(From Freelancers To Outsourcing To Hiring Full-Time Remote Developers)
Ruby on Rails is still a viable option for your business. When compared to its counterparts, Laravel and Django, it has over twice the amount of contributors on GitHub resulting in a more capable and robust community.
There is continued demand for Ruby On Rails (RoR) developers, with 60,518 US job openings as of August 2021.
Consistent demand for a skill like RoR leads to a larger talent pool, which will make it easier for you to hire the best talent.
The topic of hiring developers has been covered extensively, but this article drills down further focusing exclusively on the topic of how to hire Ruby-on-Rails developers and the intricacies that brings.
Looking at hiring through the lens of a specific technology, programming language, or framework such as Ruby on Rails, offers new insights and a greater understanding of what’s required at each stage of the process.
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is written in Ruby, a dynamic, general-purpose programming language. Ruby on Rails, however, is a framework, not a language. Most people confuse the two.
When you hire Ruby developers, they may have experience with other frameworks in addition to RoR.
Ruby only gained momentum as a programming language following the launch of Ruby on Rails.
Ruby on Rails was created in 2004, so there is no shortage of talented Ruby on Rails developers for hire.
This article explores the reasons why you would choose Ruby on Rails for your business, discussing the benefits and typical uses, as well as noting some of the most famous examples of companies that use RoR in their stack.
We’ll detail the best method of finding talented Ruby on Rails programmers, ensuring you get the best talent for your team.
We’ll also look at some of the non-technical and technical aspects of interviewing a RoR developer.
Once your new talent is in place, you’ll need to manage them effectively. This article features some guidelines on how to manage a new remote hire or an entire team of remote developers, including remote payroll management tips.
Let’s get started by looking at why you would choose to use Ruby on Rails in the first place.
Why Use Ruby on Rails?
Countless applications are built with the Ruby on Rails framework. Shopify, Airbnb, Twitch, and SoundCloud are all well-known examples of Ruby on Rails apps.
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is completely open source. More than 5,000 people have contributed to RoR making it a robust and well-maintained open-source framework with many Ruby on Rails experts keeping it up to date and performant.
Ruby on Rails simplifies repetitive tasks, allowing for rapid development. This means you can create a POC (proof of concept) and MVP (minimum viable product) quickly.
Find out more reasons why you might want to select Ruby on Rails for web development.
Benefits of Ruby on Rails
The Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020 names Ruby the 14th most popular programming language in the world with 7.1% of respondents being Ruby on Rails developers.
The number of live websites created using Ruby on Rails is almost 900,000 worldwide, and this number is growing.
This popularity is due to the many benefits Ruby on Rails development can bring to your business.
Ruby on Rails:
- Is time-efficient, with many existing plugins and modules that allow developers to skip writing repetitive code
- Is low-cost thanks to its status as an open-source framework distributed under the MIT license
- Is secure, boasting many security features built into the framework by default
- Promotes bug-free development with excellent testing tools, such as Minitest, coming built-in with the framework
- Features a strong community and continued support thanks to its widespread adoption by major tech companies, resulting in countless Ruby on Rails code examples being available
- Promotes consistency, with developers having to follow standardized programming conventions leading to a well-structured project
Now that we’ve covered the potential Ruby on Rails benefits you can enjoy by adopting the framework, let’s look at some of the most common uses for Ruby on Rails.
What Are Some Typical Uses for Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a popular framework for lots of use cases.
Here are some of the most common:
MVPs (minimum viable products) - RoR is an excellent choice for the cost-effective and rapid development of MVPs. The framework is also often used for prototyping, trialing updates, and testing different versions of applications before building a fully functional Ruby on Rails app.
eCommerce Platforms - RoR is the framework of choice for many eCommerce platforms like Shopify, thanks to its flexibility, low cost, and speed of development. Shopify is just one example of the many Ruby on Rails eCommerce platforms. RoR is also scalable by nature and can manage a lot of transactions at one time.
Social Networking Apps - RoR is fantastic for the development of social networking, like Twitter, as it can support applications that receive heavy traffic. This fact applies to booking apps like Airbnb and Couchsurfing, which are also great examples of Ruby on Rails web development.
Platforms that Support Complex Databases - If your platform requires extensive database use and hosting capabilities, RoR may be the best choice. The best example of this is GitHub, the largest Git repository platform.
