A. Molchanov: "You can sing on Ruby"

Software developer from Evrone, family man, eternal student and speaker at RailsClub 2017
09 October 2017   1179

Andrey Molchanov
Andrey Molchanov

On the RailsClub 2017, we've managed to talk with Andrey Molchanov about his report and future of programming. 

Tell us about yourself and what will your report be about?

My name is Molchanov Andrey. I work for Evrone. The topic of my report is "Ruby Virtual Machine". RubyVM will be considered in comparison with virtual machines of other languages, its pros and cons, differences. Examples of use and configurations in small, practical examples will also be shown.

Are you from Moscow?

No, I'm from the town of Kotlas, this is the Arkhangelsk region.

How do you like Moscow, as a conference?

Everything is fine, I'm not here for the first time. Got here wonderful, everything is very good. The organization is on the level. Everything is very cool.

How do you see the programming world in 10 and 50 years? Perhaps, you see trends that are already outlined and will be relevant at that time.

Quite a complicated question. A lot of new technologies will be used, which are created and are developing now (for example, blockchain, machine learning). It's all very interesting, but, really, I do not know what it all can lead to. Of course, there will remain the fundamentals of programming and development, which were developed in the previous century. And new paradigms will be superimposed on this basis. But I do not think that something will change dramatically in the near future.

Do you think there will be a place in this future world for Ruby and Rails? Or, then, will these technologies be of purely scientific interest?

I don't think that Rails will be used only in the sphere of scientific interest. Ruby, and even more so Rails, is sharpened for practical use. It's an elegant language, you can sing on it. The language itself develops, something new appears. We are waiting for Ruby 3, we are waiting for a performance increase. And Rails, of course, will not disapear. A lot of projects are already written on it and will be written in the future, there will be their support performed. I'm also confident that a worthy alternative to Rails will soon appear, but it will not be tomorrow, so it's unlikely that something will change much in the near future.

What are the pros and cons of RubyVM you can distinguish on the background of other virtual machines?

Most virtual machines already use compilations during or before executing the code. Ruby does not have these compilations. I'm sure Matz and the team are thinking about this. And they understand that really Ruby is not a new language and they are very cautious about innovations. I think that it will still be, but, most likely, not soon.

Do you think that there can be such an interesting project based on RubyVM, like Elixir based on ErlangVM?

If I say "no", I'm sure I will offend someone. But I believe that based on this stage nothing can appear based on RubyVM.

In the IT sphere there are more and more people, millions all over the world work in IT one way or another. What advice would you give for the "average programmer"?

Learn the basics. Fundamentals of programming, development. Do not miss only the information on the top, which is used in practice. Work, perhaps, consists of 90% of the solutions that can be found quickly and be used as a solution. But you need to learn the basics, it is the basis on which development is based from the last century.

Do you get real, great satisfaction from your work? Not only in material terms, but in terms of spiritual pleasure?

I am happy to solve complex problems. I feel enthusiastic. Money or some kind of "status" for me is not primary - it's just an indicator of your work. Also it's work on the project you're working on. To create what other people will use. Also this is the open source work, to help colleagues. To make everyone feel better.

Do you have plans for writing a book?

I do not have the book written yet. I have a small article, I was trying to make a blog. But, it all calmed down. I have no plans to write a book either. For the book you need a huge baggage of knowledge, practical and theoretical, which should translate into a book. I have no such knowledge so far.

Do you have "professional" nightmares associated with your work?

I can not remember anything. Fortunately, I sleep well and sleep a lot.

N. Sutterer: "Ruby is dead. Long live Ruby!"

Creator of Trailblazer that introduces several new abstraction layers into Rails, Rails contributor and gem author, speaker at Railsclub
15 January 2018   922

Nick Sutterer at RailsClub 2017
Nick Sutterer at RailsClub 2017

Hello! Please, introduce yourself in few words.

My name is Nick Sutterer, I’m developing software for like 22-25 years and I work like a consultant of my open source project for different companies. Sometimes I give presentations at conferences.

Is it your first time in Russia, Moscow, RailsClub?

It is. Everything for a first time. I’m blown away!

How do you like it?

