Nikolay Ryzhkov: RoR is a tool for fast webdev, and it's good at it

Nikolay expects big explosion at frontend development and renaissance of functional programming
20 June 2017   794

nikolay ryzhkov

Nikolay Ryzhkov


Biggest Russian Ruby on Rails event

Health Samurai CTO, Saint Petersburg Ruby & Clojure, Piter-united communitites activist, speaker of RailsClub 2016.

At the conference, Nikolay talked about functional paradigm for Ruby coders.

After the conference, we've managed to talk with Nikolay.

How have you became a Ruby developer? 

I came to coding late, when I was 25 years old, from radiopharmacy. For several years I was coding on php, java, C #. And then there was a project on ruby on rails, it was about 8-9 years ago.

What are you working on right now? 

Developing a medical platform. Also, our team in engaged in developing international standard called FHIR and open source tools for it. 

What's last interesting thing that you have learned? 

ClojureScript * React is an interesting unite, that allows you to develop frontend easily and comfy.

In your opinion, how will Ruby and Rails develop in the nearest future? 

RoR is a tool for fast web development, and it is good at it. I don't think that it's vector will change somehow. A lot of different good and helpful features will be created.

What's the main problem that RoR community faces at the moment? 

That main Ruby activists migrate to other technologies, like rust, go, erlang, clojure and so on.

What is missing in Rails, in your opinion?

Simplicity and elegance are present outside, but not inside.

What’s your favorite programming language besides Ruby? 

Clojure, definitely. For me, the transition from ruby ​​to clojure can be comparate as java to ruby. Clojure is a functional language that allows to solve most of my tasks easier and more rigorous. Next comes a long list: dynamism and metaprogramming, interactive development, support for competitiveness, the ability to use java libraries, etc.

What technology, in your opinion, will be the most promising in the near future?

A big explosion in the frontend, I think there will still be a lot of discoveries. The containers grow (docker, rkt). Distributed and reactive systems (databases, processing of large data streams, queues, consensus). Renaissance of functional programming.

What is Open Source for you? In which projects are you involved and why?

We put in the open source a significant part of our work related to the FHIR standard (fhirbase, fhir.js etc). In general, if something can be opened, we open it. Because practical all our stack is built on open solutions, and we are part of this ecosystem.

What’s your favorite books about programming? 

  • Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs (H. Abbelson)
  • Domain Drive Design (E. Evans)
  • The Design of Design (F. Brooks)

What advice would you give to developers who want to achieve great success?

Never stop at what has been achieved. If in a year your professional worldview has not turned 180 degrees, then it's over. Speak / organize for meetings and conferences, do not neglect live communication with colleagues - it gives a serious motivation that you will not get from books and the Internet.

Who you wanted to became in childhood?

I don't remember anymore.

Not tired of programming?

No, it's only beginning.

What would you do if you had 2 months of free paid time?

I would read books on the beach, I think about life. At leisure, I would rewrite a couple of open-source projects. Generally a good idea.

RailsClub conference on which we managed to communicate with Nikolay will take place this year in Moscow 23th of September.

Get your ticket here.

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   376

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.