Changes At Work

There was recently a change in the IT management here where I work. This lead to a change in the IT strategy. We are now going to focus on fixing the many problems with the existing system, rather than implementing a replacement. That means the Ruby on Rails project I have been working on for the last few months has been terminated, just a week after we went live.Nearly the same thing happened to me at DigitalGlobe. I joined a group that was developing in Ruby and then it was reorganized out of existance and I was moved on the a Java development team. But, as Cote pointed out at the last Denver Tech Meetup, I suppose that this is one of the risks of embracing a leading edge technology.

When I joined this organization a few months ago I accepted a Ruby on Rails job. The fact that I would be working with new and interesting technologies, like Ruby on Rails, was a major draw for me. That combined with the IT director at the time, who was someone I liked and respected, made it an opportunity I could not pass up. But, now that IT director has left and the technology is different than what I signed on for.

The existing system is written in C#. I have no experience with .NET or C#, but I am a language whore so learning a new language is something I rather enjoy doing. And from what I have read .NET seems like a reasonably nice platform. On the other hand, I really like dynamic languages, like Ruby and Python, and I think they are the way of the future. They are more productive, and just plain more fun, than any of the static languages I currently know. I would really miss closures if I had to give them upCan delegates in C# be used as closures? and I would miss my Ubuntu box.It is possible that I could develop under Mono but since I am going to be developing for a Windows production environment I will run Windows, at least until Mono gets a bit more mature.

It is always hard to have a project canceled before it is done but this one is especially disappointing because the system was coming together nicely and the technology was so interesting.

6 thoughts on “Changes At Work

  1. Through a torturous path of crazy logic I feel like I had a hand in this. I helped set Donnie loose on the world at large and you are paying the penalty. I am leaving DG as well. This next week will be my last. I am moving on to a software position at Idaho National Laboratories (

  2. I consider learning an important component of the benefit/compensation package. Since all of your future compensation will depend on the skillsets you have developed, it is probably the most effective way to gain a financial bonus over time (unlike those scam option packages) as a non-executive. Of course, your bonus may come from your increased salary at your next job. Thing is, if you’re switching from one language to the next instead of getting to be an expert at Ruby and related technologies, then your skillsets are not synergistic they are mutually exclusive. (Ruby and C#/.NET are opposite in my mind at this point) That’s why I take my skillset, language, and projects + learning extremely seriously. I would surely quit if something like this happened to me.

  3. I have to agree with Rudi. If you really want to be doing Ruby/Rails at this point it’s pretty easy to find gigs. Start looking around. Do a bit of networking at your local Ruby Brigade and when you find something then submit your resignation. When they ask why you’re leaving so soon, you can reply that you had signed up for a Rails development position that no longer exists.

  4. Todd, By the same “torturous path of crazy logic” you gave me the gift of Ruby. I am disappointed, but these things happen in life.

    Good luck at INL, btw.

  5. Hi Peter,

    moving from Ruby to C# is quite hard, agreed. But when you look at the recent and forthcoming additions to C# (Closures, Lambda-Expr., Mixin-Classes [they call them extension methods]) it seems that they are mainly inspired by the scripting camp. C# is quite fun to work with and the framework library is designed very well.

    The main problem in my eyes is the very different mind set of the usual .NET developers. They live in this almost closed world and don’t look much at Open-Source. Some great Java-Projects like Hibernate were ported to .NET but these are just rare examples.


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