Our team has a lot of experienced Ruby on Rails developers. Some of them have been doing Ruby development for many years and know it like the back of their hand. This is why it takes us a lot of courage to admit – Ruby is not at its best right now.
The language was really popular in 2013-2015, but later on, it went on a decline. It’s even more drastic if we compare statistics of Ruby and Ruby on Rails demand 2021 to the progress, made by other tools. Stack Overflow made a pretty obvious comparison of Ruby’s and Node.js growth dynamics based on the number of asked questions. Yeah, it’s not the most objective metric, but you get the point.
Ruby’s user statistics dropped, but is it enough to declare Ruby’s death? Not really. If you listen to articles like “Ruby is Dead” or “Ruby is Irrelevant,” brace yourself – because each language of the framework has been pronounced dead at some point. Take Node.js – the runtime environment is living its good days – and yet people rush to announce the time of death.
Hasty opinions about a decline in the tool are incredibly common in software development. We have seen already so many tools pronounced dead when it wasn’t even remotely true. All experienced developers know that stories about dying languages and frameworks are really, really popular.
Is Ruby on Rails dead 2021
Obviously, there’s no smoke without fire. Ruby is by no means perfect: the language has been given some reasons for developers to consider migration to different tools. Let’s take a look at the most common criticisms, thrown in Ruby and Ruby on Rails popularity 2021 and see if they have merit.
1. “Chaotic CPU consumption.” Ruby and Ruby on Rails’ CPU usage is known to reach high consumption numbers out of the blue. Developers run their typical processes, open activity monitors, and find out that CPU usage is at 50% or even 100%. Typically, these changes come with no context – developers don’t understand what they did wrong and have to kill the process.
Our commentary: Ruby doesn’t have the best relationship with CPU consumption. Usually, editing the configuration files and disabling useless background scanning processes is enough to reduce consumption. The problem often lies in code quality; our only complaint is the difficulty in locating these issues.
2. “Dynamic typing isn’t the definition of good code”. Dynamic typing in Ruby isn’t checked properly. Developers can make mistakes, produce unreadable code, and have no idea about it. Some think that Ruby codebases are tech debt magnets.
Our commentary: in Ruby, variables are dynamic: one word can refer to different values, and you can change it anytime. This is what makes Ruby one of the fastest languages to write with – so it’s not really a disadvantage. Ruby also has a great garbage collector that automatically detects technical issues and doesn’t require manual settings. Well-scaled successful projects that use Ruby are proof that Ruby can be very orderly.
Our commentary: it’s true that Ruby on Rails inspired a lot of Node.js, JS, Python, and other frameworks.. As for updates, those who have been working on Ruby non-stop noticed the considerable improvements in speed and code quality. Ruby on Rails in 2021 is as fast as JS frameworks – we have an article where we explain it better.
Ruby and Ruby on Rails are a must for many development projects
Ruby is not a mainstream language, but it’s one of the most efficient ones. People don’t learn it for fun – they do it for work. Right now, it’s used by Airbnb, Hulu, GitHub, and many other big platforms. Here are some additional statistics on Ruby-based sites and their traffic loads.
Ruby on Rails 2021 ecosystem features one of the most popular communities on GitHub – over 3 500 contributors. To give you an idea, Django, one of the most popular Python framework, has only 1,500. So, the comparison of Ruby on Rails vs. Django 2021 shows that RoR is actually doing great.
Ruby development is fast and efficient
At Syndicode, we use Ruby development for many reasons. For one thing, it’s fast to write – projects, written with Ruby take 30-40% less development time than with other languages. This is because you need 3-4 times less code lines than in Java or Python. The code is lightweight, and it contributes to better performance.
Earlier, Ruby had the reputation of being slow, but it can be solved with the right coding practice. We fully agree with the guide published by Shopify – writing fast code on Ruby is easy if you know how to do it.
Advantages of Ruby development for product owners
The coding speed, fewer lines, and great frameworks – these all seem like development advantages. What about product quality and performance benefits? In our experience, Ruby has quite a lot to offer businesses.
- Fast time-to-market. Ruby on Rails is our go-to-choice for MVP development because it’s the only tool that allows achieving fast coding speed without compromising on quality.
- Flexibility. Because Ruby is so fast and easy to edit, making and publishing updates is an easy task. Developers can quickly release new features, introduce innovations to the market, and adapt to user needs.
- Ruby on rails popularity 2021: the ecosystem of Ruby on Rails framework easily tops most of backend development frameworks, including Node and Python tools;
- A lot of free tools and libraries. There’s a large ecosystem of gems and Ruby and Ruby on Rails repositories: reusable code fragments that can be integrated in any project.
- Cost-efficiency: with Ruby, you need to pay for 2-3 times fewer development language. This is because the syntax of the language is fast to write. Still, many features can be implemented with community-created ready-to-use code.
