and varied field. In fact, it’s not farfetched to say that Information Technology is practically involved in every aspect of one’s life. So it’s only natural that something as ubiquitous as I.T. plays a major part in business.

But what exactly is the impact of Information Technology on business?

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The Use of Information Technology in Business

In its practical sense, Information Technology involves the use of computer applications and equipment to development, design, manipulate, and implement the storing and the transmission of data. Basically every endeavor requires the storage and transmission of data. For instance, before the use of the online public access catalog, school libraries use physical card catalogs as a registry of all books and files stored in their archives. But with the internet, the previously physical information was digitized, allowing for wireless data transmission.

This begs the question: what is the use of Information Technology in business?

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