Rebuilding the Shopify Admin: Improving Developer Productivity by Deleting 28,000 lines of JavaScript

Possibly the greatest difficulty of all was the burden of successfully maintaining two separate tech stacks, with a great amount of duplication between the two. Models needed to be represented both in Rails and in Batman, and both had to be tested. Business logic was leaking into the client-side rather than being isolated to the server side, or would be duplicated in both. When we added additional mobile and point-of-sale clients to our offerings, any business logic isolated to the client-side had to be duplicated in these new clients as well. In cases where business logic was duplicated across different sides of the software, it would become ambiguous as to what was the correct or intended implementation.

DOM Hell aside, I think most of the business logic duplication would have been eliminated if Shopify had a Node back-end. Regardless the choice of back-end, this problem exists once you want to support multiple front-ends (ie. iOS, Android and web).

Because we chose a solution wherein simplicity and developer approachability was paramount, we were able to split work across many different teams - a luxury that was not previously possible. This resulted in rapid completion of the project, especially in comparison to the previous version, which had endured constantly moving goal posts.

I really think this is the main takeaway of why Rails is a good choice. There's still no full-stack framework that handles "developer approachability" on its level.