- Cross-platform: code, written with Ruby, runs well on different devices and OSs, as well as different browsers. All our websites, SaaS and marketplaces developed on Ruby performed flawlessly in a cross-platform environment.
- Security: Ruby and Ruby on Rails are perfect for data-sensitive apps (financial platforms, marketplaces, healthcare solutions, etc.excellent ruby and RoR follow the secure development lifecycle: developers prioritize building security assurance tools, real-time monitoring instruments, and comply with high safety standards.
Top 5 fields for Ruby 2021 Development
There are hardly any aspects of web development that Ruby doesn’t cover. Still, based on our experience, we defined 5 main types of projects where using Ruby instead of other general-purpose languages makes a world of difference.
Marketplaces that use Ruby: Airbnb, Hulu, Amazon
Marketplaces are huge web platforms that connect buyers and sellers, enable financial operations, deals, and purchases. They deal with large masses of data, require high-security standards, and take a long time to develop.
We use Ruby on Rails for all of our marketplace projects, including highly successful Clean Agents and HotelCloud. It allows us to cut development time, deliver better quality, and release updates quickly.
Software as a Service
SaaS that use Ruby: Basecamp, Dribble
Software as a service is a platform that delivers services continuously for a regular subscription. Two criteria for building a successful SaaS are speed and security. After all, SaaS vendors take long-term responsibility for their clients’ success – reliability, good performance, safety, and quick updates are a must. Here’s why Ruby on Rails stands out as the best choice for SaaS development.
- Scalability: SaaSs grow quickly – the growth rate of the companies is 50-60% per year. Codebase needs to adapt to new needs and withstand high user workloads. Ruby and RoR allow quickly changing the functionality and tailoring services to new requirements.
- Cost-efficiency: Ruby on Rails has one of the most significant ecosystems for web development. A large number of GitHub community, high-quality gems, and ready-to-use libraries – these factors contributed to creating a robust infrastructure.
We chose Ruby on Rails for InstaLinks – a SaaS that quickly generates smart links, accessible from desktop and mobile devices. RoR also fits the demands of more significant projects, like CRMs – take a look at our UkrVit case.
Companies that used Ruby for MVP: Twitter, Shopify, GitHub, Basecamp
Ruby and Ruby on Rails is an obvious choice for MVP development. Minimal Viable Products need to be developed quickly – product owners want to roll them out to users, show an attentive service to investors, and start expanding their reach.
- Easy to build: even a small Ruby on Rails and Ruby team can pull off a large MVP;
- Easy to learn: in-house developers could quickly join our project later on because learning Ruby on Rails takes little time due to its simple syntax.
Here’s an example of an MVP, built quickly with Ruby on Rails by our web developers. HelloCare is a healthcare marketplace so security and reliability were our priority. Ruby on Rails allows us to shoot for these ambitious goals while keeping low time-to-market and production expenses.
Cross-platform apps with Ruby on Rails
Cross-platform apps built with Ruby: Basecamp, GitHub
A mobile app should be able to use device APIs effectively, send push notifications, natively adapt to characteristics of hardware and operating system. A good backend tool for a mobile application should send alerts, announcements, data synchronization. We use Ruby and Ruby on Rails to set up the backend for a database, web server, and app server.
Although we mostly use Ruby for web projects, we often turn to this language for cross-platform tools. This is precisely what we did in Kindercare – an app that automates daycare and preschool care management and organization. We used Ruby and Ruby on Rails to develop both mobile and web versions of the platform – the app received excellent response and high worldwide ratings.
Innovative services with IoT and AI development
Ruby on Rails is often seen as an accessible tool for simple projects, but in reality, it’s a lot more than that. We like to use Ruby and Ruby on Rails for ambitious products that use AI, IoT, machine learning, and others.
- The language is powerful enough to accommodate complex innovation, and its simple syntax saves a lot of struggle during the development process.
- Ruby gems offer a lot of ready-to-use code for the implementation of AI and IoT innovations.
Ruby is by no means dying. Both statistics and experience of Syndicode developers point at the same thing – Ruby is a practical language, perfectly suited for solving specific business tasks. It might not offer a particular out-of-the-box approach, which makes it less interesting for communities like Stack Overflow, but it works.
Ruby on Rails future is even more optimistic – rather, it’s thriving. It’s still one of the most popular web development frameworks, and even RoR-like frameworks can’t yet catch up. Both Ruby and Rails are fast and efficient tools for building web and mobile solutions – and this advantage is not going anywhere.
If you are considering building a marketplace, SaaS, or any web platform with a mobile version, Ruby is likely the right choice for your project. You’ll know for sure once you talk to developers about it – so feel free to get in touch.