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24.37% of Web Developers to Try Ruby in Next 12 Months

by Peter Cooper on Sep 06, 2006 |

Josh Catone, administrator of the Rails Forum, has been analyzing the results of SitePoint's State of Web Development 2006 survey. SitePoint is one of the largest Web developer resources on the net and 5000 Web professionals answered the survey betwee June and July, 2006. Josh notes:

According to respondents Ruby is used as a development platform by 5.31%, well behind PHP's dominating 67.54% market penetration. However, when asked what platforms people were not currently developing for but planning to use in the next twelve months, Ruby was the answer of 24.37% of respondents!

Other results show 34.04% of developers are using unit testing and 17.78% are using MVC, both common methodologies used by Ruby on Rails.

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Interesting results by Pat Eyler

I thought the questions about methodologies (which you mentioned) and the one about information sources (which you didn't) were much more interesting

Methodologies:
In addition to unit testing and MVC, code reviews did fairly well (at 36.28%). Sadly, only 29.20% use versioning, and 24.15% said they used none of the listed methodologies. The results showed some positive numbers that surprised me, but were still pretty gloomy.

Information Sources:
96.27% of those surveyed use articles to "keep there skills sharp"
69.46% use books
60.44% use forums (blech!)
54.76% use blogs
less that 35% use magazines and only about 20% use conferences. This seems like a pretty huge shift in the way we communicate technically.

Re: Interesting results by Alex Popescu

IMO the results are not so relevant. Looking at the results, I would say that a typical profile is a beginner developer (see the interests) working in a very small IT shop (2-3 people at most) (no versioning, no MVC) developing very small web apps with no app lifecycle needs.

./alex
--
.w( the_mindstorm )p.

ps: this is my personal interpretation and is not associated in any ways with InfoQ.

java vs ruby by Rusty Wright

In the debates about Ruby versus Java each side focuses on the particular strengths of their language and the weaknesses of the other language.

For the Java people some of its advantages are the compile time type checking, large tool set and libraries, and large user base. For the Ruby people some of its advantages are the rapid development cycle, its advanced language features like blocks and closures, and its succinct syntax.

On the flip side, for the Java people the big disadvantage of Ruby is its run time type checking and that objects can be modified at run time. For the Ruby people a big disadvantage of Java is that it's complicated and bloated, as exemplified by EJB.

What makes these debates so intractable is that for the Java people Ruby's run time type checking is basically a non-negotiable issue.

The Ruby people feel that the Java people are being dogmatic and that this problem has been blown out of proportion; unit tests will reveal all of the likely problems with type checking and that there's little or no anecdotal evidence that existing web applications written in Ruby or other languages with run time type checking are suffering from this problem.

(For the record, I'm with the java dogmatists.)

Re: java vs ruby by Peter Cooper

I'll go further than that and say, as a Ruby die-hard, that I don't want and will never want 'compile time' type checking in Ruby (even when compilation becomes generally possible).

It's different strokes for different folks. If people are happy using Java, they can keep using it.

Results to 4 significant figures? by Pat Patterson

It's a little ridiculous to state "24.37% of Web developers to Try Ruby in Next 12 Months". Sure, 24.37% of the 5000 survey respondents plan to do so, but does that mean you can project the result onto a much larger population with 4sf of accuracy???

Re: Results to 4 significant figures? by Steve Zara

You certainly can't with 4 significant figures, but you could certainly extrapolate from that number if it was representative. The problem is that it looks far from that. Those who replied to the survey were primarily PHP or .NET developers. None said they were deploying on any UNIX platforms. This is not to say there won't be significant take-up of Ruby generally, but that can't be concluded from this survey.

Re: Results to 4 significant figures? by Peter Cooper

It's done by the media all the time. It's a cute hack, but headlines in the vein of "15% of teenagers contemplating suicide" or the like are common. Of course, the .37% might be a little over the top in this case ;-) However, precise headlines, even if accurate, tend to do better than vague ones. Thanks for chiming in though.

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