The Hidden Facts about Ruby on Rails You Should Know

Jun 10, 2021

5 Min Read

Surely you’ve heard about Ruby on Rails (RoR), especially in web application development-related conversations, or perchance you’ve mastered it yourself. Most of the applications you use are RoR built, such as GitHub, SoundCloud, Basecamp, Twitch, Hulu, Shopify, Airbnb. But there are hundreds of thousands of applications developed with RoR (since its release in 2004). While RoR is free to use, it’s also open-source software that makes you operate like a pro with ease. No wonder why more than 7,000 people have contributed to code with Ruby on Rails today.

Being able to code with any programming language proficiently is good, but understanding the fundamentals that make a particular language uniquely different from others is better. To improve your knowledge, here are the hidden facts about Ruby on Rails you should know:

What is Ruby? Why was it created?

Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented, and multi-purpose programming language. It was designed and developed in Japan by Yukihiro “Martz” Matsumoto in the mid-1990s. The first version of Ruby (0.95) was announced on December 21, 1995.

Matsumoto said that the goal for creating Ruby is to improve the productivity of programmers. For fun, following the principles of user interface design.

What is Ruby on Rails?

It is a programming framework created by David Heinemeier Hansson, who gave it the name “Ruby on Rails,” which is usually called Rails.

Rails is focused on combining Ruby with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create web applications. It is considered server-side or back-end.

More than a framework, Ruby on Rails is the dominant project of a giant community that constantly produces libraries to simplify the tasks of creating complex web applications.

What are the principles of Rails?

Rails is dogmatic

Unlike Perl, for example, there is more than one way to do each thing, and there is no right way or the best way. Its benefit is that you can develop faster, improve collaboration, and easier to maintain.

Convention over configuration

Some frameworks, such as Java for web applications, need to do multiple number configurations in files and each with many settings. Rails makes it much easier for you to assume things. For example, if you create a model by convention in Rails, it’ll create a table in your database (called “Users”) without any required configuration.  Also, Rails assumes that if the name of the table is plural or singular.

Don’t Repeat Yourself

Popularly known by the acronym DRYS, it is a software development principle. As its name implies, it tries to avoid duplicates since duplicates make the code more complex, challenging to maintain, and more vulnerable to errors. Rails takes advantage of the metaprogramming features that ruby ​​has, not only to reuse code but also to remove code wherever possible. Thus, with Rails, you can create web applications with just a few lines of code.

Why has Ruby on Rails become so famous?

One of the reasons is that its release was a revolution in design change. Also, Rails is designed with the best practices. So it naturally leads you to code amazingly. Another fact is that, in a few hours, it makes it possible for you to build web applications and leave them running online. Surprisingly, the first version of Twitter was built in one day using Ruby on Rails. Many big flashy companies that you know use Ruby, such as:

  • Walmart
  • Groupon
  • Cisco
  • CNET
  • IBM
  • JP Morgan
  • NASA
  • Yahoo

There are more than 800,000 websites using Rails in the world today. Thus, startups to large companies have concluded that when it comes to creating web applications, the best option is Ruby on Rails.

What can I build with Rails?

Whatever web application you have in mind, you can do it on Rails. Check out some of the greats who built their sites with Rails:

  • Basecamp
  • 500px
  • Airbnb
  • Couchsurfing
  • Fiverr
  • Github
  • Hulu
  • Indiegogo
  • Kickstarter
  • Pixlr
  • Shopify
  • Square
  • ThemeForest
  • Zendesk

Can I build mobile applications with Rails?

Well, in Ruby on Rails, you cannot build a mobile application. But you can create a web application. It works as a back-end for a mobile application. There is also a tool called RubyMotion, which allows you to build native applications for IOS and Android (with Ruby). With Rails, you can’t create mobile applications. But it can be a central part of a mobile project.

What’s the job outlook for Rails developers

Knowing Rails at this time is one of the demanded skills worldwide (especially in the USA). You could get hired by many companies with high growth prospects at an early stage. Or join a more established company, such as a software house. Another option is to work as a freelancer, that is, independently, carrying out projects. It helps to choose between small and medium projects and work with a variety of long-term clients.

Should you learn Rails instead of JavaScript?

As a Ruby on Rails developer, you will need to know JavaScript. It is not a prerequisite to learning Rails. But it is a skill that you will need to learn to develop with Rails. As you get more immersed in the tech world, you’ll realize that you need to know different techniques. Fortunately, as you gain experience, learning a new language and framework gets a little easier.

How long will it take me to learn?

Before diving into and understanding the world of development with Rails, you will need a few months of study. It also varies, depending on your level of familiarity with programming in general, which may help you move faster. Keep in mind that becoming a Master in Rails will take you more than 10,000 hours. The time frame also goes for developing any other skills. So the best thing is that you already start.

How do I get started? What should I do first?

Many online platforms can help you start immersing yourself in this world of development. In these platforms, you’ll obtain the tools to take the first step in the world of programming:

  • CodeAcademy
  • Ruby Monk
  • TryRuby
  • Bootcamps

So the best step to take is to check out any of the platforms. Get prepared for the training programs where you’ll have access to many helpful courses. Either you are learning from scratch or want to learn more, enrolling in these platforms will provide you with many opportunities as an RoR developer.


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