Is Ruby on Rails Still Relevant in 2024? Personal Opinion

Krzysztof Kęczkowski
Krzysztof Kęczkowski Luty 05, 2024 6 min czytania
Is Ruby on Rails Still Relevant in 2024? Personal Opinion


In the dynamically evolving world of technology, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is often highlighted as an excellent choice for independent developers seeking an efficient and scalable framework for web application development. Its unique philosophy of "convention over configuration" and Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) enables rapid prototyping and application development, minimizing the need for repetitive code and unnecessary configuration. One of the key advantages of RoR is its ability to simplify complex processes: with just one command in the terminal, developers can create basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) structures for any database table.

What sets Ruby on Rails apart is primarily the conventions adopted, allowing developers to focus on the logic and functionality of the system, rather than its technological underpinnings. Although understanding the mechanisms behind the framework takes time, novice programmers can enjoy writing clean code from the outset, without overly concerning themselves with complex technical aspects. As a result, Ruby on Rails serves as an ideal solution for independent developers who wish to quickly transform their ideas into working applications, while maintaining high code quality and the ability to easily expand the project in the future.

Ease of Use

One of the most appealing features of Ruby on Rails, especially for independent developers, is its incredible ease of use. Back in 2011, when I began my programming journey, Mac OS X came pre-installed with a version of Rails, indicating its significant popularity and recognition within the technology world. This native availability of Rails on Unix platforms, such as Mac OS X, was an important signal to developers about the value Ruby on Rails brought to the software development ecosystem.

While installing Rails on Windows was possible, the process was more complicated and time-consuming at that time. A much better experience was offered by using a Linux operating system, such as Ubuntu. My own journey with Ruby on Rails began on Ubuntu, and after a year of working with this system, I switched to Mac OS X, benefiting from better support and integration.

Even in those days, the internet was rich in educational resources dedicated to Ruby on Rails, including numerous screencasts. One of the most iconic was Railscasts by Ryan Bates, which became an indispensable source of knowledge for developers at all levels of expertise. The availability of such rich educational materials significantly lowered the entry threshold for those starting their journey with Ruby on Rails, making the first steps in this technology both exciting and relatively simple.

Today, the process of getting started with Ruby on Rails is simpler than ever. Although certain complications may arise at a more advanced stage of work, when solutions requiring a more experienced approach come into play, I am convinced that any beginner programmer can install the Ruby language, the Rails framework, and configure an IDE environment. This accessibility and ease of use make Ruby on Rails remain an attractive choice for independent developers eager to quickly turn their ideas into working applications.

Community Support and Resources

Since its inception, Ruby on Rails has enjoyed strong community support. While its market share may have shifted over the years, RoR remains a mature and well-thought-out technology that has inspired the creators of many other tools and frameworks. Its impact on the programming ecosystem is undeniable, and the loyalty and activity of its user community are testament to the strength of RoR.

From the beginning, most educational materials and resources for Ruby on Rails have been available in English. This accessibility means that proficiency in English opens the door to a deep understanding of the technological aspects and best practices associated with this framework. Many programmers, myself included, owe their first steps in Ruby on Rails to Ryan Bates and his iconic website, His materials were an invaluable source of knowledge and inspiration for both beginners and advanced developers.

After Railscasts stopped being updated, a plethora of other content creators emerged online, sharing their knowledge on YouTube and their websites. As a result, despite the change in information sources, the Ruby on Rails community has never been left without support. One such platform is the r/Rails group on Reddit, where developers of all levels of expertise can still find help and advice today.

I am a firm believer in solving problems independently, but I understand that the entry point into technology can be different for everyone. It's important to appreciate the presence of courses, tutorials, and YouTube materials that facilitate learning and practical application of Ruby on Rails. Today, entering the world of RoR may seem easier than ever, largely thanks to the vast amount of resources available. What might intimidate new users is not the lack of information, but rather its abundance and choosing the best solution from many available. However, the comprehensive support of the Ruby on Rails community is invaluable in navigating these challenges and choosing optimal development paths.

History of Ruby on Rails

My journey with Ruby on Rails began towards the end of my master's degree studies, around 2009, when the current version was 2.3 or something very close to it. In the nearly 15 years since then, Ruby on Rails has undergone an impressive evolution, adapting to the changing needs and trends in software development.

The revolution came with the introduction of version 3.0, which brought Bundler, becoming an indispensable standard in the Rails ecosystem. The merger of Rails with Merb brought significant improvements in modularity and performance, heralding a new era in Rails application development. Version 4.0 introduced Turbolinks, enhancing application speed by refreshing only the parts of the page that change, and Strong Parameters, securing applications against unauthorized mass assignment of data.

