The state of ruby on rails: unleashing your web superpowers to dominate 2024

The why, what, when, and where of using rails in 2024

by: Anthony Lombardi on

Hey there, fellow web aficionados! Let’s talk 2024 – the year where Ruby on Rails (Rails) refuses to fade into the digital sunset despite the shiny new toys trying to steal their thunder. Here’s the lowdown, straight from the source.

Origins of Ruby On Rails

Picture this: 20-odd years ago, a young, ambitious programmer named David Heinemeier Hansson(DHH) set out to conquer the web development world. At the same Time, he’s working on a project management tool, Basecamp, at the web application company 37signals. Armed with a keen mind and a passion for simplicity, he creates Ruby On Rails—a web framework that’s as sleek and stylish as a tailored suit on the red carpet. Rails was first released as open source in July 2004, and it has since become a cornerstone of web application development, influencing many other frameworks and languages. Rails’ goal is to make web development powerful and pleasurable. And boy, did he succeed. Ruby on Rails quickly gains traction, attracting a legion of devoted followers who are drawn to its elegance and efficiency. From its early days powering the burgeoning startup scene to its current status as a staple of the tech industry, Rails has come a long way. It has evolved and matured along the journey, incorporating new features and improvements while staying true to its core principles.

The Charm of Ruby On Rails ⚡


Why choose Ruby On Rails, you ask? Well, imagine having the power to build robust, scalable web applications in record time. It’s more than just a framework; it’s a philosophy. With its elegant syntax and convention-over-configuration approach, Rails lets you focus on what truly matters—creating kick-ass digital experiences without getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty details. Ruby is a charming, elegant language, and Rails is the powerhouse framework that brings it all together. Together, they form a dynamic duo that makes web development not just efficient but downright enjoyable. So whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a wide-eyed newcomer, Ruby on Rails welcomes you with open arms. It’s more than just a framework; it’s a community, a philosophy, and a way of life. Let’s discover the magic of Ruby on Rails.

The Power of Community

Let’s remember the X-factor that sets Rails apart, the community. Thousands of developers from around the globe are coming together like some coding SEAL Team Six. Take the 2022 Ruby on Rails Community Survey, for example. We’re talking 2,660 Rails devs from a whopping 102 countries. That’s like a United Nations summit, but with more tacos and fewer suits. This survey isn’t just some checkbox exercise; it’s a showcase of the global love affair with Rails, highlighting the active chatter about tools, frameworks, and workflows that keeps this community buzzing.

Beyond the official squads and core contributors, an army of code warriors is out there making Rails better every day. From squashing bugs to writing docs to spreading the Rails gospel, these folks are the unsung heroes of the digital age. And don’t even get me started on the Rails Contributors site – it’s like the Hall of Fame for coding legends, showcasing the blood, sweat, and tears poured into this framework.

But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no, this community has its fingers in more pies than a bakery on cheat day. We’re talking open-source projects, gem libraries—you name it, they’ve probably built it. Balancing all this with real-world work can feel like juggling chainsaws, but that’s just part of the thrill, right?

Speed, Efficiency, and Agility

speed, efficiency, and agility

Ruby on Rails is renowned for its speed, efficiency, and agility in web application development, thanks to several key features and principles that facilitate rapid development and maintainability:

Speed and Efficiency

  • Agile Methodology: Rails is built on Agile development principles, which break down those big tasks into bite-sized chunks. It’s like going from climbing Mount Everest to conquering a flight of stairs. With Rails, you can sprint through development cycles in as little as six weeks, saving you Time and money.
  • Fewer Lines Of Code: Rails has a treasure trove of pre-loaded code libraries, so you’re not reinventing the wheel whenever you fire up your editor. That means fewer errors, less stress, and more Time for coffee breaks.
  • Principle of DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself): Rails adheres to the DRY principle, which encourages avoiding code duplication. So, you’re not copy-pasting your way into a tangled mess of spaghetti code. Nah, you’re keeping it clean, efficient, and oh-so-sexy.
  • Convention over Configuration: Rails’s convention-based approach simplifies configuration, making development faster. Ergo, you spend less time configuring and more time coding like a boss.
  • Modular Design: The readability and self-documenting nature of Ruby code, along with RoR’s modular design, increases productivity and makes it easier for developers to work on existing projects without extensive documentation.
  • Mature Plugin Architecture: The extensive library of Gems (libraries) available in the Rails community allows developers to extend or override any part of the Rails framework, accelerating development and maintenance time.


