A Real-Life .NET to Rails rewrite

Yesterday, I commented on a blog post by Microsoft’s Robert Scoble who asked why developers are leaving .NET for Ruby on Rails. As I said then, the post itself was short, but there were many comments posted, and a lot of those posts directly answered his question.

I many more comments have been posted since then, and as I was reading through them, this one caught my eye (excerpted from comment #65):

I now develop everything in RoR.

I managed a development of an internet portal system for a University. I was employed for three years (until the end of this month!) and had a project budget of £1.2 million. We built in .NET and based most of the framework on Microsoft Content Management Server. It took 4 developers, 2 SQL boxes, several hundred thousand lines of code and many, many hundreds of thousands of pounds to get something that was so-so together.

I reimplemented the whole thing in RoR in about a week, on my own, and it was a quicker system when it was finished. I was able to develop on my feeble little iBook, deploy onto a FreeBSD server and plug it into MySQL. The finished product looked identical to the MS solution but was cheaper, quicker and more fun to develop.

This is a telling and compelling story!

Even taking into account the fact that this was a reimplementation, so the design was already known, it is still very impressive that this system could be reimplemented in a week.


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