In article <20051019011636.39b3845e.zedshaw / zedshaw.com>,
Zed A. Shaw <zedshaw / zedshaw.com> wrote:
>
>Lately though I've seen postings like Jeff's practically begging for
>Ruby developers.  I've had a couple of offers to write books.  I've had
>people invite me to work on projects.  Despite this, I feel like I'm
>just so swamped with the few things I actually do that I'm missing out
>on a big movement or something.  

I know exactly now you feel.  I've been burried in work on my Master's thesis 
for several months now and  I keep thinking "Gotta get this thesis done so I 
can jump into Ruby development again".

>I feel like I'm in Cuba watching Che
>rape and kill people and saying, "Damn, some day that guy will be on a
>t-shirt."

Well, or perhaps a more positive image and way before Che got to Cuba: 
watching Che swim across the Amazon river at night, with asthma so he can be 
with the lepers he wants to help.
(see "The Motorcycle Diaries").

It's sort of like "I knew Ruby before it was financially advantagous to know
Ruby." or "I knew Ruby before Rails"

>
>Am I the only person who wants to dive into Ruby full time but who's
>also afraid of another dot-com burnout?  Are there really that many
>companies with great ideas, health benefits, and good pay that
>seriously need Ruby?  Do other potential Rubyists think that Rails and
>Ruby might be popular, but maybe not popular enough to be a full
>time job?

I don't think we're headed for another dot-com-bomb, at least
not for quite a while. The memory is still too fresh in investors minds.
And besides, most of these small startups now which are using Rails are not
depending on VC.  They're able to start on a shoestring budget and get going
and even generating revenue very quickly.  It's a very different situation 
than the late 90's when VC were throwing money at ideas like selling dogfood
on the internet.  There have been several articles on this phenomenon.  
Most attribute the ease of starting up companies now to Open Source Software.
Rails is an enabler: if it allows a couple of guys in their garage to create
a web app in a few weeks which used to require 20 guys in cubicles 6+ months 
to develop then it makes it a lot more affordable to take the risk.  You don't
even have to quit your current job until you're making bank from your newly
formed company.  If that never happens, then you haven't really lost anything,
and you've gained Ruby and Rails experience.


Maybe what we need is not just a Ruby job board site, but also a site where
we can post things like: "I've got an idea for doing datamining (or whatever)
I'm looking for a couple of like-minded Rubyists who would be interested in 
making a startup based on some of these ideas I've got.  No pay.  Long hours.
hard work.  Let's do it!".  Kind of like the part of the classifieds where
people are looking for players of various instruments/types of music so they
can start a band.  Maybe startup formation now is a lot like band formation?
You don't quit your day job at first.  You wait to see if you're going to get
a record deal.

Phil