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Is Ruby on Rails Close to Its End?

unrolltech profile image Unroll Tech Originally published at rootquotient.com ・4 min read

Ruby on Rails (RoR) was a revolutionary introduction to the market during the development of Web 2.0. Since the structure of web was made easily available, tasks became quicker to complete.

Finding out the myth around its relevance and current usage

Ruby on Rails (RoR) was a revolutionary introduction to the market during the development of Web 2.0. Since the structure of web was made easily available, tasks became quicker to complete and amateurs found it easier to work on web development. For instance, a blog could be set up in about 15 minutes for the first time. It was never heard of or achieved before. It continued being innovative by introducing standards like JSON, XML, HTML, etc.

Before we get into the discussion on whether or not RoR is dying, one should remember that it paved way for all the other frameworks that followed. The unique MVC principle and its top-rated performance makes its presence felt via other MVCs as well. Even today, ruby has a major influence on how the internet works. Traces of it can be seen in modern frameworks like Salis.js in Node.js and Catalyst in Perl.

Role of a ruby on rails developer

Ruby on Rails developers are still in demand because several big companies have not moved away from the framework. For instance, big banners like Groupon, AirBnb, Shopify, GitHub, Goodreads, Couchsurfing, etc., still use ruby on rails. An RoR developer, in fact, makes more money than other developers in such big firms.

RoR can be used for both android and iOS development. It supports the back-end development of mobile apps and is relevant even today.

Relevance of Ruby on Rails development in 2020

For a simple app that has to be completed within a tight budget and a faster pace. The major advantage is that, even a beginner can use RoR with ease for simple projects like blogs or APIs. In an age of start-ups where tight budget is commonly seen, RoR remains highly relevant today. The latest updates allow Sorbet type checking which means there will be less bugs. Isn’t that the dream of a developer? It is safe to say that RoR is very much alive. It is still improving and getting faster with time.

Strong developer community

RoR has a community of developers helping and supporting each other. They maintain open-source libraries, known as ‘gems’, where developers can create applications easier and faster. This also means that they can get help from fellow developers whenever they need and also share their technical difficulties with others. This is rarely seen elsewhere. New contributions are seen regularly, thus maintaining a creative hub for everyone to benefit from.

Convenience

When big firms stick to RoR, it shows how convenient and easy it is for them to use. They probably started with RoR when no one had even heard of them and still remain loyal to it. This proves that the framework has never failed them. It is easier and faster to use. RoR can build an app 40% faster than other frameworks. Readable syntax makes it harder for the firms to move away from it.

The future of RoR

By 2020, RoR is aiming to reach thrice the speed than it is currently. They also have a three-point plan for the upcoming updates

Static analysis
3 times speed
Concurrency

With these updates in the pipeline, one can assume that the advantages become stronger, cementing its place in the market.

Is it applicable for an iOS application developer?
A lot of iOS applications use RoR as the back-end support. RoR uses less coding and does more work. It’s easier to update and make changes to the existing features using RoR. This mature technology has seen every change in the market in the last decade. There’s nothing it cannot adapt and also maintain stability. Another reason why it is the ideal for back-end usage is that it allows building prototype in a short period of time. Thus, an app can be created and sent for peer reviews faster than other stacks. It is also available for free.

Some of the cons include the fact that RoR is sometimes stagnant or moving forward slowly. According to a study, the number of new ‘gems’ is declining with years, thereby proving that not many are using it for creative outcomes. 2018 saw the lowest usage of RoR with only 10,746 new gems. It has become a standard framework and does not invite new and exciting projects. If the ‘gems’ don’t pick up the pace, other frameworks might eventually take over leaving less space for RoR. Even though they are influenced by RoR, modern frameworks offer more.

The consistency of a framework can be decided based on whether start-ups are willing to use it. Unfortunately, there is a decline in RoR usage by start-ups as of 2019, according to GitHub. Although this does not invalidate its presence in bigger firms, to stay more relevant, RoR should move forward and attract new projects. According to study, RoR is the third most popular framework in the US with close to 450,000 customers using it. Innovations in start-ups contribute to leveraging technology.

In short, is RoR dying? No. Has it taken a backseat? Yes. The current plan to upgrade seems to be exciting and it might place it on the same pedestal as the others. RoR is here to stay.

Discussion

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johnsalzarulo profile image
John Jacob

Ok “taken a backseat” - to what? What would you say is the front runner in new frameworks? I’m incredibly biased. Love RoR and think there will be a place for it for years to come for the right projects. I’d love to know your thoughts.

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unrolltech profile image
Unroll Tech Author

There is no second thought is Ruby being one of the go-to frameworks for building getting to market faster. But in the last couple of years, from my observations, I see .Net gaining more momentum and an alternative. Node and Python has always been a strong contender too.

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ctechdiva profile image
Cheryl A

Thank you for sharing this. Self taught RoR developer, but I honestly haven't used it in the last 5 years. I still have some projects using RoR so one of my back burner projects is to update them.