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Rails 6 is out, should I upgrade and start re-learning now?

krtb profile image Kurt Bauer ・2 min read

It was brought to my attention this morning that the new version of Rails was released, currently Rails 6.0: Action Mailbox, Action Text, Multiple DBs, Parallel Testing, Webpacker by default, and Zeitwerk.

I had started a project with rails 5 not so long ago. Should I lose the progress I was making and turn in a different direction?

What's the best practice when a new version of a framework or language is released? How long should I wait before putting in the work to update myself and my projects?

A friend and Rails developer mentioned that it depends, but I'm unsure as to what it depends on. Should I do it if my focus is proving that I'm competent in a technology? Or only if a work project demands it?

My concern is that I'll be focusing on something that isn't a priority or pivotal to many employers. I'm not saying I don't want to learn, but I am saying I don't want to lose time on something that isn't a priority to other developers I'd be working with or under. I'd still build a project with it to learn, just at a slower pace.

I do know that many companies delay upgrading due to dependencies. So what does everyone else think? Getting some feedback would be greatly appreciated, looking forward to any thoughts on the subject.

How long do you wait before learning a new version of a language or framework?

Thanks in advance and sorry if this has been asked here before!

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Kurt Bauer

@krtb

Both a Web & Mobile Developer with start-up experience, from front-end UI to back-end RESTful API design, my ultimate goal is to secure data privacy.

Discussion

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Like your friend, it depends, lol. I work at an agency that starts many projects each year. With that, we're lucky enough to greenfield almost all of them and use the latest versions of things. So, we wait very little. However, I think more places are not like us and wait longer. It takes time to upgrade and time equals money ultimately.

One nice thing about Rails is the stability of the framework. Yes there are changes with a major version bump, however, the large majority remains the same. Solving problems in Rails 5 will not severely hamper you if you were to end up working in Rails 6 in the future. You'll be knowledgeable about most of the framework and the new code might not even be using any Rails 6 specific things.

In my opinion, keep doing what you're doing. Finish your project, then upgrade it. You'll learn some things along the way.

 

Now that both you and Ben both advised the same thing, I'll definitely take that route. Thanks for the confidence booster, Seth

 

In your situation I wouldn't stress the upgrade right away.

The migration should be pretty straightforward once you go to do it (that's not always the case, but seems to be with Rails 6)

Being a little behind in Rails world has never been a big problem IMO. Try not to create any major hacks with will make the upgrade harder.

 

Thanks, Ben! Was hoping you'd see this haha, if I can ask, how does dev.to handle language/framework updates. What would be the time frame you have before updating and what's the process like leading up to the update?

 

If your project has yet to reach production, if you don't have a tight deadline in front of you then upgrade now.