Technology Series – Is Ruby dying?

For those not into programming Ruby is a programming language. Ruby on Rails is a software library that extends Ruby and contributed hugely to its stellar adoption.

Many famous platforms are based on Ruby – Airbnb, Twitter, Basecamp, Kickstarter. Ruby programmers are probably the most tightly knit community of all programmers. But what is actually happening with Ruby.

There have been plenty discussions on the topic but they have intensified since 2015. If we discard the opinions of the hardcore proponents and opponents, it seems that there may be some sentiment in the direction, why would otherwise so many developers be asking this question.

Some arguments are based on counting the internet searches for each language, others on repository counters (repositories is where the programming code is kept), third on more or less established indexes.

I actually looked at the popularity index TIOBE. Although it clearly shows that Ruby spiked in 2009, and then gradually faded away, it re-captured some positions in 2016.

Tiobe index ruby

A striking fact though is the adoption of Ruby is way under Python, PHP and Javascript, and ranks just above Delphi/Objective Pascal. If you do not believe me, check the ranking. That was quite a surprise for me.

Tiobe index of programming languages

No longer the new kid on the block
Besides, many of the comments I read point out Ruby is no longer the new kid on the block. So in a way it has lost some of its initial momentum, and that tendency is not being helped by the surge of interest for Python and Node.js software development.

May be the worst part is that good Ruby developers are hard to find and when you find them they are already working on an exciting project.

High cost
When you snatch a top notch guy, it usually comes with high price tag. Although many new business consider RoR as their first option, the cost combined with lack of available developers, makes them consider other options soon after.

Bottom line
I do not want to sound like I agree with such a strong statement but I see indications pointing to a decline. In my humble opinion, this is mostly thanks to the maturity of PHP and Javascript that bring a horde of skilled developers plus fast and feature rich frameworks. Still, many languages and frameworks have managed to recover and build on their community and the Ruby one is probably the best of all. Also no language dies out suddenly, especially with such a substantial codebase and famous companies using it.

If you happen to be into programming, what do you think?

Entrepreneurship Series – Featuring Rustem and his Robo Wunderkind

I came upon something truly inspiring. As usual I check few interesting startups each week. Lately I do it mostly in the IoT, B2B SaaS and Ecommerce/marketplaces space. It is not easy, with all the rest going on, so is really a matter of discipline to stay relevant and follow the trends.

During one of these sessions I met Rustem. This guy told me his story and it blew my mind.

Rustem and his team built this (see picture below).

robo wunderkind

Simply said, Robo Wunderkind is a robotics kit that allows you to build your own robot, so that kids also pick up basic coding skills along the way.

It is essentially a set of blocks which you can use to build all kinds of functional robots. Connecting the cubes is as simple as putting building blocks together — there is no wire or magnet.

robo wunderkind bricks

Then comes the 2nd fun factor. Kids can learn how to code by playing with the app’s visual programming interface which is super intuitive: kids with no previous exposure to coding will easily figure out how to program in the app.

robo wunderkind app

Here are some things that Robo Wunderkind can do:

  • drive around while avoiding obstacles
  • play a recorded sound when somebody enters the room
  • react to claps and other noises
  • play music when somebody picks it up
  • record and play voice messages
  • …and much, much more!

The idea was born end of 2013.

first robo wunderkind prototype

After building his prototype and putting his star team together, Rustem and Anna did something unexpected.

In 2014 they moved to Shenzhen, China to pursue their dream. There they learned all around hardware manufacturing.

That took a year and it mid 2015 came their Kickstarter campaign. Which ended up raising more than 3x the amount initially planned.

In this month, July 2016, almost 3 years after the idea was born and a ton of awards and pitches later, Rustem and team will start delivering their product to their 1 169 backers.

In simple words entrepreneurship is about dedication, patience and believe in what you do, and Robo Wunderkind is a true example of what it takes.

Go Robo Wunderkind Team!


First reads for 2016

It has been busy two months of the new year so my compilation of reads comes relatively late. Hope you will discover something  interesting for you too:

Enjoy the reads!

How to build global companies, fast? Talking about Blitzscaling.

Just watched a great video and want to share it with you. Reid Hoffman gave an interview for Bloomberg which for me is an insightful sneak peak into global growth strategies and challenges of tech giants like AirBNB and Uber. Take the time to watch the 5 min snippet, it is totally worth it.

If you like the video you can watch the full sessions on Youtube.

Credit goes to Fred Wilson for sharing.

P.S. Just curious whether Blitzscaling could be related to another Blitz reference from few years ago. This will probably stay unanswered.