Bidding Projects with Ruby/Rails, Take 2

Yesterday I commented on Stuart Halloway’s post about how Relevance bids Java projects vs. Rails projects. It appears that that post created a flood of questions, and Stuart obliged with a follow up post today.

Some people took my “worst case” number (10% advantage for Ruby) and extrapolated that Java could catch up. That extrapolation is going in the wrong direction. The reason that my number is 10% and not 50% is difficulties that sometimes arise due to the relative immaturity of the Ruby/Rails stack. For example, say we bid one project at 20% cheaper with Rails. But, that price includes the hidden cost of building a database driver and some specialized XML processing that does not exist for Ruby (and does for Java). On our next similar project, we’ll be able to deliver 30% cost savings over the Java bid, because the plumbing will already exist for both platforms. And remember, these numbers come after paying developers more.

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