Vincent Spehner heads the company ThinkDRY, based in Pune. Recently, I had a chance to talk to him and requested him to share some of his experiences. Here goes.
Could you tell us something about yourself – your background, where you are based?
I come from Marseille in the south of France and I am a University Engineer specialized in Sciences, Computer Sciences and Artificial Intelligence. I am still studing Philosophia through an e-learning program of the University of Provence.
Could you tell us a little more about ThinkDRY?
ThinkDRY is a small but fast growing WEB 2.0 Engineering company. We are mainly working using Rails framework and Ajax. We also have skills on Flash, if the customer asks for. We are actually 6 and plan to hire 5 others RoR experts by the end of the year.
All our customers are from France. They ask for a French speaking contact and contract under French laws because they dont trust outsourced plateforms. That is what we offer.
Why did you choose Ruby on Rails (RoR) as a framework for ThinkDRY?
I discovered Ruby on Rails, eight months ago for a R&D personnal project. I have been using PHP last five years, but when you see how simple it is to make a basic DB application using Rails, you give up on PHP for sure!
Were there any surprises in working with RoR?
Yes. The community is very active but not well structured, in my point of view. Information is available but sometimes very difficult to find. You have to scroll many forums to find the tips you were looking for. Furthermore, there is no real documentation on line.
You have an off shore development center in Pune. What is your impression about the RoR scene in India?
I have worked with many Freelancers here. The main thing I can say is: they are not reliable at all. Amazing!! They always have a good reason for not finishing the work. Just two of them were really efficient. We are still working together. Concerning the RoR scene in India: I dont know it very well. I spend all my week working for ThinkDRY. You know that in a startup it is 70 hours of work per week!
What advice would you give startups about platform choices?
For a classic Web Application (95% of modern web site) use Ruby on Rails without hesitation. But if you are thinking about some very tricky stuff, may be PHP is still a good solution.
Getting back to ThinkDRY, what are your future plans?
We should deliver our third project during the next few months and two other projects are already in the pipe. We simply plan to conquer the European Market with the help of our numerous contacts in Germany, England and France. For this purpose we are in the process of opening a French office. Another one will be open next year, in Germany.