Is Ruby on Rails Worth Learning in 2024? A Quick Insight

Is Ruby on Rails Worth Learning in 2024? A Quick Insight

As we delve into 2024, many developers might wonder: is Ruby on Rails still worth learning in 2024? In recent years, other emerging technologies and frameworks have gained popularity. However, Ruby on Rails, based on the Ruby programming language, maintains its reputation. It is a highly efficient, mature, and developer-friendly solution. Its advantages in rapid development, a thriving community, and a mature ecosystem make it an attractive skill for developers.

However, like any other technology, Ruby on Rails has advantages and drawbacks. When considering whether to learn this versatile framework, it's important to weigh the pros and cons and evaluate the future outlook.

Key Takeaways

1. Ruby on Rails is still a valuable skill in 2024. Many major players in the market, such as GitHub and AirBnB, are still using it.

2. Although its usage rate is not the highest in the market, Ruby on Rails remains one of the top-paying technologies in 2023.

3. Its popularity creates a lot of self-taught learning resources, making it one of the most accessible technologies.

Strengths of Ruby on Rails

An Overview of the Tech

Ruby on Rails (Rails or RoR) is a Ruby framework that has been a game-changer since its first public release in 2004. Over the years, it has matured into a stable and reliable framework, becoming a popular choice for web developers. It remains one of the popular choices of frameworks due to:

  • Flexibility: Rails allows you to work on various web projects, from small to large-scale.
  • Convention over configuration: It follows guidelines that help you build applications faster.
  • Active community: Rails has an active and supportive community. Developers can find lots of resources, such as tutorials and documentation, to help you in your learning journey.

Rapid Development (Great for Startups)

One major advantage of learning Ruby on Rails is its focus on rapid developmentIts doctrine captures its design philosophy and focuses on development efficiency. For example, getting used to a new Rails codebase usually takes very little time due to the "convention over configuration" philosophy. It minimizes the need for lengthy configurations.

Furthermore, Rails has many built-in tools and features, such as scaffolding. It automates the generation of your application's basic structure. By learning Ruby on Rails, you'll be able to create functional web applications in a fraction of the time compared to other coding languages.

Strong Community

Another reason to learn Ruby on Rails is its strong community support. The Rails community is vibrant and active. It has a rich ecosystem of Gems (libraries) that allow you to extend the functionality of your application without reinventing the wheel.

Some examples of popular Rails Gems are:

  • Devise - for authentication.
  • CarrierWave - for file uploads
  • ActiveAdmin - for administration interfaces

This extensive library of Gems lets you focus on what makes your application unique. The community's expertise helps you lay a solid foundation, allowing you to build applications more efficiently and with a higher level of quality.

Challenges of Using Ruby on Rails

Performance Concerns

While Ruby on Rails can help you build and deploy web applications quickly, one downside is performance concerns. Due to its language design, scaling Rails applications could be more complicated than other popular alternatives, such as Go and Java.

However, scaling could be a complicated issue. It involves not only the programming language itself but also database tuning, application logic, and others. The programming language is only one factor in scaling. So, don't let performance be the sole reason to skip learning Ruby on Rails.

Trend Shifts

Another factor that might cause hesitation when learning Ruby on Rails in 2024 is the technological trend shift. Newer frameworks and languages like Node.js and Go are gaining popularity in the web development community, which might make you wonder about the long-term relevancy of Ruby on Rails.

However, it's important to remember that Ruby on Rails still has a thriving community and a strong foothold in the job market. Technology trends can change, and it's often more valuable to have a strong grasp of languages and frameworks to stay adaptable.

The State of Web Development

Comparison with Other Frameworks

Here is a list of notable web frameworks to compare with Rails:

Django (Python)

Django is another mature and feature-rich web framework. Python is also widely adopted in general computer programming education due to its simple syntax. According to a StackOverflow survey 2023, Django has a bigger market share of 11.47% compared with Rails' 5.49%.

Python and Ruby are known for their friendliness to beginners and abundant learning resources. However, both languages have the same scalability issue when businesses and applications start to grow.

Their differences mostly lie in the coding style. Python is well known for its use of indentation in the codebase:

def hello():
  print("hello world")

If the indentation breaks, the code breaks. Some consider this style clean, but some consider it hard to read when the codebase is large.

Express.js (Node.js)

Express.js is a minimalistic web framework that brings server-side JavaScript to the table. It is known for its ease of use and performance. It doesn't include many features out-of-the-box like Rails, but it utilizes great features in Node.js, such as scalability and performance.

One of the most common reasons for adopting Node.js for companies is that they can use JavaScript for both frontend and backend. It's easier for companies to hire full-stack developers. According to the StackOverflow survey, it has the highest market share in web technologies, with the usage of 42.65%.

