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Why It's Worthwhile to Be a Ruby on Rails Developer

Tina Lj.7 min readMay 22, 2024Industry Insights
Why It's Worthwhile to Be a Ruby on Rails Developer
Tina Lj.7 min read
Ruby on Rails at Devōt
The benefits of being a Ruby on Rails developer
So, why is everyone so scared of Ruby on Rails?

At a recent event, Job Fair FER, many students were surprised to learn that our entire website was built using Ruby on Rails and that we have one of the largest Ruby on Rails development teams in this part of Europe. I heard comments like, "But that language is extinct!" and "What? Bold move." It highlighted common misconceptions about Ruby on Rails development.

Despite perceptions, Ruby on Rails remains a robust and efficient framework for software development. Recently, we rewrote our whole website using Next.js, but initially, we built our website with Ruby on Rails, which was like that for 8 years.

This blog explores why being a Ruby on Rails developer is still a worthwhile and rewarding career choice, debunking myths and showcasing the framework's strengths.

Ruby on Rails at Devōt

Our journey with Ruby on Rails and our projects

If you have read our blog, "Top Five Things We Did With Ruby on Rails" you know we have quite the rails expertise. We are not just a RoR development company because we also use diverse technologies like JAVA/Spring Boot and PHP/Symfony, but we initially were a company with product teams rooted in Ruby on Rails. Over the years, we have built one of the largest Ruby on Rails teams in this part of Europe. I mean, one of our lead software developers, Marko Meić Sidić, started ruby development because of the Devōt projects and because our CEO was one of the RoR experts.

Devōt developers' journey to becoming Ruby on Rails developers

Rino's story

Rino, our lead software developer, started with Ruby on Rails thanks to our CEO, Martin Morava. Martin gave him two books, one about Ruby and the other about Rails. Rino read them very carefully, of course, came for the interview, and started working and learning Ruby. With a background in similar languages from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and knowledge in Python and object-oriented programming (OOP), he found it easier to start with rails development.

If you are interested, those books were Eloquent Ruby and Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn Web Development With Rails.

Jerko's story

Jerko has a long history with Ruby on Rails. He studied aviation at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture. During his studies, he participated in the Air Cargo Challenge, a contest where students from all over the world competed. Everyone had a task related to web development—they needed to build a website. A friend from his student dorm, who worked in Ruby on Rails development, helped him. With his friend's assistance, Jerko started building the website in Ruby on Rails. The site allowed students to register for the competition, upload materials, and let professors download and validate these materials. In 2015, they won first place, and in 2017, they organized the event. Later, Jerko found a job ad for a Junior Ruby on Rails developer, and the next job was with us at Devōt.

The benefits of being a Ruby on Rails developer

1. You get a full-stack framework

One of the biggest advantages is that Rails is a full-stack framework. This means it provides both the front-end and back-end development capabilities. As a Rails developer, you can handle the entire development process, from building the user interface to managing the server-side logic and database interactions.

2. You have community support

Another significant benefit of being a Ruby on Rails developer is the strong community support. The Rails community is known for being active, welcoming, and highly supportive.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, you can find many resources, such as tutorials, documentation, and forums, to help you solve problems and improve your skills. Additionally, the community frequently contributes to open-source projects, which means there are constantly new tools and libraries being developed to enhance the Rails framework.

This collaborative environment makes it easier for developers to stay updated with the latest trends and best practices in Rails development. For a Rails web development company, this community support can be invaluable in delivering high-quality web development services and ensuring the success of Rails projects.

3. You benefit from rapid development

Ruby on Rails is renowned for enabling rapid development. The framework’s emphasis on convention over configuration, along with its extensive library of pre-built modules and plugins, allows developers to build applications quickly.

Features like built-in scaffolding can automatically create basic code templates, significantly reducing the time needed to set up new projects. This efficiency is particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses that need to launch their products quickly to stay competitive. Additionally, the speed of development can lead to lower costs and faster time-to-market, making Rails development services a popular choice for custom software development projects.

4. You follow convention over configuration

Rails' philosophy of "convention over configuration" is a key reason why many developers love working with it. This principle means that Rails has sensible defaults for structuring and configuring applications, so developers don’t have to spend time deciding on every small detail.

By following these conventions, developers can avoid much of the repetitive configuration work that can bog down the development process in other frameworks. This leads to cleaner, more maintainable code and allows developers to focus on writing the unique parts of their application. For a Rails development company, this approach means they can deliver high-quality software solutions more efficiently and with fewer errors.

5. It's great for versatility

Versatility is another major strength of Ruby on Rails. Rails is suitable for various applications, from small personal projects to large-scale enterprise solutions. Whether you are developing a simple blog, a complex e-commerce site, or a sophisticated web application, Rails has the tools and flexibility to handle it.

