A lot of companies got burnt on ruby related projects. Especially anything rails related. There is a steady pipeline of work right now for skilled developers to migrate services and code from ruby to go, Scala, java - basically anything else except ruby.
I have earnt quite well doing such gigs, although I tend do more erlang/elixir stuff these days.
I would always ask the clients what happened, and why they want to migrate rather than maintain or even build out their ruby code bases, and the answer was always the same - the developers in the ruby space were mostly sub-par. Often several degrees below java developers in terms of skill and ability.
I would say it tallies with my experiences too.
It is also for this reason they are not using node js - because it was seen as the next shiny, all the half-devs from ruby jumped onto it, and the risk of crap codebases from the same amateurs is ever present.
It's my understanding that the mood is simply that rails/ruby/node is toxic; its the same with what used to be SEO, they've all become UX snake oil salesmen.
As a Go dev, I'm crapping it that Go may be the next bandwagon jumped onto :( It kinda makes me glad when I see all those comments complaining about lack of generics!
The issue with Ruby is that it is so tightly associated with simple architecture of Rails. Nothing wrong with Rails in itself, but for many complex projects that require architectural solutions Rails doesn't support, Rails + inexperienced devs usually results in spaghetti code.
Ruby is fine, but RoR is toxic.
A language without its framework is like a hammer without a nail.
I feel like switching stacks before actually getting work might do more harm than good and at this stage I'm not looking to contract.
I'm not saying anyone here is incorrect in their generalizations of Rails developers. I've obviously never seen the code they are criticizing. But they also aren't providing any useful information. Keep that in mind above all else. There will always be politics and disagreements. You're never going to make everyone happy and it would be a disaster to try to.
Keeping that in mind, were those companies really burned by Rails or were they making lazy decisions and not being honest about what their plan was for their software?
Most businesses are technology agnostic - they don't care what we use, if, if we deliver robust technically sound solutions. But when they trust developers, who fail to deliver, they mark the technology choice as well, to avoid getting similar problems in the future.
Just to note, I'm a PHP dev who works in SEO, and have done for years, during the great SEO boom, so I know bad code and I know snake oil salesmen. But I think in about 12/18 months time, once all the charlatans have moved on, the ruby/rails devs left will be experienced, battle hardend legacy devs, and the respect will begin., much like the SEO industry now.
If a fair number of those executives learn too late about the technical limitations of Rails, they probably do feel burned, and word gets around.
Funny thing is a lot of the projects that were a mess because the devs could not manage the pressure the businesses put on them which made for some real bad decisions. The devs themselves were actually pretty good and knew the code base had gotten out of hand.
So now whenever someone says "oh this company wont use X because they got burned by those programmers" my internal alarms instantly start going off that the problem is more than likely the managers of the business.
Ruby is past it's hype and others are taking up the space.
Node.js is very good at replacing Ruby for quick development and Typesafe's Play works better for Java shops.
Having dealt with the author previously (though never having taken a role through him) I hope his approach of specialising in a technology stack and pursuing that as a specialist, gaining knowledge of both the hirers and potential contractors, wins out over the LinkedIn profile fishers.
Well that pretty much confirms my perception of "Scrum Masters".
Generally speaking (again, my anecdotal experience), the UK as a whole are tech laggards compared to the US. They'll wait until it gets developed and fixed here, and then adopt it when it's ready. However, as soon as it is ready, they do tend to adopt very quickly (and become quite good). It's no coincidence that Node.js and the startup scene are now synonymously popular right now in the UK and Ruby isn't.
With online services now fully established at senior management level as part of the core business (software eating the world etc) and no longer seen as "projects", this is natural development.
And it's not just contractors that feel the consequences, it's also the specialized agencies that can no longer get those big fat contracts building web apps for established companies.
It's a good time to be a software developer in London, and not so good if you're trying to recruit one.
Edit: The last time I sat in an office in Shoreditch there were contractors there doing frontend, project management, design and product ownership. There was a conversation one day where the eluded to 'backend contractors always being in work' and it being a bit of struggle for the others to always find work. Have the Rails devs here felt they were always in work in the past?
I've done contract Rails dev in London for the past 2 years now, before that I had clients in the South of England, Dublin and Belfast. Apart from holidays I've not spent any considerable time out of work.
