The rarely told advantages of Ruby on Rails for developers

Adrian Nowak
27 August 2020
3 min read

Implementing new ideas into reality is always hard. But as it is with the creation of every product, not only software projects, correctly selected tools can make this road much smoother. Let’s explore the lesser known advantages of Ruby on Rails and find out why it is still one of the most liked frameworks for building online applications.

The unappreciated beauty of Ruby on Rails

As a senior software developer, I’ve had a chance to play around countless programming languages and frameworks. And sure, I have only spent a small amount of time with most of them. The surprising part is that I only felt the urge to go back and explore a few of them.

This may sound strange, but after a while, I realized that the Ruby on Rails structure is beautiful. When looking at the syntax of the code, there are no unnecessary complications. And yet, the language is powerful enough to provide scaffolds for highly complex applications.

Why is it even important? It’s just a code, so it should be an unpleasant complex wall of text, right? Well, that’s not the case. Like with every tool, if a developer starts working on something that already is clean and simple, doesn’t have to install a huge code editor, it makes the job more fun. And if your job is more fun — you will do it faster and better.

It’s to get started with Ruby on Rails

When starting working with Ruby on Rails, there are no thousand pages manuals to get it off the ground. Recently I described how in a few steps, it’s possible to prepare scaffolding for applications

Of course, like with every back-end oriented framework, software design patterns are commonly used to speed up development and organize the code. Model–view–controller (MVC) and few others are easy to get even for junior programmers, and thanks to great community documentation, everyone can get up to speed very quickly.

You have to do less than you think with Ruby on Rails

You have access to tons of elements...

Although, as startup owners, we’d like to think that our products are revolutionary, it is usually true only from the business perspective. Solving new problems for clients is always good, but from the developer’s point of view, it often only requires clever use of already existing pieces of software. And this is what the Ruby on Rails framework actually is.

David Heinemeier Hansson, who pioneered RoR, started extracting core elements of his application into something that later became one of the most popular frameworks in the world. He wanted to avoid repeating himself when building new elements of his tool. By making Ruby on Rails public, he spared countless hours for millions of developers.

And to plugins and integrations

What’s more, history doesn’t stop there. After Rails took off, a vast community started creating plugins and integrations that are built with this one thing in mind: don’t waste time on solving things that have already been solved.

It’s easier to understand the implications of this in a real-world scenario. During the creation of new products, using building blocks for key features is a huge time saver. User role management, authorization, database access, and data validation, payments, or notifications mechanisms can often be integrated into the application in just a matter of minutes.

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. Connecting multiple elements and modules is still quite a time-consuming and challenging task in many cases. What’s most important, however, is that you’ll probably have to do less than you initially thought at the end of the day.

Why choose Ruby on Rails

Quickly creating a minimum viable product is essential, but no one wants to be stuck with a product in a technology that is hard to develop further in a few years. Ruby on Rails seems like the right balance between old market leaders like Java and novel JavaScript frameworks.

The benefits of Ruby on Rails are a topic that has been discussed many times on development blogs. That’s why I wanted to focus on a few less popular aspects that are crucial from the developer’s perspective. After all, support from the community or the beauty of a language are features that are quite hard to put into numbers. Yet, they remain one of the essential components that each developer is working with every day.

Do you know of some less-known features of Ruby on Rails? Let us know! We're always happy to hear from you. You can write to us at hello@start-up.house

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