23 Oct 2023

Rails World 2023 Recap

It’s been two weeks since Rails World 2023 took place in Amsterdam, and I’ve finally found time to share my key takeaways from visiting the event.

Rails Renaissance

The economy has shifted significantly over the past three years. The era of abundant, cheap funding is over, and this change is manifesting itself in the tech industry. It’s now more crucial than ever to focus on developer productivity and impact. DHH kicked off the event with a thought-provoking slide showing a correlation between cheap funding and the rise of technologies like React, Webpack, and GraphQL.

Fed Rates - Tech Correlation Picture of DHHs Opening Keynote showing fed rates and ‘unproductive tech’ correlation

This hits hard, especially when seeing tweets like this here where a developer mourns about the complexity of sending 5 simple form fields to a backend using React:

I’m not saying React is bad technology by any means. But I do believe that it’s overkill for many applications that are more or less just a CRUD interface.

The One-Person Framework

When building Sunnybox.io, I weighed different tech stacks. With more than 15 years of experience in web application development, I had a lot of options to consider. I ultimately chose Ruby on Rails for the same reasons many in the community do: it enables me to build a complete product solo. I can manage everything — from API, OpenAPI documentation, job backend, to user handling, payment integration and automated tests & easy deployment — within a single, majestic monolith, without the need for a rigid frontend-backend division.

Going Forward

Rails 7.1 was released on the day of the keynote, and I’ve already upgraded Sunnybox. While the update brings several quality-of-life improvements, the Rails World conference also previewed upcoming framework features. One of the most exciting revelations was the forthcoming DOM morphing capability, similar to what Phoenix Live View offers. This will significantly reduce the overhead for real-time updates that maintain scroll position and site state. For a sneak peek at what Turbo 8 will offer, check out this link:

Dev 37signals Turbo 8 Preview

Closing Thoughts

It was exhilarating to finally meet so many members of the Ruby on Rails community in person. Betting on Rails has proven to be a sound decision, and I look forward to continuing to build with this “boring,” stable, and highly productive technology.

Bijan at Rails World 2023 Me and a dear Ruby friend at Rails World 2023