Original question from Quora:

Now that Ruby on Rails is dead, should I rewrite all of my apps in something more popular?

My Answer:

Welp, time for some bad news. Rails isn’t dead.

Actually, I’m sort of glad that it lives on (probably forever) because writing Rails code is how I make my living. I sort of have a vested interest in Rails continuing I suppose.

In all seriousness, technology doesn’t die. As Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired magazine spoke about on the Tim Ferriss podcast, technology never dies.

Sure, technology like Rails might lose some popularity over time, but there millions, maybe billions of lines of code out there written in Rails and in production today.

That code isn’t going anywhere. Ever.

Yes, there will be apps that are rewritten or replaced over time, but in 20 years there will be many, many, many established companies still maintaining crusty old Rails apps.

Don’t believe me? Look at old banking and government systems built back in the 80’s using COBOL and FORTRAN and C. They are still in production and are paying programmers small fortunes to keep them alive.

And there in lies the rub…

You don’t need to build with something popular, you need to build with something that works.

That’s it.

If a program works for the end user, nothing else matters at all.

New technology solves problems and creates problems and both are great opportunities for programmers, and also old technology solves problems and creates problems.

Do this for me if you aren’t convinced yet…

Next time you are out shopping, especially at a large department or grocery store, pay attention to their POS (point of sale) system. Most of them were built 30+ years ago with no GUI. They are crusty old text interfaces.

Oh and your local bank probably has the same kind of text terminal software keeping the business alive.

And behind those systems are thousands of programmers keeping those businesses running smoothly.

So it will also be with Rails and any other modern technology in 20+ years. It will still be around somehow, and someone will be keeping it alive.

I guess to answer the rest of your question, it doesn’t matter what language or tool you use today because in the not so distant tomorrow it will be old and crusty too.

Use what you know and like. You get more done when it’s fun.


P.S. I unpack more ideas in Creative Genius.