  • Rapid Prototyping: Rails’s capability for rapid prototyping is a critical advantage for your unicorn startups, enabling them to develop and refine their ideas swiftly. This agility allows for quick iterations, adapting to market changes, and staying ahead of the competition. You’ve got an idea? Boom! Rails turns it into reality faster than a cheetah in a hotdog costume.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Rails applications can run seamlessly on multiple platforms and cloud providers, offering businesses the flexibility and adaptability they need as they grow and expand.
  • Enhanced Developer Productivity: Rails’s developer-friendly syntax and adherence to principles like Convention over Configuration (CoC) and DRY streamline development, empowering developers to focus on innovative solutions rather than complexities.
  • Scalability and Reliability: Rails provides a cost-effective approach to scalability, incorporating tools like load balancing and database optimization. Its reputation for stability and reliability makes it a preferred choice for mission-critical applications.

ORM: Mapping databases

For the layman, An ORM, or Object-Relational Mapping, is a programming technique used to convert data between incompatible type systems: object-oriented programming languages and relational databases. In Ruby on Rails, an ORM called ActiveRecord is used.

ActiveRecord is like having a loyal sidekick who does all the heavy lifting regarding database interactions. With ActiveRecord, you can easily manipulate your database, whether you’re querying, updating, or migrating. It’s database magic straight out of the box.

ActiveRecord isn’t just limited to traditional relational databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL. With Ruby on Rails, connecting to various database systems is as easy as pie. Whether you’re working with SQLite for lightweight development, MongoDB for NoSQL flexibility, or any other database system your project requires, ActiveRecord provides seamless integration, allowing you to focus on building awesome features without worrying about the underlying database technology.

And suppose you’re looking to take your data querying to the next level. In that case, Rails makes it a breeze to incorporate GraphQL into your applications. With its intuitive query language and powerful schema definition capabilities, GraphQL enables you to fetch exactly the data you need, no more, no less. With Apollo, the leading GraphQL client, integration is a snap, allowing you to quickly build lightning-fast, data-driven applications.

Whether you’re building a simple API or a complex, data-intensive application, Rails provides the tools and guidance to get up and running quickly. With its clear, concise documentation and helpful community, you’ll be harnessing the power of ActiveRecord in no time, leaving you free to focus on building great software.


However, Ruby on Rails’ most significant strength is its agility and flexibility. Whether you’re building a simple blog or an e-commerce platform, Rails adapts to your needs gracefully and effortlessly. With its modular architecture and emphasis on convention over configuration, Rails lets you focus on what matters most: building awesome stuff.

Need to whip up a RESTful API? Ruby on Rails has got you covered. With its built-in support for RESTful routes and controllers, you can create APIs that are as sleek and streamlined as a sports car on the open road.

Frontend and UI/UX

But wait, there’s more! Ruby on Rails takes front-end integration to the next level with its support for modern JavaScript frameworks. Whether you’re building a single-page application or a more traditional, server-rendered website, Rails provides the tools to integrate seamlessly with your chosen front-end framework. With Importmaps, Bun, Webpack, Esbuild, or Rollup, and the asset pipeline, you can effortlessly manage and optimize your front-end assets, ensuring lightning-fast performance and a smooth user experience.

And you’re looking to take your front-end development even further. In that case, Rails easily incorporates cutting-edge technologies like WebAssembly and WebRTC into your applications. With WebAssembly, you can run high-performance, low-level code in the browser, opening up new possibilities for interactive web experiences. And with WebRTC, you can add real-time communication features like video chat and screen sharing to your applications, all with the power and simplicity of Rails.

But ease of use continues beyond there. With Rails, configuring your application to work with front-end frameworks like React, Vue.js, and Svelte ans Angular is a breeze. Whether you prefer to use Rails’ built-in support for JavaScript tooling or a more customized setup, Rails provides the flexibility and guidance you need to get up and running quickly. With a wealth of tutorials, guides, and community resources available, you’ll never be at a loss for help or inspiration as you explore the exciting world of front-end development with Ruby on Rails.

But wait, there’s more! As solutions for more accessible UI/UX design grow, Ruby on Rails is more than just a backend powerhouse. Whether you’re crafting beautiful interfaces with Bootstrap, Tailwind CSS, Tailkit, or your own custom styles, Rails provides the tools you need to create stunning user experiences that keep users coming back for more.

Scaling Up and Beyond

to infinity and beyond

With the introduction of Ruby 3.2, the game has been forever changed. Picture this: Just-In-Time (JIT) compiling, making your code faster and more efficient than ever before. No more waiting around for your applications to load; with JIT compiling, Ruby on Rails is lightning-fast, ready to tackle even the most demanding workloads with ease.

But that’s not all. Ruby 3.2 also improves memory efficiency, ensuring your applications run more smoothly even as they handle increasingly complex tasks. Say goodbye to bloated memory usage and hello to sleek, streamlined performance that keeps your users coming back for more. With Ruby on Rails, you can have your cake and eat it too—fast, efficient code that doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of functionality.

