React is Dead. Long live Reactive Rails! Long live StimulusReflex and ViewComponent!

Obie Fernandez
15 min readOct 5, 2020

Let me tell you about the feeling that I get when I encounter something poised to revolutionize my work as a software developer. A specific, tangible physical sensation in my bones; a tingle in my skin and a buzz in my fingertips. Like having done a little too much cocaine, if you know what I mean.

Apparently this mania hits me approximately every 5 years.

The first time was in 2000 when I read The Pragmatic Programmer and Kent Beck’s first XP book and they totally upended my ideas of what it meant to be a software engineer. Before that, to be honest, I was just thrilled with the money I was making, but craftsmanship and extreme programming turned me into such an evangelist I ended up founding Agile Atlanta.

The second time was in February 2005 when I wrote my first Ruby on Rails app together with Carlos Villela at ThoughtWorks. It was a clone of OkCupid, but for matching up people to be staffed together on consulting project teams, not romantically. I’m serious; it was called TWIX. (I still think it’s a cool idea!) Then I went on to lead some of the first paid “enterprise” Ruby on Rails projects in the world, and the rest is history.

The next time was in 2009 with NoSQL (in general) and MongoDB (specifically). Our first Mongo project at Hashrocket brought in over a million dollars in revenue, and is the origin of Mongoid.

I got the mania again in a big way in 2015 when the release of AWS Lambda made me an early and enthusiastic evangelist of serverless app design and got me so excited that I wrote a book about it. I was convinced it would be the next Rails for me, but life got in the way and trying to write a book about something that was changing so rapidly just didn’t work out. (I do plan to finish it someday, but I’m going to need some help to do so.)

Reactive Rails, eh?

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Obie Fernandez

CEO of RCRDSHP, Published Author, and Software Engineer. Chief Consultant at MagmaLabs. Electronic Music Producer/DJ. Dad. ❤️‍🔥Mexico City ❤️‍🔥 LatinX (he/him