Its been two months since we released 99tests and it has come a long way. But the development of 99tests started in late-september of 2010, when I joined Praveen in building the app. We released the app on November 14th 2010 just under one and a half months.
We, from the beginning were in “Lean Startup Mode” so wanted to get the app out as early as possible. Rails which had just upgraded itself to version 3.0 looked too good to move away from. Moreover, I coming from the freelancing world had worked on a lot of projects with Rails. With this knowledge and Rails’s amazing Rapid Application Development capabilities, made it ” the platform ” to build the app on. In this article, I intend to list out the tools/services which we use to build and maintain our app. The tools and cost effectiveness of these tools and services makes Rails a really good choice to “StartUp”.
The first thing which comes to your mind when Starting Up is hosting and server administration. If you are a newbie to this field then it can be intimidating. The hosting provider’s multiple hosting options and complicated pricing will for sure confuse you.
In the Rails world hosting is free (at least to start off). Heroku a cloud hosting provider enables you to start off without spending a penny. As your app gains popularity and traffic you can easily upgrade, which is as painless as recharging your mobile. Also Heroku eliminates the complexity of system administration by providing a command based api to interact with you app on the server.
A Gem Community
The main reason for the success of Rails is because of its close-knit community. The community which was initially led by Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson has grown exponentially since 2005. The release of Rails 3 is an evidence to this fact. The community contributes to Rails by creating gems for various tasks in web development. Here is a list of some useful gems.
If you are convinced by now that rails is the way to go, here are some of the sites where you can learn Rails
- RailsCasts – Free Rails Screencasts
- RoR Guides – This is the place to start
- Agile Web Development with Rails (4th edition) – The best book to build your Rails knowledge
- 37Signals SVN – Follow the creator and major contributors of Rails here
- How to design a rails app – 37Signals designer tells you how to design and think in the rails way
I hope I have convinced some of you to switched to Rails. Starting Up Rails can be frustrating ( especially on Windows ) ; but hang in there. Once you are passed that stage Rails is fun all the way. If you need any help just mail me at avinasha[at]99tests[dot]com or tweet me @AviShastry. I will be happy to help. In my next article, I will list out the other apps, tools and services which we use here to build the app. Until then happy learning Rails.