How to Introduce Ruby on Rails in Your Company

Thursday, 23 March 2006

spacer I’ve been using Ruby on Rails for 6 months now and I find it great at what it does. I used it for personal web projects but soon I realised that it would be of a great value to use it in the company I work for.

I’m in the high-tech wireless gaming business. We make use of home made web-based tools to manage our business. These tools are made with J2EE/JSP technology but as complexity grew our development team were not able to produce quality tools in short time anymore. I wanted to upgrade our tools to make use of web 2.0 techniques for a more convenient and friendly user experience.

Starting with new tool project, I decided to go for Ruby on Rails as the technology replacing our traditional J2EE/JSP. But I had first to make a presentation of Rails to different audiences in the company: developers, operations and management. At the end, the presentation was very well received and we started our project with Ruby on Rails.

So, here are my short recommendations for a successful introduction to Ruby on Rails.


The presentation I gave was not a training but an introduction so it had to focus on the most interesting points and main advantages of Rails. Generally, the danger of a technical presentation is to lost the audience by going too deep into the details. Stay high-level.

Know Your Audience

Talking to managers, developers and operation members must be different because their goals are different. Even if you share your slides you have to change your talk.

Operations want to know about the system requirements, deployment and performances issues of the solution. Developers want to know how the technology will reduce their development efforts and what kind of programming tools will be provided. Finally, managers want to know about the maturity of the technology and examples of successful applications made with it.

Explain the Difference

You must explain how Ruby on Rails differs from other competitive technologies. Arguments I gave were: gain in productivity for developers (because of the programming environment) and competitive technology offers only parts of Rails.

Ruby on Rails is good because it provides all the building blocks for web apps in a same place, no need for additional software. One of it’s strength is Active Record, the ORM, very easy to work with.

Talking about the convention over configuration is something people were very interested in. J2EE and EJB used to be a nigthmare regarding configuration. Rails on the other hand is straightforward.

Built-in functional and unit testing is also something to talk about, managers will appreciate.

Talk about Real Apps

You should talk about real apps made with Ruby on Rails, it gives a lot of credibility and shows that it’s not a geek toy. Basecamp is one of the most popular and you can find on the Internet precise details about its development as well as system requirements and performances.

Show, Don’t Tell

Show Rails screencasts. They are very good and fun to watch. People will be amazed to see a guy making an app in few minutes. Depending on your time you can show one or two screencasts.

I shown the one about the Flickr viewer, it’s only 5 minutes long so I can comment it and stop on interesting part. I noticed that ommenting the screencast is very important not to lose the audience.

Do a Live Demo

This part is the opportunity for you to show to people how easy it is to work with Ruby on Rails. Depending on the complexity of what you show and your audience, that’s a god challenge, so you’d better train before the show.

I demonstrated a simple web-based chat application that stores messages and rooms on a database. The application is not that impressive but it’s only 60 lines of code so I can go into detail.

I also demonstrated some AJAX features (with scriptaculous effects), the code involved in the application, scaffolding and especially Active Record. I used a console session to show how to manipulate objects directly without writing any single line of SQL. People liked it a lot.

I finished the show by talking about migration scripts, thing that very few frameworks provide.

Watch the Presentation

Download the Slides

My Ruby on Rails presentation is freely available for download. I’ve just removed any confidential parts and you’re granted to modify anything to suit your needs.

The presentation is 1 hour long, 35 minutes for the talk, 10 minutes for screencasts, the rest for a live demo and questions.

  • Download the PowerPoint
  • Download the PDF

If you make any use of it, I’d be glad to hear your feedback about it.

Posted in Ruby on Rails

CISSP professionals usually reach their goals after they are done with 350-018 and other basics like 70-297. Sometimes there are courses like 640-816 or 156-215 that are dealt with later.


Related posts

  • Share Presentations With SlideShare
  • Apple to Rewrite The Store Using Ruby on Rails
  • Stop Comment Spam with Akismet
  • 5 Mistakes You Should Know Before Using Ruby on Rails in Your Company
  • Ruby on Rails to be Bundled with Mac OS X Leopard


  1. Thanks,very good!

    Minggong25 March 06 at 3:48 am

  2. Thanks for your sharing

    Caiwangqin25 March 06 at 6:10 am

  3. spacer

    You’re welcome. If you think I missed something important (without going too deep) please let me know.

