[Ironruby-core] How do you convince .Net developers to use IronRuby?

Nathan Stults Nathan_Stults at HSIHealth.com
Mon Nov 2 10:46:56 EST 2009

I think Time will be the most important ingredient in getting people
amped on IR. It's probably too early to expect incredible enthusiasm
from users groups. IronRuby, lacking VS integration and with all the
command line stuff, doesn't demo in the usual Microsoft fashion, so it
might be hard to wow the rank and file. If you do want to get people
excited in a demo, I'd demo in the context of C# 4.0, so you can demo
inside visual studio, and let people see IronRuby shine from within a
familiar environment. Also, ASP.NET MVC with IronRuby might resonate
better than RoR at first, and you could also try demo'ing with something
like RubyMine, that does have intellisense and refactorings.


To get IronRuby to spread, I would focus on selling IronRuby proper to
the vanguard (Alt).NET communities, their bloggers, thought leaders,
etc. who have large followings among progressive developers. They should
immediately be able to get over the lack of "tooling sugar" to see the
value IronRuby has to offer. I'd start with the testing aspects,
Cucumber, RSpec, etc. as well as Rake and its superior abilities in
creating dev tools and build automations and things, then move on to
scripting & automating existing .NET apps. I think RoR and other pure
Ruby concepts are a bit out of range for most .NET folks just now, and
anyway if they did want to start building those kinds of pure Ruby
applications in IronRuby, they'd run into some brick walls and may drop
out prematurely. From what I can tell IronRuby isn't quite ready for
real, full scale Ruby development - a hefty portion of the things I try
don't work on IronRuby yet, simply because the language isn't complete
(String#unpack, File#flock, etc) and because the community hasn't caught
up (DataMapper integrations, C# ports of native libraries, etc).


Finally, you may want to ask the JRuby community how they did it. Of
coure, Java devs by and large may be much more comfortable with command
line work, but the situation is largely the same I would think.


All in all, though, I think it is still very early to expect too much.
Hopefully, as the early adopter types start to pick this thing up and
get excited about it, they will spread the excitement - I think it is
more likely to get into people's heads that way, rather than user group
presentations. At the same time, MS will continue to improve their
tooling, JetBrains may build their RubyMine product as a VS integration
when IronRuby is more mature, and demos can get flashier. That will help
some too. That's my guess anyway. 






From: ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org
[mailto:ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org] On Behalf Of Shay Friedman
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 7:07 AM
To: ironruby-core
Subject: [Ironruby-core] How do you convince .Net developers to use


Hi there,

In the last month I had 3 sessions about IronRuby, all of them in front
of .Net audience. I really believe in the IronRuby but I find it very
very hard to pass that to existing .Net developers.
I try to show the benefits of using IR - getting things done faster
(like POCs, internal tools), using REPL, using IR abilities from C#, IR
and Silverlight (like Gestalt), unit testing, RoR...
Most of the .Net devs are very conservative and are not willing to get
out of their familiar development environment even when they see the
clear benefits of the new technology.
They feel that using IronRuby will take everything they love from them -
Visual Studio, Ctrl+F5, the sacred intellisense, etc.

That's about what happens during a session:
- No Visual Studio integration: 50% of the audience are willing to
- No compilation: more 25% have just lost interest.
- Intensive command line work: more 15% are shutting down.

That leaves about 10 perecent of the audience that just think of using
IronRuby, most of them decide not to eventually.

My question is - how do you suggest to present IronRuby to .Net
and to the team members - does Microsoft expect that existing .Net devs
will start using IronRuby? 


Shay Friedman
Author of IronRuby Unleashed
Follow me: http://twitter.com/ironshay

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