Interview answer from Jonathan Conway to a question posed by Yours Truly…

How do you see the market for Ruby Programmers in the work place, and do you see it as primarily tied to Rails and Web related work? Do you see trends in administration or other work? What’s the future for Ruby?

The market for Ruby programmers I feel will only get stronger. However one of the common traits of a Ruby developer is that they prefer to work freelance. This has made it considerably harder for companies to hire full time people. Not only that but Iʼve come across quite a few freelancers who have difficulty with the concepts of basic OO let alone good Ruby practices and yet have no qualms with charging the market rates for top end developers. I feel something will inevitably has to change in the future so as not to tarnish the reputation of Ruby developers and keep a healthy ecosystem of Ruby jobs alive.

Another thing is that hiring companies need to be smarter and go beyond the usual academic/paper skills when seeking out new talent. Iʼve been lucky to snap up incredibly talented people in the past who have been turned down by other larger companies. This is because unfortunately a lot of companies interviewing processes are either amateurish or outdated at best.

My personal interviewing technique is based upon psychology and technical ability designed to make the interviewee as relaxed as possible so that I can see their true abilities/potential and more importantly how theyʼll interact with others at work in a social environment. Remember a good team dynamic is crucial to successful delivery of projects.

Seeing what Jamie Van Dyke is doing at with regards to recruiting for clients I think is definitely going in the right direction to solve some of the problems Iʼve outlined above.

Woah, I kind of side tracked there but to keep on target I definitely see inroads into server/cloud administration with Ruby. The languages readability coupled with libraries like Puppet, Capistrano/Vlad, Thor, Vertebra and others make Ruby an Ops guys dream come true.

See the rest of the interview!