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5 Things You Need to Know About Ruby Development Before Using It for Your Next Project

Jul 22, 2022

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Since its launch in 2004, Ruby on Rails has achieved a lot. It’s one of the top web frameworks, with 7% of developers using it. Yet, lately, tech communities have started to say that Ruby on Rails is dead or at least on the verge of extinction. So, where is the truth?

This article gathers all the critical things to know about RoR. Keep reading to learn whether you need this technology and when to use it.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails (RoR) appeared in 2004, backed by an idea to make software development intuitive and fast. It’s an MVC, server-side framework for web app and service development. RoR is often used interchangeably with the Ruby language as the most popular solution from the stack.

Ruby on Rails relies on two guiding principles: Don’t Repeat Yourself and Convention over Configuration. It means engineers don’t need to write cumbersome code with repetitive elements and can use default structures for web pages, web services, and databases. Simply put, software engineers have minimum routine tasks and make only critical decisions, which considerably saves time.

#1. How Has RoR Changed Web Development

When Ruby on Rails appeared almost twenty years ago, it revolutionized web app development by making it much simpler. Web engineers got a chance to avoid repetitive tasks and do much more work within the same time.

Here are the main ways in which Ruby on Rails has impacted web development:

  • The MVC (model-view-controller) pattern enables rapid and parallel development since several engineers can work on different components.
  • English-like syntax ensures a shallow learning curve by making RoR easy to read and understand.
  • The convention-over-configuration principle eliminates the need to write boilerplate code, reducing manual tasks.
  • Clear code helps upgrade legacy projects smoothly and effortlessly.

#2. Dead or Not?

Even though the tech community admits that Ruby on Rails has been impactful for years, many claim it has lost its power. They highlight the flaws of RoR, stressing that other frameworks are much more productive. But is it so?

The short answer is no. Ruby on Rails remains powerful and is far from dead. Below are the common myths about RoR dispelled.

Ruby on Rails is not slow

Despite having slower runtime speeds than technologies like Golang or Node.js, RoR may only have performance issues in large products with extensive traffic. In other cases, users won’t notice the difference. Besides, if you hire experienced developers who know how to code in RoR, you can design even large apps like Basecamp or Airbnb with decent performance.

Ruby on Rails keeps improving

Ruby on Rails has been for a while, but it doesn’t mean it’s worse than trendy frameworks. It’s mature, stable, and has a supportive community that can help you in times of doubt. Actually, the last Ruby on Rails release was in July 2022, having introduced a security update.

If you don’t have Ruby on Rails developers in-house, contact Leobit for outsourcing.

Ruby on Rails is scalable

When Twitter announced they moved from Ruby on Rails to Scala, the company said scalability was one of the main reasons. It resulted in a bad reputation of RoR and disputes around its capabilities.

Still, scalability won’t be a problem if you use RoR for something with less traffic than Twitter. This framework has code optimization and supports horizontal scaling that can cover the scaling needs of most web apps.

#3. RoR Use Cases

If you have ever opened Fiverr, Netflix, or SoundCloud, you’ve used RoR-based apps. The cost-efficiency and simplicity of this framework ensure its popularity, convincing leading companies to opt for Rails.

The core industries creating web apps with Ruby on Rails include:

  • Ecommerce.
  • Social networks.
  • Booking apps.
  • Web apps with complex databases.

Apps written with Ruby on Rails

Spree Ecommerce platform for custom-built B2B, multi-store, and marketplace websites
Shopify Solution for easy online store design and management
Bloomberg Financial analytics web resource
Airbnb Platform for flat and house rental worldwide
Couchsurfing Web resource that connects guests and hosts ready to share their accommodation
Basecamp Tool for real-time communication and collaboration
Fiverr Marketplace helping freelancers and employers find each other

We’d also like to note that Ruby on Rails is a widely used option for designing an MVP. Companies utilize Ruby to quickly create prototypes and test multiple product versions before making fully functional apps.

Besides MVP creation, you can consider using RoR for automation, backup, DevOps tools, report generators, API clients, and many other products. If you are unsure what tech stack is right for your case, contact Leobit for consulting or tech support. We can audit your project and complete any engineering, testing, or design task for you.

#4. Ruby on Rails Community

Although the community is something many people ignore while choosing a tech stack, it’s a highly critical factor. A strong community means you will have thousands of developers available to help you through online forums and tons of ready-made solutions for quicker development. It also equals many educational materials and, most importantly, a large talent pool to choose from.

So what about Ruby on Rails compared to other options? Based on Github, Ruby on Rails has a broader network than Laravel (PHP), Django (Python), and Angular (Java), for example.

GitHub contributors (thousands)
Ruby on Rails 4.5
Laravel 2.9
Django 2.2
Angular 1.5

Hence, if you choose to work with this framework, you will have an extensive volume of supplemental materials to tap into.

#5. Job Demand

The fact that companies compete for Ruby developers shows this framework is still in demand. There are currently over 214 thousand jobs for RoR specialists available through the Zippia website only.

Moreover, this graph shows that the share of unemployed Ruby developers has been declining for years.

Ruby on Rails unemployment rate

What do these numbers mean for tech companies? The RoR talent market is large but, at the same time, hiring a Ruby on Rails developer may be challenging. You will need to compete for quality candidates with other companies, including market giants such as MetLife or Bloomberg.

Reasons to Pick RoR

So now that you know more about the Ruby on Rails framework, it’s time to clarify why you need it. Even though RoR is not a universal solution for all web applications, it’s suitable for many trending types of apps like e-commerce and social networking.
There are several benefits that make top companies prefer RoR over its alternatives, including:

  • Coding in RoR is fun. The syntax is very easy to understand, and there is no need to write lengthy explanations.
  • Time-efficient development. Due to the simplicity of the Ruby on Rails framework, the development process is much faster. It allows a team to launch the product sooner and saves resources.
  • Maturity. Ruby on Rails is a well-established framework with many ready solutions and use cases.
  • Vast pool of RoR developers. The competition for qualified developers is always high, but if you need a Ruby specialist, you have many experts to choose from.

Final Thoughts

Those who need a tech stack for web app development must definitely keep Ruby on Rails on their shortlist. This framework is more than alive and will stay relevant for years.

If you don’t have Ruby on Rails developers in-house, contact Leobit for outsourcing. Ruby on Rails development is one of our core directions. We hire skilled and experienced RoR developers ready to jump on a new project.

Tetiana Paratsii
Tetiana Paratsii
Marketing Analyst at Leobit
Yurii Shunkin
Yurii Shunkin
CTO at Leobit