Often times, product owners come to us convinced that the product they want to build needs to be a native app and sometimes they’re spot on. Most of the time though, especially for very early-stage start ups, their ideas can and should be validated as a web app first, if not remain a web app indefinitely. With web apps, you only need to build it once, and anyone on any device can use it. Building and maintaining a code base for iOS and Android simultaneously can be cost prohibitive for some. Web apps a great solution for bootstrapped founders for this reason. At T R I M we usually build web apps with Ruby on Rails, or RoR as the cool kids call it.
Depending on who you ask, some will say that RoR is dead but I assure you it is alive and well. Sure, it’s almost 15 years old at this point, and its popularity might have staggered some, but more than a million websites globally still use it. Heavy hitter like Airbnb, Hulu, Basecamp, GitHub, and Dribbble, are all using RoR. Let’s talk about why Ruby on Rails is not only still relevant, but why it’s the best tool for most jobs.
To start, Ruby is the language and Rails is the framework. Rails makes development fast and easy. This is a grossly over-simplified explanation but Rails provides solutions for tedious tasks like building tables, forms, menus, etc. So rather than having to write each line of code, devs refer to the framework for common functions. Ruby pairs great with Rails because it’s an object-oriented language. Objects are kind of like building blocks that can do different things and they simplify development because engineers have structures to work with and reuse. It’s written in a more intuitive way and usually uses fewer characters. That may seem trivial but saving a few keystrokes per line of code compounds and ends of saving hours and hours of dev time.
So what does that all mean? Simply put, RoR is quick, it’s great for collaboration, and it’s easy to maintain. Developers are able to keep their code cleaner and as result it’s easier to troubleshoot and less prone to bugs. It’s also mature, which is a huge selling point for us at T R I M. Using the latest, shiny new framework can be costly since they’re not as stable as something with 15 years under its belt like RoR.
One word of caution, RoR is a great framework for beginner developers and we love that about it but we strongly recommend hiring seasoned engineers with lots of experience in RoR to tap it’s full potential. When done right, very powerful backends can be built with Ruby on Rails but if you’re working with an inexperienced dev on a complex app you’ll run into costly headaches.
If you’re looking for a shop to build your application, consider hiring us to build it right the first time by harnessing the power of RoR. We can build you an application that is more reliable, easier to maintain, and quicker to scale. With skilled developers behind the wheel of a Ruby on Rails codebase, you can focus on business logic and new features. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with us, reach out to us here and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Let’s build something great together.