A famous web app framework built atop the Ruby programming language has been actively leveraged for more than 12 years. Within this timeframe, it has come through ups and downs. Ruby on Rails was on a roll when such companies as GitHub or Airbnb had chosen the framework for their apps. Meanwhile, there were many talks about the RoR untimely demise when Twitter decided to replace it with a Java-based solution. Someday, any mature technology is to come to the point when it becomes outdated and unwanted on the market. The way to this dead end may last for decades or be immediate as a flash. For that reason, each Ruby on Rails developer would like to know how far their breadwinning technology is from being extinct in the industry and what career opportunities should be expected in the coming years. Let’s figure it out.
Figures used in a particular context can explain the state of affairs and even give forecasts for the future. On that account, it’s better to look at some numerical information to understand what’s going on with Rails so far.
According to BuiltWith.com, almost 1.5 million live websites are created using RoR. This figure is now unachievable for the framework’s most known competitors like Django or Laravel. GitHub also shows the Rails’ dominance over other web frameworks in terms of the number of contributors (over 3.5K) and other related activities. In a sign of these achievements, Ruby’s fall to the 17th position according to the TIOBE index is a fly in the ointment. Moreover, this object-oriented language has never been known for high popularity.
To sum up, Rails’ statistics is well-promising and show no sign of probable decline or loss of demand.
As for the job-related issues such as talent overabundance, low salary or poor demand for RoR programmers – nothing of the kind is observed for now. The framework is deemed sought-after among startups and rising businesses due to being a cost-efficient solution capable of ensuring rapid time-to-market. These characteristics may not be essential for building enterprise software or some gargantuan projects, but they’re fundamental for small and mid-size business owners striving to launch a web app fast and for low costs. So, let’s discover the career opportunities for those who chose Ruby and its framework as their principal domain knowledge.
Suppose that some good RoR engineer is looking for a job. The worst scenario for him or her is to face a lack of job offerings at all. On the other hand, having too many options to choose from means bigger career perspectives but is the evidence of talent shortage on the market. As of the end of 2018, Rails is one of the most much-in-demand frameworks throughout the US. If we narrow down the focus on startup cities like San Francisco, we’ll get more mentions in RoR job postings compared to its alternatives represented by Django or Spring. For sure, job searching services may differ in the exact numbers but, in general, Ruby on Rails experts are in high demand. We checked it using LinkedIn and got almost 1K job offerings. Moreover, versatile experts predict its growth in the future.
If we take globally, the hourly rate of an experienced RoR programmer ranges from $40 to $160. Different web sources show different values. For example, the average yearly salary according to Simplyhired is $122K, while YouWorth insists on almost $138K. The latest survey conducted by StackOverflow says that Ruby is associated with the highest salaries worldwide (10th with $64K). In the US, Ruby experts earn more ($100K), but it’s $15 grand away from the title of a top-rated programming language, which is shared by Erlang and Scala.
At first glance, both market demand and salary rate show that building a career of a RoR engineer is full of perspectives. But is it from a long-run viewpoint?
Today, numerous web development companies like Railsware are in need of proficient talents. Recruiters are almost fighting for great RoR engineers, and that state of affairs is going to be observed in the coming years as well. Still, we live in the age of very fast growing technologies, and having domain knowledge oriented at a single framework may make a professional obsolete. Rails is awesome and keeps attracting startups with its benefits like easy-to-use for testing and rapid prototyping. At the same time, the evolution of other technologies, as well as a point of focus in the society, may cause other frameworks or tools coming up to the arena. A good software engineer should always be open to learning new things. Even if there is no sign that something jeopardizes the Ruby on Rails position on the market, having knowledge of Node.js or the Go language is always a trump card.