    Frederic Brunel27 March 06 at 12:06 pm

  4. [...] Ruby on Rails Book Roundup [...]

    I Blogged This » Blog Archive » Ruby on Rails: An extensive roundup of resources, projects, books, links and more.16 April 06 at 8:27 am

  5. thank you for sharing. my company are using php as it main scripting language. i’ll use your presentation to promote ruby on rails

    william2 May 06 at 6:16 am

  6. spacer

    That’s a very good news, I’m pleased you found it useful. I would appreciate to hear some feedback about your presentation.

    We now have two projects in my company being developed with Ruby on Rails, I’ll soon have real figures to show up regarding productivity.

    Frederic Brunel2 May 06 at 9:01 am

  7. [...] For one week now I’ve been under siege by spammers. After one of my articles about Rails have been referenced on a popular website, spammers found a breach and started a test campaign on my blog. [...]

    Fred’s Journal » Archive » Stop Comment Spam with Akismet2 May 06 at 7:24 pm

  8. [...] How to introduce Ruby on Rails in your company : by Fred Brunel [...]

    Top 9 Ruby on Rails Basics : Ultimate Web Developer Lists : eConsultant5 July 06 at 2:51 pm

  9. [...] Like YouTube, you can directly embed a Flash player into your blog posts to read presentation online. I’ve uploaded my Ruby on Rails presentation on SlideShare and updated my post as well to include the player. [...]

    Fred’s Journal » Archive » Share Presentations with SlideShare5 October 06 at 1:02 am

  10. The slides look great! Slideshare is built on ROR, btw…

    Jonathan Boutelle5 October 06 at 3:27 am

  11. spacer

    Thanks. I didn’t know about SlideShare and RoR, well I’m not surprised in those times.

    The thing that amazes me are new usages of Flash. It’s truly becoming an alternative to platform-specific plugins…

    Your service is great!

    Frederic Brunel5 October 06 at 11:11 am

  12. [...] Tenemos este artículo [...]

    G_u_s » Bocetando texto evangelizador17 November 06 at 5:48 am

  13. [...] How to Introduce Ruby on Rails in Your Company [...]

    证明选择 RoR 没有错:一些文章与链接 « x5.log5 December 06 at 5:03 pm

  14. [...] Last year, I wrote an article about How to Introduce Ruby on Rails in Your Company. My objective was to share with you the arguments I exposed to my team members to use Ruby on Rails for the next gen web-based tools in the company. [...]

    Fred Brunel » Archive » 5 Mistakes You Should Know when using Ruby on Rails in Your Company3 April 07 at 7:35 am

  15. [...] of all Frederic has written another excellent article one year ago, giving the main advantages of Ruby on Rails and how to introduce them in an [...]

    5 Mistakes done with Ruby on Rails « Laurent’s Weblog30 October 07 at 3:58 am

  16. This presentation is great, thanks a lot!

    Remi12 November 07 at 7:02 pm

  17. spacer

    You’re welcome.

    Fred Brunel12 November 07 at 9:00 pm

  18. [...] How to Introduce Ruby on Rails in Your Company [...]

    x5.home » Blog Archive » 证明选择 RoR 没有错:一些文章与链接27 October 08 at 9:58 am

  19. Nearly 3 years later I find your article just as applicable. Thanks!

    I just converted the site to a poor man's content management system that I wrote with JRoR (JRuby on Rails). I reference your excellent article on it.

    I added an appendix to your points specifically for the JRuby aspect:

    - Operations people will like that JROR can run on your existing Java web servers (be it JBoss, WebSphere, WebLogic, …).

    - Operations people will again like the simplicity of deploying your Rails app using Warbler (copy a single .war file).

    - Managers will like that you can leverage your existing Java logic (now that is really DRY)

    - Everyone will like the snappier performance that JRuby brings as the rumored premiere Ruby environment (I’m spreading this rumor).

    I would be interested in any experience you have with JRoR.

    JRuby8 January 09 at 6:31 pm

  20. spacer

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the nice words, I'm glad my article was useful.

    You're points are absolutely valid and using JRuby would have been a lot easier for me to sell the solution at the time but it did not exist.

    I've never used JRuby in a production environment but just for experimentation.

    But I'm pretty YOU can share your experience with it, I haven't find too much article about it.

    Thanks again.

    Fred Brunel8 January 09 at 7:45 pm

Leave a comment is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.