2021 Engineering Path for Ruby Professionals | Webinar #12 | RubyConf Pakistan
Again, thank you so much Ali for taking out the time and being a part of this webinar session. It is very nice to have you. For the people who don't know me. I am Sabrina. I'm the Digital Marketing Expert at RubyConf. And today for our 12th webinar session, that is on 2021's engineering path for Ruby professionals with Ali Ibrahim, for the people who still don't know who Ali Ibrahim is.
He is the Head of Engineering at Finlink. It's a Berlin based company. Ali has been a Ruby enthusiast for many, many years. He has about 14 years of experience. A bit over 14 years of experience.
So, again, it's very nice to have you Ali Just tell us about yourself a little bit about your background. Absolutely, so yeah first of all, thank you for inviting me in this webinar series for RubyConf Pakistan. Absolutely you're welcome.
Cool. So, yeah, a bit of background, started professional ruby development back in 2007. I actually graduated from FAST Lahore and then you know, started this Ruby development job basically, it was known as Confiz Solutions back then, I think they have done good for themselves. And they're now like a bigger company in Pakistani market space. So yeah, I started my career back then and you know, there were a lot of different technologies people coming out of universities to be mostly working in C sharp or .NET framework and Java development in general
but then, you know we had the opportunity to get introduced to web 2.0 back then and Ruby on Rails was just getting a little famous in the software world. So we started our career in that technology back then. I was working on a bigger project in that particular company for about a year, i think. And then you know that's where it actually started.
So yeah, I've been in the industry for almost about 14 years now and had the chance to work for different companies, at different scale not only in Pakistan, but also in Malaysia, in UAE and then also most recently, for the last seven years that we were based out in Berlin and working with multiple companies over there. OK, that's amazing, right. So let me just start with the very first question of mine.
That is actually how did you start your career in engineering? What languages, frameworks and tools were popular at the time? Like you said in 2007, that was the time when you started your career. And the last question is like, how do you feel that the industry has changed over the years, especially in 2021? So I would actually go back a few years before that when I was Around 2000s different tech companies coming. You know, that was the time where things really got exciting in terms of technologies I had the opportunity to also study computer sciences, back then.
So that's where this whole interest came in programming and all that excitement, and what not. So I actually remember computer languages were quite basic It was small, and we really just did some programming here and there. And then when I started my career, so although I did study C, C++ back in school, but I actually started working in Ruby right away and ever since then I've been involved in the technology be part of this whole ecosystem. Yeah, but coming back to your question again I actually was introduced to freelancing back in 2004.
That's when I started working on a few tech projects and also getting involved in... Ruby on Rails was actually introduced at that particular point in time. But I didn't know about it, until 2007 but I had been working in web development in 2004. It was really exciting for a 16, 17 year old to just earn some money on the side while being in university so I had this opportunity to earn a bit of money around and enjoy with my friends etc and what not and that was also possible because we had this non-conventional path where alright you study and then you go to a market job and you start your first job. So yeah, that was where I was like alright online, you can earn money... But yeah, 2007 you know, Ruby and Ruby on Rails was just a very new technology back then because Rails was I think introduced 3 years back, 2004 when these guys at Basecamp Yes.
And then we didn't really have a big community back then The ancient times that I'm talking about this, pre-stack overflow era so you know Us programmers know about this website where you just go, google around yes. copy paste the code and... But yeah, so this was like Ruby forums and what not that we had to do a bit of research on our side, you know, read these Ruby books and everything. That was much more difficult to get started with not just technologies like this, but to get started in you career. But, yeah, that was exciting. So, I had the chance to work on this project when we were
basically building, i think a big. service for a startup unit test and integration test, which is back then when you know.. newer technologies got introduced like Rspec and everything so a lot of effort went into automated testing in general to work out the problem. Alright.
Exactly, and twitter was also using Ruby on Rails back in 2007 and the situation where people say Rails doesn't scale, and it does make your life miserable. Which is not exactly true because it's not the technology, it's the way you use the technology how you architect them and how you take those things forward. So yeah, that was very exciting. So, back then from 2008, I had the opportunity to join a company known as "About Us" and I was fortunate enough to... Sorry to disturb you. We are getting messages from our viewers that they want you to speak a bit louder so they can hear you clearly.
Please continue. Alright so.. So yeah, I joined this company known as aboutus.org I don't think it even exists now but it was wiki of.. Wikipedia of all the websites around the globe.
So we were building this big scrap work that would just go fetch data from aboutus pages of the website we created a directory around that, and it was so exciting to do that back then because you know, we were not using AWS back then. It wasn't even possible... So we had these bare metal engine servers and having some deployments scripts to deploy stuff around. it was really, really exciting to just be part of this ecosystem for these years and then work on the technologies.
I got to learn... what scalability of the problems is actually all about. Because, a lot of times we are only concerned about building MVPs of the product and you know just having a smaller customer base. But that was actually a product that has millions of each day.
And then you have to worry about technology and scalability of the website testing and what not. And the company was actually based out of Portland. So that's where things had been progressing.
And then I've been in Berlin.. I'll just quickly skip a few years from here. And over there we've been working in different technologies AWS, plus overall orchestration and infrastructure management in general.
So, yeah, that was the time a lot of companies wanted to use Ruby on Rails especially convention over configuration sort of... Yes. Really, you know, It reduces your time to market your product and build to get the product market fit out there or just build up your MVPs around, it's really faster and previously we just had these multiple applications. where you can also like Ruby on Rails is a MVC pattern where you have the model, view and controller layers all in one framework it really allowed a lot of people, just to do some bootcamps and get introduced to the Ruby world and start developing So, if you have a startup idea you were just hacking it around over the weekend and yeah, that was it. OK, that's very interesting.
OK, so makes sense. Actually, I have, like a very... a very basic question, that is what actually made you choose Ruby in the first place? Just give me a second... okay sure. Yes I can. Yeah, can you hear me now?