One of my colleagues lumped "webdev" (of the sleazy WP theme shop variety) and .NET jobs in the same category as a "cesspool". I can't disagree.
Though I am not about to sell my soul for the £200 difference to spend that on psychotherapy afterwards.
One year perm at a bank or a project in a bank as a consultant. Investment banking and FX experience is valued much more.
If you never worked in any financial institution(like for an insurer), then there is maybe 1% chance you're getting a contract in one.
For £800 that's 5-10 years of experience with majority of it with one of the big consultancies(IBM GBS, Accenture, Deloitte) and a few big financial projects. Granted that's an introduction rate, that can go up if you negotiate well.
In all my years of working in the financial sector (NOT trading I will add!), about as complex as it got was numeric precision, rounding, equation of a line and curve fitting which was all pretty easy. Oh and deciphering lots of poorly written regulation and rules.
Don't hit trading unless you like snorting coke and 100 hour weeks.
But even humoring you here, I would argue that the very, very vast majority of contracts out there are not "performance oriented" and so the point may be moot.
The UK has always lagged well behind America in dev pay and has only been accelerating in pay for the last 5 years. 5 years ago a senior dev position outside London was around 35k. Now it's up to 45k and I'm starting to get emails with 50ks mentioned.
To make '20k' you would have to earn £900 per day, when the going rate outside London is £300 p/d, and even as recently as a year ago it was £250 p/d.
You earn £900 p/d consulting, not developing.
I've always blamed the 'BBC micro' effect for our lower pay, we had a lot more exposure to computers as kids in the 80s and so reached 'peak developer' a lot later than the Americans did. Also in the UK the idea that the peons could be worth more than the managers was anathema until the last decade, a class divide throwback.
Some of those posts are not even real roles - new guys in agencies need to collect a lot of CVs, so they post bogus £600 contract and collect your CVs as "stuffing" for their "portfolio"
£700 are rates for an experienced core Java developer with investment banking or FX experience.
Occasionally, there are much higher rates (1k-2k) for very short urgent roles, but not that common.
My most well paid contract was awarded to me after the job was open for 3 months - Thales e-Security HSM API specialist.
Compared with consulting rates and salaries in specialized niches (SAP etc), 45k for experienced and competent developers is way too low.
But what I will agree with is that the disparity of contractor pay and permanent pay in UK is staggering.
To give an example, I live in Seattle in the US (which is relevant as many states in the US apply additional taxes on top of those applied federally). My effective tax rate is probably somewhere around 35-40% of my gross income. I'm curious if devs in the UK are looking at a similar deal, or if more than half of that 20k per month is going to evaporate into taxes... also how does that vary for contract versus permanent work (in the US it would cause an immediate 7.5% bump in my tax rate, I believe).
How? Start with the 20k. Pay yourself a 10k salary (tax free, pay £232.80 in national insurance). Pay 20% corporation tax on the remaining 10k (£2000). Pay the remainder to yourself as a dividend (which already has a tax credit applied and results in a 0% liability up to a certain limit).
Now, this does make the assumption this is either the first month of your tax year or the only income you make ;-) If you were to make 20k EVERY month, you would start to increase through brackets and pay more tax on the dividends.
By my calculation using ContractorUK's dividend tax calculator, at 20k every month and assuming no deductions at all, you'd pay around £53k on the total £240k for an effective tax rate of 22%, but I could be wrong. You would also be likely to pay more tax since you'd probably pay yourself a salary despite the loss of personal allowance in order to keep your state pension privileges.
Broadly speaking, direct taxation on income is generally lower than many situations in the US. It's the consumption taxes like VAT (20%) and fuel duty (the majority of the price of fuel) that bump things up a lot. I should also note that if you merely happen to be self employed rather than own your own company, your taxes are actually LOWER here than if you're employed - no equivalent to the "self employment tax" I've heard of in the US.
Contractors have a different set of rules from regular employees but they end up paying more or less the same tax (often less, if they have a smart setup -- corporation tax is lower than income tax); there are other disparities (it's harder to get loans/mortgages etc) but not tax afaik.
Just want to reiterate that until this point, the market has been healthy and I'm expecting it to recover. The tone of the discussion here is a bit doom and gloom. I still think its got at least 2 more healthy years before it becomes how PHP is now.