Great! It’s amazing! Since I arrived, people care about me, people take me out, people show me the city, people give me history lessons. It’s amazing. Great food. We go to places and have a drink. I go to hotel, sleep, and everything starts again. That’s amazing! I’m really enjoying it.

Can you tell us about your report in few keynotes?

My talk was about the lack of innovation in Ruby language and about innovations that is happening in frameworks, that use Ruby. I’m just showing what we have. I try to inspire people and Ruby core team to pick some ideas from other technologies and make Ruby even better.

Your talk is called “Ruby is dead”. If Ruby is dead, what’s alive?

Ruby is dead. Long live Ruby. I’m trying to be provocative with my talk. I’m still coding Ruby everyday, I’m still traveling to all conference because I still believe that Ruby is an amazing programming language. There’s languages, showing up recently. Elixir or Golang for example. They have completely different way. They deal with problems and they are way more innovative. But they are brand new. I, actually, don’t think that Ruby is dead.

What you don’t like in Ruby the most?

I hate that we keep thinking in really old way. We reject innovation. It is especially due to frameworks like Rails. I would love to the more development of Rails, with all it’s huge audience. Ruby is lacking a lot of features that a lot of other languages have, like pattern matching and method overloading. The problem is that sometimes I feel that we are behind the innovations that happen to other languages. Specifically features, that make other languages amazing. We don’t have them, and it’s very sad.

What is your way to improve Ruby?

Every time is meet Matz at conference, I tell him for few hours what should be done to improve Ruby. Without any providing any help. It’s all about innovations. I try to innovate in my own framework, Trailblazer. So we can put the way we write business code to new level. I try to inspire people with my library code they use new concepts in Ruby that never been there before. I think that helping them to write the applications.

How do you see the world of programming in 10 and 50 years? And will Ruby and Rails have place in this future?

I don’t think Rails will have place. I really love Rails community and people in Rails Core. But I don’t think that Rails will be a thing in 10 years. But I think Ruby will still be around. It all depends on what is going to happen with Ruby 3.0. When it will be released and what features will it bring. I think Ruby will still be there. But I can’t tell you what will happen in 50 years. Because in 50 years there won’t be a need to program anymore. We will probably just write diagrams on the air.

In your opinion, what technologies are the most hypest today?

Craft beer and coffee, haha! Everything that hipsters do! Now everything is switching from OOP to FP. We are trying to avoid to have unwanted side effects in order to not let users to screw up internal state. Functional programming makes it impossible to users to do stuff in wrong order, for example. Like problems that we have in Ruby. I see a lot of development in functional languages because they are also way easy to paralyze and they have a lot of advanced features.

What advice can you give to average programmer to stand out the crowd?

Important thing in IT is that you always need to play with new tools. Even if you are not a super programmer, you have to look at the community and check what’s going on. It is really important to keep moving. Otherwise, I see that my current job at the police is really slow. They using very outdated technologies. A lot of people are affected. It is non productive. It’s good because a lot of people are keeping their jobs . But it is important to adopt new technologies. I’m not saying be a coding hipster and change your framework everyday. But a lot of new things in last 10 years make sense. People should use it and not just sit there and enjoy excellent job. They can get fired tomorrow.

What makes you excited about your job?

That’s beautiful question. I think that idea of open source is that you expose code that you think is helpful and people will tell you that it really is. This is what keeps me programming. When I write something and I see that a lot of people use it and they say like “It is so much better that I used before!” It’s great! This is making my day. It’s all about what comes back. I also program my own stuff and sometimes I think: “Yes!” But mostly I like when something what I do is helpful to other people.

Do you have any plans on writing a book?

I have already wrote one book. Two years ago, it took like 16 months. I was writing and inventing at the same time. That was a huge mistake! I was keeping updating my book with changes in my library code. It was massive. I plan to write more books, because it was fun. It has to be with the right timing. I’m not gonna write a book about, for example, a new version of my framework now because it’s still changing. I’m not gonna make this mistake again. It’s so much work! Unbelievable.

Do you have any nightmares, related to you job?

I used to have those kind of dreams few years ago. Sometimes I still have them.You always imagine software as something visual. Brain just does that. My dreams about those thing and passing the objects. And it’s always the wrong object! It’s the only nightmare that I have. I was able to have good work\life balance. So I have very rare the bad sleep. Even if I don’t look like it.