10.01.2019

State Of Ruby On Rails Web Development At The Beginning Of 2019

Article by
Maciej Kasica
5 min read

Looking for the best web development framework for your company? Look no more. Simplicity, popularity and a number of passionate devs – this is what makes Ruby on Rails Web Development a vital point of some of the major companies like Groupon and Github. And here is a 2018 summary that answers the „Why is it still like this?” question.

2018 – what’s new for Ruby on Rails?

14 years have passed since the release of the first version of Ruby on Rails Web Development framework. In the internet world, it’s a whole era in which a product can rise in popularity and then slowly fade down.

But it is hard to see something like this happening in the Ruby on Rails world. The year 2018 welcomed a new major update to the framework – the 5.2.0 final version. It keeps the system up-to-date with such things as improved cloud file uploading, enhanced encryption, and much more. By the end of 2018, we have also witnessed the Ruby 2.6.0 release. It brought another set of improvements: new module (RubyVM::AbstractSyntaxTree), new features and series of performance improvements. But the most important was probably the initial implementation of a JIT (Just-In-Time) compiler which works in a slightly different way. Unlike traditional JIT compilers which operate in-process, Ruby’s JIT compiler writes out C code to disk and spawns a common C compiler to generate native code. We like it already!

( In order to keep up with We recommend following the official Ruby on Rails blog that proves how active is still the development process of the framework )

Ruby on Rails in 2018 – let the numbers speak!

What shows the popularity even better, are the numbers:

1) There are currently over 3500 GitHub contributors to the ROR’s source code.
2) The framework has been downloaded over 130 million times up until now.
3) In Stack Overflow 2018 survey, Ruby ranked 13th in the most popular programming languages ranking. It’s hard, however, to call 13 an unlucky number in this case. In fact, comparing the data to the Stack Overflow 2017 survey, it seems that Ruby has become even more popular since last year.
4) The TIOBE index highlights Ruby as one of the 20 most popular technologies used around the world. It also shows that the language is becoming more and more popular each year – it started on the 22nd place in 2003 and climbed up to the 9th place in 2018.

According to BuiltWith.com, there are currently around 1 million live websites using Ruby on Rails. The framework is popular in all major countries known for its great devs, like the United States, Canada, and Germany.

The Big (and Smaller) Fish of Ruby on Rails Web Development

The prestige of RoR is also visible when looking on the list of big companies which use this framework on their platforms or in their products. Let’s just mention giants such as Github, Groupon, Hulu or Shopify. All of these companies are usually actively looking for Ruby on Rails developers, expanding their use of the framework.

What is really great, however, is how Ruby on Rails developers love giving back to the community. As mentioned before, the framework has over 3500 contributors on GitHub – it is really an impressive number, especially comparing it to around 1500 contributors of Django, the most popular Python framework.

But Ruby on Rails community is also well-known because of its openness and helpfulness. Ruby is broadly considered a great programming language for beginners due to the simplicity of the code. However, it is also chosen by rookie devs because of a huge number of Ruby and Rails-related blogs, repositories and wikis. Thanks to this, the problems in the development process can be resolved faster, making the final product available for the final release earlier.

There a few places where it is good to start own’s Ruby on Rails Web Development journey. We ourselves highly recommend:

1) RubyFlow – A popular linklog of the Ruby on Rails community. New interesting pieces are posted there daily by both experts in the field as well as newcomers.
2) Virtuos Code – A blog by Avdi Grimm, one of the most popular and respected Ruby devs. He is handling a few different Ruby and Rails-related projects, including creating podcasts and screencasts. He also authored a number of books on the topics, such as Confident Ruby.
3) RubyLand.news – A very often (sometimes even hourly!) updated the site on Ruby. It covers a lot of tutorials and tips, so if you are having some issues with your development process in Rails, there is a huge chance the solution can be found on RubyLand.

The Best Choice Around Here

Despite 14 years since the first release of Ruby on Rails, the framework is still widely used among professional developers. Ruby is something far away from just a fun and easy language to learn when one is starting their software engineering journey. Most importantly, it is one of the most viable solutions of creating a great, user-friendly website or web app.

You don’t have to perform deep research in order to find out a number of experts offering Ruby on Rails consulting as well as Ruby on Rails development agencies offering to create your product efficiently. Ruby and Rails allow delivering finished websites and web apps fast without hurting their stability or performance.

It can get even more interesting if you look at what Ruby on Rails creators are preparing to deliver in the nearest future. Ruby itself is heading towards the so-called 3×3 goal – it is planned to become even 3 times faster than it is right now until 2020.

This will of course incredibly change the Ruby on Rails Web Development, making it even more interesting from a business standpoint. Except for the upcoming improved performance, there also all the other great things one should remember about Ruby and Ruby on Rails, such as:

1) The framework being open-source. This means you can get it and use it for free. Wondering why so many successful start-ups are using Rails? This is your answer – it is just incredibly budget-friendly.

2) Ruby is easy to learn. This means that even if you already have software engineers at your company working with some other languages, the transition to Rails should not be painful. Moreover, as more and more rookie devs are picking up Ruby, it may be easier for you to find suitable devs for your new project or company.

3) There are tons of helpful RoR experts in the internet community – we already said it. But what is also important, is that Ruby takes pride in a huge number of libraries, known broadly as gems. They usually cover very specific functions of a website or app (think of integrating a credit card payment system with your product, for example), making it even easier and faster for devs to finish a project.

Should You Use Ruby On Rails In 2019?

It is also worthy to remember that the uses of Ruby on Rails can extremely vary.

Are you planning a new e-commerce project? Choose Rails, just like the internet giants in the field, including Shopify and Groupon.

Trying to revolutionize a more orthodox industry? Follow the steps of platforms like Couchsurfing and Slideshare – they both use Ruby on Rails.

Or maybe you are just planning to take your company into the 2020s as soon as possible and make its website more suitable for new clients? Ruby and Rails are ready for you in this situation as well.

We highly recommend going through some of our favorite Ruby on Rails Web Development case studies. They will surely show you the scope of possibilities RoR can provide to both small start-ups and big corporations.


Maciej Kasica

Head of Growth at Ideamotive. Highly skilled in SEM and copywriting.

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