Rails 5.0 continued the innovations, adding Action Cable for easier creation of real-time event-driven applications and facilitating the creation of API-only applications. This, in turn, enabled the development of even more interactive and dynamic web applications.

Next, Rails 6.0 introduced Action Mailbox, Action Text, and support for multiple databases, opening new possibilities in managing user-editable content and application architecture, enabling efficient management of different databases for different parts of an application. These innovations significantly broadened the range of possibilities that developers can realize with Rails, increasing its flexibility and versatility.

Finally, Rails 7.0 brought import maps, Hotwire Turbo, and Stimulus Controllers, which together greatly advanced the reactivity capabilities of Rails applications, akin to frameworks like React. Stimulus Controllers allowed for more elegant management of JavaScript behaviors, facilitating the creation of interactive and dynamic user interfaces without leaving the friendly Rails ecosystem. As a result, developers can now build even more complex and interactive web applications, leveraging the simplicity and consistency offered by Ruby on Rails, approximating the functionality and performance offered by dedicated front-end libraries such as React.

Over these years, I have witnessed not only the technological evolution of Ruby on Rails but also how it has inspired the developer community to create ever-newer and more advanced solutions. As a developer who has grown with Rails, I can confidently say that this journey has been both educational and inspiring, demonstrating how flexible and powerful a tool can be in the hands of those who know how to leverage its full potential.

Use Cases and Success Stories

Ruby on Rails has been employed by many large and well-known companies, such as GitHub, Shopify, Basecamp, Airbnb, Twitch, Square, Goodreads, and Hulu, demonstrating its effectiveness and scalability. Personally, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects ranging from conference management systems, printing solutions, MLM systems, e-commerce stores, backup systems, to hosting solutions. My experience shows that Ruby on Rails is an incredibly versatile tool, capable of meeting a wide range of business requirements.

Costs and Limitations

Although Ruby on Rails is known for its flexibility and efficiency, one aspect that companies and independent developers need to consider are the costs and limitations associated with servers for hosting Rails applications. Hosting for Rails applications often requires more resources than simpler solutions such as WordPress, meaning a cheap server often doesn't suffice. Access via SSH and a more advanced environment are required to run a Rails application.

In the past, when I began my journey with Rails, a popular solution was the use of a VPS and deploying applications with tools such as Capistrano. To this day, it remains one of the preferred solutions among many Rails developers. Personally, I have moved away from this approach for some time now, favoring cloud solutions, primarily Heroku, due to its convenience, capabilities, and established market presence. Although Heroku is not the cheapest option, the time and effort I would have to spend on managing deployment are resources I prefer to allocate to application development.

For larger applications, a DevOps specialist could certainly point out better, cheaper, and safer solutions, perhaps based on AWS. It's worth noting that Heroku also relies on AWS infrastructure, so aside from the cost, differences in performance or security may not be significant. The final choice of hosting solution often comes down to personal preferences and the resources of the commissioning company.

Recently, other hosting platforms such as Render and are also gaining popularity, offering modern and efficient environments for running Rails applications. These alternative solutions can offer a better fit for specific project requirements, both in terms of costs and functionality.


Since its inception, Ruby on Rails has revolutionized the way web applications are created, offering speed, efficiency, and the pleasure of writing code. As our journey through the evolution and key aspects of this framework has shown, Ruby on Rails is an excellent tool not only for independent developers but also for developer teams working on more complex projects.

This framework is thriving, as evidenced not only by the steady growth of its capabilities but also by the growing community of developers and companies that rely on it. Its future seems promising, especially with the solutions introduced in versions 7.0 and 7.1, which significantly expand the capabilities of Rails applications, bringing them closer to modern web application standards. Additions such as Hotwire, Importmap, and Stimulus Controllers show that Rails keeps up with the latest trends in software development, while offering the simplicity and efficiency valued by both individual developers and teams.

The announcements regarding the upcoming version 8.0 are also generating high expectations. Although details are still general, further innovations are expected that will make Ruby on Rails an even more powerful and flexible tool for creating web applications. The ability to adapt to changing market and technology requirements is key to the long-term success of any framework, and Ruby on Rails seems to be perfectly prepared for this challenge.

As a result, Ruby on Rails remains a key choice for developers looking not only for rapid prototyping but also for those who want to build robust, scalable, and secure web applications. Whether you are an independent developer or part of a larger team, Ruby on Rails offers tools that can help realize even the most ambitious projects.

Krzysztof Kęczkowski
O autorze Krzysztof Kęczkowski Software Engineer @ Goat Apps Poznan, Poland


Technology Ruby on Rails




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