How an experienced developer multiplied his productivity ten fold

I have been on the .Net wagon since the beta 1 (2002?) and I have been a .Net consultant since then at Readify.

Note: I don’t want to sound arrogant in the next paragraph (bloody Frenchman) but it is important to explain the breadth of my experience with .Net for you to understand why my productivity increase is such a big deal to me.

I consider myself proficient in the .Net technologies (no glory, I spend a lot of time in front of my computer). I won the Imagine Cup back in 2004 and I have trained people to pass their MCSD certifications. At Readify, I have been surrounded with people who care about the quality of their work, and it drove the quality of my work up too. In the last two years, my productivity also improved when I started developing and experimenting with my own business ideas during my spare time. The time gap between the moment I have an idea and the moment I can confront it to market validation via some prototypes has too be as short as possible so I am always looking for better ways of doing things.

Also I stuck with .Net all these years because I found the tools very powerful (Visual Studio, Resharper, TFS, etc…) and I believed it was hard to beat the productivity a developer gets out of these tools and the framework in general.

But something happened in the last month that made a dramatic change to my productivity. I learned Ruby on Rails.

How I started

I tried Ruby on Rails a few months ago but my experience was very frustrating. I tried to use facebooker in some pet project and all the commands that were explained on the web to use Facebooker wouldn’t work on Windows.

But after a discussion with Hendro, founder of Moluko, I decided to give Ruby on Rails another go. Too many smart people liked it.

At the time I had to commute 1h20 one way so I downloaded all the videos from RailsCasts and TeachMeToCode on my iPhone.

The railscasts are well prepared, and impressive by their depths, this is really advanced stuff. The TeachMeToCode videos are less prepared which is also valuable, you see the guy make and fix his mistakes as he goes for example, you learn how to debug/fix your Ruby on Rails issues.

I spent the next three weeks watching videos in the bus/train.

So far I have developed two projects in Ruby on Rails. My first project isEventr. Nothing special to say about it, except this is where I discovered that Heroku and RubyMine are awesome.

When the power of RoR unleashed 🙂

This week, I had an idea inspired by make a fiverr that better respect experts time (by increasing the fixed price) and target businesses only: meet (A post about TaskArmy will probably come soon)


As a .net developer I had a glimpse at how powerful Ruby on Rails is:

  • Authentication screens done in 30 minutes
  • Scalable hosting solution set up in 30 minutes
  • Include a new plugin/gem in 10 seconds
  • Reliable and template based emails using PostMark set up in 30 minutes
  • SEO friendly urls done in 30 minutes
  • Encrypted paypal buttons done in 1h (thanks to RailsCasts)
  • Easy setup of different environment (development / test / production) thanks to separate config files
  • Frictionless deployment (please Microsoft, kill these abominations called TFSBuild scripts)
  • You want your application to automatically tweet? Just use this line (the ` character is important)
      `curl -u your_username:your_password -d status="#{message}"`

As an entrepreneur I am excited to foresee the financial benefits of running RoR applications (no licenses to buy) in my businesses.


I still love .net and continue to think it is more suitable for certain kinds of applications but I wish I had learned Ruby on Rails earlier, I feel I have wasted a lot of my time when I was developing my prototypes in

I am really excited to enter a new cycle of productivity.