Ruby on Rails and DevOps - Ruby on Rails DevOps pipelines are also supported, as shown by this quick start guide from Microsoft.
As you can see, there are lots of possible uses for Ruby on Rails, and we’ve only mentioned a few. RoR is used by almost a million websites globally (including by major technology companies) and Ruby on Rails’ popularity as a framework continues to grow.
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How to Hire Full-Time, Remote Ruby on Rails Developers: Hire Right the First Time
When hiring a Ruby on Rails developer, there are a number of steps to consider:
- Find a full-time remote developer with Ruby on Rails experience through job sites, RoR communities, social networks, or tech-enabled recruitment companies.
- Determine your budget for the position, as this will influence what countries you can afford to hire from.
- Write a job description to attract the best Ruby on Rails talent.
- Interview the candidate
- Test the technical skills of the candidate.
- Check the references of the candidate.
- Create a bulletproof contract and make an attractive job offer.
You can hire full-time remote Ruby on Rails developers for:
- Planning a new business
- Updating an existing website or app
- Team augmentation
- Consult on a project for your business
- Create a POC
- Develop a MVP
- Create an eCommerce platform
What Experience Level Do You Need?
Junior Ruby on Rails Developer - A junior RoR developer will typically have 0 to 1 years of experience with a programming language and should possess a decent knowledge of web frameworks and MVC architecture.
Mid-Level Ruby on Rails Developer - At this level, 1 to 3 years of experience with Ruby on Rails or other MVC-based web frameworks is expected.
Senior Ruby on Rails Developer - Senior RoR developers will typically have 5 years of development experience and extensive knowledge of Ruby on Rails. They should demonstrate clear expertise of the framework and may have acted as a lead Ruby on Rails developer on a past project.
Identify Your Ultimate Ruby on Rails Developer or Development Team
You have to consider many things when hiring your ultimate Ruby on Rails engineer, or an entire team of engineers.
Here are just a few considerations:
Single Developer or Team
- Will the new developer integrate well with your existing team?
- Does one team member naturally assume a leadership role?
- What is their preferred method for communication?
- How does this team gel together and what is their typical work process?
- Does the developer have previous experience working for any Ruby on Rails development companies?
- What level of the English does the developer need in order to communicate with their teammates?
- Will they be capable of communicating complex technical ideas in English?
Knowledge Level and Qualifications
- How much do they know about Ruby on Rails programming?
- What evidence can they show you to demonstrate their knowledge?
- Define your must-have qualifications.
- Define your nice-to-have qualifications.
- Does the Ruby on Rails web developer have a complete knowledge of MVC architecture?
Experience and Companies
- What companies have they worked with in the past, and were any of them dedicated Ruby on Rails companies?
- Do they have direct experience with Ruby On Rails?
- What notable projects have they worked on in the past that relate to Ruby on Rails app development?
Development Process and Skills
- What is their typical development process?
- How well do they problem-solve?
- Are they able to create websites and applications with RoR efficiently?
- What technologies and frameworks would you like the developer to have?
Milestones and Flexibility
- Can the developer meet regular milestones to ensure they're still on track?
- How will they be held accountable?
- How flexible is their schedule?
- How flexible are they in their coding approach and ability to change and adapt?
- How reliable are they?
- What do past employers and references say about them?
Attitude and Mindset
- Are they open-minded about your needs, specifications, and expectations?
- Do they have a positive attitude throughout the interview process?
- Could they mentor and guide new additions to the team?
- Do they fit with your organization’s culture?
- Do they share the values that are important to your organization?
- Will they work well with your existing team members?
Interview Questions To Ask Each Developer
When interviewing developers, there are different types of questions you must ask.
While their technical ability is paramount to the success they will achieve at your organization, you must not overlook the other aspects that make an employee a great performer.
Let’s look at some of the interview questions Ruby on Rails developers can expect.
Personality and Behavioral Questions:
Here are some common personality interview questions that you can ask candidates...
- If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be?
- Can you tell me about a time when you went above and beyond in your job?
- What drives you in your professional life?
- Tell me about a stressful scenario in the past and how you handled it.
- Describe a time when you dealt with change.
- What made this job listing stand out from the other Ruby on Rails junior developer jobs?
