Ruby on Rails vs. .NET: Don’t take it personally

As I’ve written these Ruby on Rails vs. .NET posts, I was not expecting some of the comments that I got. Not that the comments I got were not bringing up valid points, but I felt a tension in some of them. The same is true about other similar RoR/.NET posts (like this one — read the comments).

I feel like this is disintegrating into a religious us vs. them debate. I had no intention of it ever being this way, nor should it be in my opinion. I’ve just been stating my preference and explaining the reasons why.

If you prefer .NET over Ruby on Rails, I have no problem with that! If you’re better at .NET or it’s a better fit than RoR for what you’re doing, I’m not saying you’re wrong. I personally think that RoR is a better web development platform than ASP.NET, but that’s just my opinion. I also don’t think that ASP.NET MVC sucks or anything like that, I’ve had a lot of success with it and it’s still getting better.

I think as software developers we need to at least consider other languages and platforms that we don’t use regularly because there might be something better out there. If anything, you’ll learn something that you can take back to your platform and make it better. You might not like what you find, and that’s fine, at least you can know that you checked it out. Not everything you try will be worth using.

You are not your language or development platform. You are a software developer who happens to have expertise in a certain language or platform. If someone even were to deride your platform (which I have no intention of doing), don’t take that as a personal attack. There are a lot of ignorant people out there in all walks of life, don’t let them ruin your day. Just because someone likes Ruby on Rails doesn’t mean that you are any less of a developer for choosing .NET.

At the same time, I’ve found a platform I like and I’m going to talk about why I like it, because on this blog I talk about things I like. Some people find this “proselytizing” to be annoying, and I’m sorry that you feel that way. I’m only doing the same thing that .NET developers did when they proclaimed that Silverlight is better than Flash and that Windows Phone 7 is the next big thing. There is nothing wrong with being excited about a platform, technology, or framework that you like. That doesn’t mean that you have to think the same as me or agree with me, and I welcome the discussion. But let’s try and be polite about it.