When new programming languages and platforms are developed, they are often successful due to their ease of use, adaptability, flexibility, and affordability. But even more than that, a successful platform is supported by a wide community of professionals with an almost evangelical enthusiasm about the product, which results in a desire to help others understand and develop their skills. This is just as true with Ruby on Rails development as it is with any other platform.
RoR is an open-source platform, which means that developers are free to do whatever they like with the code without all the secrecy. The source code is available to the public, which means that those whose job it is to develop programs and systems join communities to seek advice and to give advice. There is safety in numbers; large projects are usually managed through cooperation. This is the principle behind open-source software.
If you are using Ruby on Rails to build a system or program, there is a strong chance that someone, somewhere, has tried to do it before you. It is easy to find a better way to construct a particular piece of code. The nature of RoR development means that there is systematic trial-and-error of millions of people all over the globe every single day who are willing to share their results.
Much of the process of learning code with most other platforms is slow and arduous. If the maxim “easy to learn and difficult to master” ever applied to a platform, then it applies to Ruby on Rails. It is quick to pick up, but attaining a high level of problem-solving comes with significant experience. There is a large community willing to help, and you can work through those problems to learn from the trial-and-error of others, while in turn teaching others about your own mistakes.
It has already been demonstrated that the open-source philosophy of Ruby on Rails development works to the benefit of everyone who uses it, purely through the availability and openness of designers. The use of a library means that no one person would claim ownership of a single piece of code. The result of this is that bits of code or whole programs are available to anyone to use anywhere in any greater piece of code. There are reportedly over 63,000 solutions in the public domain.
Many consider other languages such as PHP and Java rather inflexible. There is only one best way to do X, Y, and Z, and this is the tool you should use for functions A, B, and C. With RoR, there may be many solutions to the same problem because of the flexibility in the code.
Once you are part of the Rails development community, have asked for or offered help to others, and contributed to the success of Ruby on Rails, you will be noticed. In today’s global marketplace, you are no doubt going to find yourself offered jobs and contracts. You will be able to attend conferences and network with fellow professionals – something that is hugely important in the modern business world.
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