For more than 10 years of existence, Ruby on Rails has changed its status from a catching-up challenger to the industry leader. The demand for Rails developers remains big, and many big names like Kickstarter, Dribbble, and GitHub leverage the technology for their web apps. Moreover, it is ground-breaking for some web development companies like Railsware. However, the future gives no guarantees - it might be bright or vague regardless of the current state of affairs.
Five or six years ago, there were talks about the fading Ruby’s popularity and massive skill conversion of its engineers. The reason was the unrealized forecasts made by prominent experts and a poor rate of growth compared to other technologies. It was ranked out of the top ten according to different indexes. Back then, the RoR dying hype took place.
Later on, rumors on the necessity to jump off the Ruby bandwagon emerged here and there on the web. Nevertheless, the number of those who jumped in was bigger than those off. The technology came through several updates with the latest one on August 7, 2018. Rails introduced new features and capabilities and is alive as never before.
Those who encourage the idea of dying Ruby always recall that Twitter is not on Rails anymore. They announced it ten years ago, and now it is the water under the bridge. Many prominent companies and services show their loyalty to the framework and have no intention to shift from it. These are Airbnb with their user base of more than 150 million or Shopify that powers over 600K businesses across the globe. Actually, figures can say more about the framework's current state on the market.
According to TIOBE Index for October 2018, Ruby holds the 18th place with the loss of 1.22% compared to the last year rating. The PYPL index is a bit better - 11th position and the 0.4% fall. Truth be told, the programming language that underlies Rails has never been the sharpest pencil in the box in terms of market value. Ruby on Rails is a different story. It is always in the list of versatile best, top, and most popular backend frameworks. If the technology had been on its last leg, it would not have appeared in the top rankings.
The framework's purpose is to make developers happy while they are using it. Ruby on Rails is attractive in terms of convenience and practicality. It offers many benefits like the MVC architectural pattern, Don’t Repeat Yourself development principle, high code quality, and so on. The technology also foresees access to an open-source community, which is not only vast but also very responsive. However, the reasons for startups to opt for Rails lie in the range of economic viability.
A typical characteristic of a growing business or startup is financial limitations. In that case, RoR seems a perfect choice due to its capability of reducing the development time hence costs. The MVC structure, as well as numerous ready-made plugins, allow for building web apps fast. Quick prototyping is another Rails’ attractive feature.
The framework ensures the code readability and structuredness. In practice, it means the capability to update the code seamlessly in the future.
The community of Rubyists is the essential element of the technology’s ecosystem. They contributed a lot to the distribution of open-source information dedicated to Ruby on Rails. Moreover, they are always ready to help in solving any issues related thereto.
To sum up, Rails is a mature technology perfect for agile software development. It’s extremely developer-friendly, flexible, and cost-effective.
As we can ascertain, the framework is not at death's door but enjoys rising popularity on the market. It is in demand among versatile startups dealing with e-commerce, medicine, and even fintech. Job opportunities for RoR engineers are also growing up since many prominent names like Amazon, Yahoo, and others leverage Ruby for their own purposes.
All these are good prerequisites for the technology to stay alive and wanted in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Rubyists will increase almost by a quarter within the next five years. It does not mean that Ruby is going to overcome its rivals represented by Python or PHP. Nevertheless, the near future is expected to be glittering.
Zakhar Yung is a technical content writer at Railsware - web and mobile app development company. Prior to the IT industry, he managed to gain experience in versatile fields including SEO, industrial facility trade, and nuclear engineering. He participated at the construction of Baltic NPP and Akkuyu NPP.