I’m a senior engineer using Rails exclusively since 2009 — ask me anything, maybe I can help

I want to pay it forward for all the help I received that put me where I am now — after last week's AMA I see there's a tremendous need for this kind of community support, so let's continue it this week, too! 🙂

About me: I am with Rails since version 2 (around 2009) and made several projects that are used by thousands of people worldwide. Maybe I can help you with some questions bugging you about rails and engineering in general?

Here's the previous one: [https://www.reddit.com/r/rails/comments/oxcpzr/i\_am\_a\_senior\_dev\_using\_rails\_exclusively\_ask\_me/](https://www.reddit.com/r/rails/comments/oxcpzr/i_am_a_senior_dev_using_rails_exclusively_ask_me/)

26 thoughts on “I’m a senior engineer using Rails exclusively since 2009 — ask me anything, maybe I can help”

  1. How much do you earn a year? In terms of career growth, if you could do it over again, would you have stuck with rails or branched out to other technologies?

    I’ve been working with rails for about seven years and I’m at a bit of a crossroads right now. Trying to decide if I want to continue specializing in Ruby/rails or expand to other languages at different companies. I currently make 160 at my day job and another 60 through consulting and I wonder if I’ve more or less reached the compensation cap as a rails focused dev

  2. Hi there! Senior exclusive Rails dev of \~6 years here.

    Do you ever feel worried about Rails “dying out”? Do you have a back up plan?

    Have you had many jobs, or few that you stuck with for a long time? Are you glad you did that?

    How often do you/did you hit plateaus where you didn’t feel progression or even felt regression as far as your skill/ability to develop at the level you are expected/expect yourself to? How long did it last, or how did you overcome it?

  3. Recommended front end? I have limited experience with front ends so curious for recommendations what I should spend my time learning first. Thinking Vue 3

  4. Do you have a list of resources for beginners to pro that you can share ? How long did it take before you got really good with rails? How man hours a day do you spend learning ? I like rails but I just get stuck on little things when trying to build something and I end up giving up how do you persevere when stuck?

  5. Hi,

    Rails newbie here. Could you please recommend some best practice for localizing decimal input, especially in regard to decimal separator? For some locales, I would like to use dot: 1,250.45. And for some locales, comma is required: 1 250,45. All ActiveRecord validations, constraints, etc. should continue to work.

    I’ve found some answers [here](https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6541209/decimals-and-commas-when-entering-a-number-into-a-ruby-on-rails-form), but they are 10 years old. Maybe there are some recent solution for that?

    In [ASP.NET](https://ASP.NET) Core and Java Spring Boot this is handled automatically, but Rails seems a little bit immature here. There is `number_to_currency` offered for output but nothing is offered for input.


  6. What did you do to decouple business logic from your database models?

    How have you migrated legacy projects to incorporate and steer towards modern best practices?

    What do you prefer? Fat controllers or fat models?

  7. There was a similar question before but what are your thoughts on rubygems ecosystem seemingly stagnating? Many popular gems get abandoned, no new gems are being added, etc. [Modulecounts](https://modulecounts.com) shows far less rubygems activity than other major languages.

    In light of this, is it worth investing in building a Rails LOB application that is to be maintained and evolved for the next 5+ years? I love Rails for productivity, but it is a major concern to me before getting invested in Rails.

  8. Let’s say you are building an app with many – between 50-100 – simple models. Nearly all have parent:child relations (has_many, etc).

    Do you have a tool or technique for managing this complexity, beyond paying attention to your migrations?

  9. What’s your take on view components ? They are used at GitHub and sound like a great idea, but I am surprised it gets very little attention.

  10. Outside of understanding MVC, OOP, and other major parts of building a CRUD app — what would you say are some important things a rails dev should know.

    For context, I’ve been working with rails professionally for about 3 years and have a good understanding but I think there’s a lot to be learned. I haven’t really touched background jobs, action cable, turbo links, etc

    Outside of that, what tools/techniques/technologies would you say a mid level/senior rails dev should have under their belt?

    Lmk if there’s anything you’d like to know. Thanks!

  11. Do you have patterns for dealing with active record coupling the db very much to your entire app or do you just find you can understand and deal with the complexity?

    For example I know some devs refactor to use rom or some other data mapper

  12. What did you usually do when you were in with rails for 3-4yrs and was aiming/prepping for senior/lead positions?

    Also, how did you gain more expertise with refactoring/scaling legacy apps?

    Any books you want to recommend that helped you a lot with becoming a 10x engineer and not just with ruby/rails/coding? To be specific, as I am progressing through my career I am realizing that soft skills are a big plus point and there’s always room for improvements. I got a few jobs where I bombed the technical part but still got hired because I seemed like the person that the team wanted to work with and showed great potential. How do I keep building on that as I grow into more senior positions?

  13. Thanks so much for doing this 🙂

    I’ve been writing an application with a lot of data processing and have taken to storing the calculated responses in the database for performance when fetching.

    It also means whenever the input changes I make a thread and recalculate…

    How would you generally approach big data chunks in rails ? 🙂

  14. Currently I have a problem as follows. Can you recommend for me a solution?
    I am implementing a csv export function using RubyXL library, the main table is workers, it has relations with 14 other tables(has\_one and has\_many), the number of columns in the export file is 350 columns. When I do export csv, the number of columns and tables is too large, resulting in very slow performance. Predicting 1000 records x 350 columns x 14 relational tables takes 4-5 minutes.
    \- The tables have been indexed with the worker\_id column
    \- Explain with the export of 1000 record rows ranging from 1000-3000 because there is a has\_many relationship.
    \- My client doesn’t want to use background job
    \- We used long polling request with 1000 records/request

  15. Hi, i’m looking for help here, I am trying to use mina for auto deployment. when i run mina deploy it takes forever at:

    Cloning into bare repository ‘root/path/scm’

  16. I’m a 43 year old who recently rediscovered teenage passion around programming.

    Studying Ruby now. For the purposes of doing full stacky stuff for personal projects/biz ideas ruby, rails and javascript covers the bases?

  17. i am a cs student in 3rd year 5th semester.I have been looking for internships and a friend of mine was offering me internship in ruby on rails but i just spent my whole summer learning node js and have little to no idea about ruby. So should i learn ROR and start the internship or find some other place for node js internship.I mean to ask is ROR worth learning considering its a very old technology and there are not many job for ROR developers atleast in my country.


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