Ruby on Microsoft

This piece by Martin Fowler interests me more for his contention that the best technical leaders are abandoning .NET than for what he writes about Ruby. It’s the sort of argument that seems true because anecdotal evidence seems readily available.  I’d be interested to see if there’s more quantitative backing for the assertion.

Some poking around on Google did reveal at least a couple statistics:


  1. Dave Sanders says:

    Well, I don’t buy it. Take a look at the number of actual paying jobs out on monster for the various languages. I did this a few months ago, and ruby wasn’t even a spot on the map. While yes, there are some passionate ruby developers, the market is very, very small for their abilities. If you are a programmer who wants to eat, you need to pick a technology that people are paying for.

    That’s not to say that that one day won’t be the case. But you and I have been doing this for a long time now, and since I became a “professional” programmer ten years or so ago, the world has moved very little from the VB / Java / .NET realm its been. (yes, .NET has probably replaced a LOT of C++ projects and VB projects, but its an evolution – not a revolution)

    Microsoft IS making some very exciting additions before February, and I don’t see them stopping afterwards. Unless MS makes a complete u-turn as far as developer support goes, or Windows suddenly falls to

  2. Dave Sanders says:

    …to less than 50% market share, I don’t see a vast abandoning of their tools. MS has about a billion times more resources at its disposal than Ruby – which means they can always build more features and cover more ground faster than the open source Ruby / Rails developers can in the long run.I do agree with one point, MS needs to get over its long history of fear with the OSS movement and instead figure out how to embrace it, like IBM and some others have. If they could change how people perceive them, they could gain even more support and productive help from the non-softies and the tools and frameworks would benefit greatly.

    But the general argument in the article is bunk, imo. And I am ANYTHING but bored with Microsoft.

  3. Scott says:

    As Fowler himself concedes, ThoughtWorks is too small to be a statistically valid sample.

    Microsoft does have a habit of coming up with its own versions of technologies from the open source realm. The testing library example Fowler cites is one that others point to. I don’t see Microsoft embracing the OSS movement IBM-style because they’re built around selling software licenses, not people’s time.

    If Microsoft wants to be perceived differently, they need to act differently. Claiming that Linux violates hundreds of its patents and not specifying which ones is just the sort of move that continues to make people wary of Microsoft.

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