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RR 418: The Life and Death of a Rails App with Olivier Lacan

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Panel

  • Charles Max Wood

  • David Kimura

  • Nate Hopkins

  • Andrew Mason

With Special Guest: Olivier Lacan

Episode Summary

Olivier Lacan joins the panel again. He currently works for Pluralsight. Today they are talking about the spectrum of creating a Rails app, or any app, from the birth of the idea to the death of the project. They stress the importance of planning for updates. Olivier talks about his experience in creating CodeSchool, which has now been incorporated into Pluralsight. David also shares his experience with the life and death of a project. They talk about technical debt and the trouble that it can create, and the importance of making your Rails application maintainable. 

Olivier talks about his experience when CodeSchool was acquired by Pluralsight. The panel discusses the inevitability of the end of an application and different ways of managing company integration. They talk about ways to plan for shutting down a project. One of the best ways to make integration easier is to clean up your code and always be considering what data needs to be kept and what can be truncated. They discuss some of the issues around storing customer data and respecting individual privacy. 

The panel talks more about sunsetting, or the ending of an app. People often think that shutting down an app doesn’t have any impact, but it is important to give customers time to adjust to change, as Olivier found out with CodeSchool. Dave talks about different reactions that one could have when change happens. The panel talks about some of the emotional implications of having to destroy something that you’ve worked hard on for a long time. Ultimately, your project isn’t where you should put your self-worth, because projects will come to an end. When things do end, it’s important to look back at where you’ve come from and the impact that you’ve had on people. 

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