“I’m the CTO of a Growing Rails Startup” Ask Me Anything

I have been a software developer for over a decade and working for the last 7 years with Rails at a [rapidly growing startup](https://www.inc.com/profile/companycam), [CompanyCam](https://companycam.com).

I have learned a lot on the job and from communities like this. I would like to pay it forward and share what I have learned along the way.

If you have at least a few years of Rails experience and would like to work on interesting problems at scale, [we are hiring](https://grnh.se/1766b9983us).

21 thoughts on ““I’m the CTO of a Growing Rails Startup” Ask Me Anything”

  1. How big is your team?

    Is your team local/remote/offshore/nearshore?

    How do you effectively manage your and your team’s bandwidth among technical debt, bugfixes, and feature requests?

    If scrum, what is your percentage of completing tickets within your sprints?

  2. Would you say your CEO is the smartest person you’ve ever know? Maybe like a once in a generation genius a la Elon Musk?

  3. What’s the most interesting part of the project/software?
    What’s the most frustrating part of the project/software?
    Is it a monolith or REST API or both?

  4. Hi, Director/EM here.

    How have you found hiring Ruby on Rails developers lately, and what sort of things have you done to promote hiring a strong, diverse team?

  5. Do you recommend using Rails using a Mac or Windows? I am a Windows user and buying a Mac right now it’s kinda out of my budget.

  6. I start my first senior Rails dev position on Monday. I’m honestly not sure I’m ready for a senior position.

    This is a tough question to answer, but: what are some Ruby/Rails/general-dev things that you’d expect a senior dev to know but that you would expect a junior dev to not know?

    I know the term “senior” is nebulous, but even an answer based on your personal understanding of the term would be really helpful.


  7. How does your company handle if or if not to start on a feature?

    If you have any books, or company processes that would be great!

    You don’t need to give me an answer tailored to me specifically; but the context is I want to have the highest income per employee so they are paid well and they have job security + healthcare etc. ( Including myself as the first employee haha )

  8. I think Rails is natively a monolith framework. How would you approach decoupling a huge API/backend project and would you consider microservices? I’m also curious about technologies you’d use for messaging between services or anything like that. Thanks!

  9. Infrastructure. You mention you’re about 18 developers strong, do you manage your infrastructure in house? What does that stack look like?

    We have inherited a Terragrunt-orchestrated AWS infrastructure which works well enough, but we are exploring at what point to bring that skill in-house vs outsource. Assuming your DevOps is in-house, did you upskill or recruit that capability?

    Given the many similarities between your tech stack and ours I am keen to understand at what point you made the leap to in-house your infra. And do you use Terragrunt or something else? Why?

  10. I’ve spent a lot of time learning reactjs, jsx and javascript as im front end. I come from an old school strong css html background.

    Many developers have shy’d me away from ruby saying it’s better to utilize reactjs for smaller front end projects (by smaller i mean 5 page sites with blogs).

    The thing is love the language. So, loaded quedtion …. is ruby/rails worth the time in my position, of just keep at jsx/react?

    Oh, im a self employed developer running my own business for 10years I that helps at all.

  11. I have 2 questions

    1. I read you handle 65k/sec requests…
    How you achive such scale, what about your cloud infrastructure.

    2. What about overall performance of your rails service, how you achieve maximum performance

  12. How do you control access to the rails console in production to protect customer data from potentially leaking? Don’t mean bad actors inside the company, as a startup requires a high trust environment, but the engineers computers are the main source where external attackers get into systems. Thanks!

  13. **> No sprinting, no scrumming, no death by 1,000 meetings.**

    i love reading that. my company does scrum for the sake of scrum. we gain nothing with that.

  14. Nice to meet a fellow CTO and Rails practitioner. I have a very similar background story as yours and I too am rebuilding an over-architected PHP/Laravel app in Rails. I saw in another post your stack includes React Native so I am curious if you have integrated with ActiveStorage and S3 Direct uploads using presigned urls? If so, can you shed some light on how you completed this integration?


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