Node.js and Ruby usually have different use cases. Node.js is strong and stable on a single thread. So, businesses usually use it for messaging apps like chatrooms and games. Thus, Rails is widely used for CMS and prototyping minimum viable products.

Is Ruby on Rails dead?

There is an ongoing question people ask every year. If you search for "Is Ruby on Rails dead in 20XX?" you will likely find 10+ articles, including forums and blogs, discussing this topic.

The short answer: No. Ruby on Rails is far from dead. Some simple reasons:

  • The community remains strong. There are many learning resources, discussions, updates, meetups, and conferences around the world.
  • Ruby and Rails' versions are still evolving very quickly.
  • Major companies like Shopify, GitHub, and Airbnb continue to use and invest in Rails.

Job Market and Opportunities

Real-World Applications of Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails serves as the core technology for numerous online platforms. For example:

  • GitHub: The world's leading software development platform runs on Rails. There are several tweaks to run an application with such scale, but it is still Rails in its foundation.
  • Airbnb: Changing how we travel and stay around the globe, Airbnb's seamless user experience is powered by Ruby on Rails.
  • Shopify: E-commerce at its finest. Shopify makes selling online easy for over 1 million businesses worldwide, all thanks to Rails under its hood.
  • Twitch: Before becoming a live streaming giant for gamers everywhere, Twitch started its journey with Ruby on Rails.

These companies started small and scaled up big time, all while sticking with Ruby on Rails throughout their growth phases. This highlights Ruby on Rails's adaptability as a tool for crafting web applications and underscores its significance in scaling projects from startups to enterprises.

Demand for Ruby on Rails Developers

As of 2024, Ruby on Rails continues to be a highly lucrative skill. In a recent survey on StackOverflow, Ruby's popularity is behind languages such as JavaScript and Python. Its use rate is 6.23%. However, Ruby took 4th place as the top paying technology, making it worth considering for your career path.

It's also one of the Ruby community's features that there might not be as many job openings in the market as JavaScript and Python. Still, every opening is a gem worth digging.

Learning Resources for Ruby on Rails

Diving into Ruby on Rails? There's a sea of resources, whether you're just starting or looking to level up. But let's be real: not all resources are created equal. Here's a curated list that'll take you from zero to a seasoned developer:

Ruby on Rails Guides

These guides are the holy grail for Rails learners. They thoroughly cover the framework's initial understanding to a solid knowledge of its features.

Codecademy's Learn Rails Course

Do you love interactive learning? Codecademy makes it fun and engaging with its hands-on approach.


It is a collection of videos that dive into the ins and outs of Rails. Its paid plan would bring you more professional knowledge.

The Odin Project - Ruby on Rails

Want something more structured? Embark on a journey from the fundamentals of web creation, all through this no-cost educational pathway.

The journey might seem long now. But remember that every expert was once a beginner wondering if they could do it too. Spoiler alert: You absolutely can!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the job prospects for Ruby on Rails developers in 2024?

The job prospects for Ruby on Rails developers in 2024 remain promising. Compared with popular languages such as JavaScript and Python, Ruby on Rails might have a low usage rate. However, it is still a popular web framework in strong demand in the job market. Ruby took 4th place as the top-paying technology based on the StackOverflow survey in 2023. With this in mind, learning Ruby on Rails is a viable option for a rewarding career in the tech industry.

It is for you if you love its coding style, design philosophy, and thriving community. Don't let the popularity of other languages scare you away. The most important factor is that you love this technology and will master it.

What are the latest major projects or companies adopting Ruby on Rails?

Major tech companies like GitHub, GitLab, AirBnB, and Shopify still use Ruby on Rails. They might not use Rails for their entire codebase, but it remains one of the core technologies in their stack.

Can learning Ruby on Rails provide a stable career path in the tech industry nowadays?

Yes. Learning Ruby on Rails can provide a stable career path in the tech industry. Its continuous popularity and the high demand for Ruby developers among startups and agencies.

We are in the tech recession in 2024, but it's important to remember that every challenge brings new opportunities. The Rails community continues to thrive, offering support and resources to developers at all levels. There are still emerging opportunities in startups, established companies, or freelance projects.

What are the key advantages of using Ruby on Rails for new web applications today?

Ruby on Rails offers several key advantages for new web applications today:

  1. It emphasizes convention over configuration. Developers do not need to make decisions about the application's basic structure.
  2. Its syntax follows a natural language format, making it easy to learn and understand.
  3. The strong Ruby community support makes finding resources, solutions, and assistance easier when needed.
  4. Rails is an excellent choice for creating Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), which is important for startups.