andrew burke





Want a Rails Job?

Posted on: 2007-08-10

Are you a programmer looking for work? Heck, are you just looking for work? It may be time to do a crash course in Ruby on Rails.

For the last few months, I've been getting work offers at the rate of about one a week. Unsolicited work offers from out of the blue. This week - a shortened holiday week when many people are still at their cottages - the work offers have come in at one a day.

Of course, I've been busy with Get Signage and a few other small side projects, and have been getting used to saying 'No Thanks' - which is a difficult thing for a freelancer to do, especially remembering the dry spells I had in 1996 and 2004.

It's like when you're single you can't find anyone who will give you the time of day - but when you're finally in a relationship, all these other people come out of the woodwork. I keep wanting to yell "Where were you two years ago?!"

I'm not a particularly big noise in the local community - I go to the Rails Pub Nite, I blog occasionally about Rails, I know some of the bigger names around, but the only presentation I've ever given was over a year ago at BarCamp - where anyone can just sign up and present - and it wasn't even about Ruby or Rails.

I guess it's a perfect storm right now for Rails developers: Web 2.0 has picked up enough momentum for there to be a lot of startups again now, and Ruby on Rails has become extremely well hyped, especially in its claims to be faster for development than other frameworks (sort of true but sort of not - a subject for another post).

What's nice about Ruby and Rails is that they're both relatively clean and and easy to learn. It helps a lot to have banged your head against Java and/or PHP (or heck Lotus Notes) for a while so you know why things are so much better over here, but they're also decent ways to get started in development without a lot of bad habits ( cough PHP cough ).

So here's what you do:

This has worked well for me - and if it worked for me it should work for you too. It's obviously not the only way - there are lots of other books and sites to look at, for example. Hopefully the industry will still be bubbling while you do this, and you'll be able to get some decent work - and if it isn't, well, you'll be ready for the next bubble!

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