This makes Rails a go-to framework for many web development companies and developers who want to work on diverse types of projects without having to switch to different technologies. The ability to use Rails for various types of web applications ensures that developers can continually expand their skills and adapt to different business needs and project requirements.

For instance, platforms like GitHub and Airbnb, both developed using Ruby on Rails, showcase its ability to support massive platforms handling extensive user interactions.

6. You get to work with a mature framework

Ruby on Rails has been around for over 15 years, which makes it a mature and stable framework. Over the years, it has undergone significant improvements and has been battle-tested in many high-profile projects. This maturity brings reliability and stability, which are crucial for developing robust web applications.

Rails has a well-established track record of handling complex and high-traffic applications, making it a trusted choice for businesses seeking reliable software solutions. The maturity of the Rails framework also means that there is a wealth of knowledge and resources available, including documentation, tutorials, and community contributions.

7. You have access to comprehensive libraries and tools

Ruby on Rails offers a comprehensive suite of libraries and tools that enhance the development process. The Rails framework includes numerous built-in features, such as automated testing, database management, and security measures, which save developers significant time and effort.

Additionally, the Rails community has created a vast collection of gems—libraries that add specific functionalities to Rails applications. These gems cover many needs, from authentication and authorization to payment processing and background job management. This extensive library ecosystem allows Rails developers to easily integrate advanced features into their applications without building them from scratch, making Rails development more efficient and robust.

8. You work within a strong ecosystem

The strong ecosystem surrounding Ruby on Rails is another compelling reason for choosing this framework. Rails integrate easily with various technologies, enhancing its flexibility and usefulness in different environments.

This ecosystem includes support for popular databases like PostgreSQL and MySQL, front-end frameworks like React and Vue.js, and deployment platforms like Heroku and AWS.

Additionally, the Rails community regularly updates and maintains these integrations, ensuring compatibility with the latest technologies and standards. This interconnected ecosystem enables Rails developers to build sophisticated and modern web applications that meet diverse business objectives and technical requirements, making Rails a powerful choice for comprehensive web development.

9. You get benefits from scalability

Scalability is a crucial factor in web development, and Ruby on Rails handles it effectively. Rails is designed to support applications that need to scale both vertically and horizontally. Rails can handle growth by both adding more resources to a single server (vertical scaling) and adding more servers to share the load (horizontal scaling), ensuring it can manage higher traffic and larger datasets.

With built-in tools for database optimization and caching, Rails ensures that applications can handle increasing loads without compromising performance. Many high-traffic websites and web services rely on Rails for its robust scalability features. This makes it a reliable choice for businesses planning to grow their user base and require their applications to handle more data and concurrent users seamlessly.

10. Implementing RESTful design

Ruby on Rails emphasizes RESTful design principles, which streamline the development of web applications. REST (Representational State Transfer) is an architectural style that simplifies the structure and functionality of web services by using standard HTTP methods.

Rails makes it straightforward to create RESTful APIs, enabling efficient communication between the server and client-side applications. This design approach enhances code readability, maintainability, and reusability. By adhering to RESTful conventions, Rails developers can build web services that are easy to integrate with other applications, providing a more cohesive and scalable software solution.

11. Using MVC architecture

The Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern divides an application into three interconnected components: the Model, which handles the data and business logic; the View, which manages the presentation layer; and the Controller, which processes user input and coordinates between the Model and View.

The MVC architecture helps maintain organized and modular code, making it easier for developers to manage and scale their applications. Additionally, different developers can work on the Model, View, or Controller components simultaneously. For businesses, leveraging the MVC architecture in Rails projects ensures high-quality software development and more efficient project management.

So, why is everyone so scared of Ruby on Rails?

Despite its benefits, Ruby on Rails (RoR) has faced criticism and concern, particularly around its popularity.

A significant reason for the fear is market perception. Companies sometimes shift away from Ruby due to the perceived scarcity of Ruby developers, opting for languages they believe have a larger talent pool. This shift is influenced more by business decisions rather than technical merits.

Many believe Ruby is "extinct" because it rapidly rose in popularity, followed by a quieter phase as new languages like JavaScript and Python gained attention. Additionally, industry trends often shift, causing some to think Ruby is outdated or no longer in use mistakenly. However, the demand for Rails developers is consistent, and the framework's community continues to grow and adapt. Learning Ruby on Rails can still be a wise investment for developers due to its ease of use, strong community, and robust capabilities in web application development.

If you need top Ruby experts for your software projects, feel free to reach out to us, and let's schedule a call.

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