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Talbott Blog

The One-Two Punch

Justin Palmer asks in Did motion graphics jump start Ruby on Rails?:

A lot of comments and blog post around the web show people who are reflecting on there first experience with Rails. It goes something along the lines of ‘I saw the video and was amazed.’ Are the Rails videos playing a bigger role in marketing Rails than we might think?

He then goes on to point out why that might be:

Generally developers coming to Rails know how to program so we want quick proof of how this can be beneficial to us. We don’t really want to be bothered with reading a big tutorial to see if learning a new programming language (Ruby in this case) is worth your time but if there is no other option you’ll probably find that most won’t really pursue it further or put it off until another day.

I think he’s definitely on to something, but I think it goes further than the videos. When I was first perusing Rails, the video was cool, but the thing that really hooked me was the instant conversion to me doing it myself via the `rails` command. “Show me” was important, but it was more like the flashy graphics on the outside of a camera box, while the scaffolding let me rip in to the box and immediately start playing without having to read the manual. Basically, Rails leaves no excuses for not just spending an hour trying it out.

Of course, once you’ve tried it out, you find out that there’s even more depth than the video even hinted at, and your hooked. So I’d say Rails actually has a one-two punch of getting us to pick it up off of the shelf, and then letting us immediately rip it out of the box and try it out. At that point, it’s as one of my friends would say: “It’s crack, man, it’s crack.”