As your web empire grows, so too will your need for scalability. Fear not, intrepid coder, for Rails has your back. With its built-in support for caching, background processing, and more, scaling your application to infinity and beyond is a piece of cake. From startup darlings to tech giants, Rails has repeatedly proven that it’s built to handle the big leagues. With features of database sharding, horizontal scaling, unparalleled productivity, scalability, and efficiency, Rails empowers developers to create web applications that meet and exceed expectations.

Job Opportunities: The Future of Web Development

You know what’s hotter than a chimichanga? The job market’s love affair with Ruby on Rails. More and more job postings are shouting from the rooftops about their undying affection for Ruby on Rails. Programming languages differ from your Aunt Mildred’s fruitcake, which gets shoved in the back of the pantry and forgotten about. Nah, they’re more like the spice of the digital world, and Ruby? Well, Ruby’s holding its own. According to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey Ruby is sitting in 16th place out of 51. Not too shabby.

Stack Overflow's Developer Survey

And get this, in 2023, Ruby actually climbed up a few rungs on that ladder compared to previous years. So, rumors about Ruby kicking the bucket? It’s as believable as me winning an Oscar for playing a potato in a rom-com. Sure, there might’ve been a slight dip in Ruby on Rails’s popularity over the last decade, but even the stock market has its off days, right? Rails remains a popular framework for web development, particularly for startups and companies looking to build scalable web applications quickly. In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve. Rails has a long, healthy history behind many large companies(Airbnb, Shopify, Netflix, and Stripe), so the future of Rails opportunities looks brighter than ever. In a world where tech talent is worth its weight in gold, Rails opens doors to a treasure trove of career opportunities. Companies are clamoring for Rails developers who can hit the ground running and deliver results with style.

So if you’re an experienced dev, you’re probably cruising along just fine in the job market. For all you fresh faces itching to dive into the world of web development, listen up. Rails is like that shiny toy everyone wants to play with. So yeah, there might just be a bunch of junior roles popping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm. But hey, no guarantees. Time’s gotta do its thing and tell us how this whole situation pans out.

AI In 2024

Now, let’s talk about the big, bad AI wave crashing down on us all. Yeah, it’s got us all wondering about job security. AI’s impact on developers in 2024 is multifaceted, affecting various aspects of software development, from the skills required to the tools used. But it’s not all bad news. AI has automated many software development tasks, such as code generation, refactoring, and bug detection, significantly boosting productivity and efficiency. AI has also contributed to the evolution of DevOps practices and CI/CD pipelines, providing insights on performance, quality, and potential issues through code analysis, test results, and production metrics. This helps streamline the software development lifecycle and improve overall software quality.

While AI can speed up code generation, there are concerns about the quality of AI-generated code. Studies have shown an increase in code churn and the use of copy/paste code(what I like to call CopyPasta), which could lead to higher risks of mistakes being deployed into production. This highlights the need for developers to maintain code quality and understand the attributes that makeup quality code. The rise of AI in coding could also impact how engineers are compensated, mainly if salary decisions are based on lines of code changed. This could create incentives for hastily added code, potentially leading to technical debt.

So, will our gigs get snatched up by robots? Well, maybe not snatched, but you gotta up your game, amigo. Embrace the AI mojo. Life is a river; you either ride with the current or stand still and get left behind. It’s the name of the game in this brave new world.

Embracing the Rails Way

Now, I know what you’re thinking—why should I embrace the Rails way? Well, my friend, it’s simple: because it works. By following Rails conventions, you’ll write cleaner, more maintainable code and tap into the collective wisdom of thousands of developers who’ve walked the path before you.

Cross-platform compatibility? Check. Whether deploying on Linux, macOS, or Windows, Ruby on Rails plays nicely with all major platforms. Say goodbye to compatibility headaches and hello to smooth sailing across the web development seas.


OK, it’s time to wrap this up tighter than an accountant during tax season! Building something unique isn’t just about lines of code; it’s about the thrill of creation and the satisfaction of seeing your vision come to life. With Rails as your trusty sidekick, you’re not just coding but embarking on an epic adventure filled with twists, turns, and triumphs. Think of it this way: It’s like the classic car you find tucked away in a garage – still turning heads and kicking asphalt. They’ve got this robust, mature framework that’s like the Swiss Army knife of coding. Need a solution? Boom, there’s probably a gem for that. And don’t even get me started on the community – it’s like a never-ending party where everyone’s a coding rockstar.

Before jumping on the Ruby bandwagon, let’s address the elephant in the room: the learning curve. Yeah, it’s there, but so is the satisfaction of mastering a craft. Sure, there might be some performance limitations, but things are looking brighter with Ruby 3.2 and beyond.

Should you choose Ruby && Ruby on Rails for your project? Well, that depends on a few factors – your project’s needs, your team’s skills, and how many tacos you’ve had. But one thing’s for sure: Ruby’s simplicity, flexibility, and downright charm make it a programming language worth wrapping your brain around in 2024.

here's to you

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