The Opening Sermon

Published on May 2, 2019

The recent Rails Conf keynote by DHH, has brought up some old wounds. The talk was typical of DHH, as it meandered here, there and everywhere, but he always seemed to bring it back to a related cause. There was (pretty long) stretches where I wondered what on earth he was talking about and his far-fetched anecdotes were spouted.

I love his brashness. His unrelenting resolve to avoid the status quo.

Often - too often - programmers enforce guidelines as whole truths. Disciplines that must be obeyed without question, at the cost of anything else.

I'm struggling with my own project right now. I want to help and make a difference to my (really) small base of users, but DHH's comment about Dropbox was eye opening to say the least; 

For fuck sake, Dropbox. You host my files!

You don't need a world conquering mission statement. Just serve your customers.

Regarding Rails' large user base, for it's open source platform, he lists some huge, household names, including Twitter who he calls out as;

Rails is open source. Twitter freely used Rails and eventually hung itself on unrelated problems and used Rails as the scapegoat.

What an ungrateful bunch.

It's easy to blame your tools - but harder to realise a lasting truth. You are nothing if you don't serve your customers. What technology you use does not matter.