Previous Work Experience Questions:
Here are some questions you can ask about a candidate’s previous work experience...
- What work experience do you have that prepares you for this position?
- What do you think you’ll like most about this job? And what do you think you’ll dislike?
- Can you walk me through your resume?
- How does your work experience qualify you for this position?
- What previous project you’ve worked on most closely relates to this position?
Punctuality and Reliability Questions:
- These questions will help you gauge whether the candidate will be consistent, work reliably, and turn up to all required meetings on time:
- How do you prioritize your work?
- Describe a time when you took on additional responsibilities to meet tight deadlines.
- Have you ever disagreed with a colleague? How did you resolve it?
- What is one mistake you made on the job? How did you fix it?
- Can you describe a time when you were unable to complete an important project or task in time? What did you do?
- It can be difficult to gauge a candidate's technical ability. Ask them these Ruby on Rails questions to ascertain their knowledge of the framework:
- What do subdirectory app/controllers and app/helpers do?
- What command can you use to create a controller for the subject?
- What are some unique characteristics of Ruby on Rails programming?
- What is the Rails controller?
- How can you protect Rails against cross-site request forgery?
- What does garbage collection do in Ruby on Rails?
- What are some advantages of using Ruby on Rails?
- How does Ruby on Rails software development differ from traditional software development?
Hiring Ruby on Rails Developers From Various Countries: Latin America vs Africa vs Eastern Europe vs India vs Asia (Which Is Best?)
Are you wondering where to find Ruby on Rails developers? Lots of factors will influence where you decide to hire your full-time remote Ruby on Rails programmer from.
A developer’s location may influence:
- Availability based on time-zone differences
Quality of Code
- How well they communicate in English
We’re going to focus on hiring remote developers as opposed to hiring an entire Ruby on Rails development firm.
Let’s take a closer look at each region and how a location can influence your hiring decision.
Latin America is an excellent region for hiring top Ruby on Rails developers.
Software developers in Latin America are highly skilled, great communicators, and committed to sticking to timelines.
The average salary of a Ruby on Rails developer in Latin America is low, offering great value for money.
Brazil and other countries in Latin America have invested highly in their software development sector. This has provided many promising opportunities for students to study software engineering, and has led to a vast talent pool.
Let’s compare the time zones of some Latin American countries to US Eastern, Central, and Pacific time zones:
Africa is often overlooked when discussing international tech talent pools.
However, Uganda is probably the country with the largest group of untapped, skilled software developers and may be a place to start your search for a RoR developer in Africa.
Uganda has some of the best information technology and computer science universities in Africa, such as the Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Kampala International University.
However, Africa is still very much emerging in this space, and has yet to create a reputation as a real contender when compared to other regions.
A Ruby on Rails developer salary in Uganda is very low, which may seem like a major benefit when you hire developers in Africa. Unfortunately, these low-cost offerings usually have issues with code quality and communication, two factors that are vital to the success of your project.
We compare the time zone of Uganda to US Eastern, Central, and Pacific time zones below:
Eastern Europe is a very popular source of full-time remote Ruby on Rails developers.
The region boasts a well-established infrastructure for remote work, complete with a vast talent pool of tech talent.
According to the English Proficiency Index, most Eastern European countries have moderate to high English proficiency levels.
However, the average salary for Ruby on Rails developers in Ukraine is quite high when compared to the other regions we have mentioned, making it the most expensive option available.
Let’s see what the time zone differences are between some Eastern European countries and the US time zones:
Let’s cover everything you need to know about Ruby on Rails development in India.
India is the first country people think of when it comes to hiring international technical talent. This is primarily due to the low prices for developers and the RoR software development services they offer.
The typical salary for a Ruby on Rails developer in India is low compared to other regions. These low costs are why so many people consider hiring from this area.
India has always been focused on attracting business from international markets and adapting its software development practices to the needs of foreign companies, making it a popular destination for offshore Ruby on Rails development.
However, the difference in time zones between India and the United States is approximately 12 hours, which is incredibly inconvenient for both the employee and employer.
If there are any communication issues with your talent based in India, you will have to wait another 12 hours for a reply. This wasted time adds up quickly and can delay your business or project plans significantly.
These potential issues should play a role in your decision to hire Rail developers from this region.
This is shown in the table below:
So you want to hire RoR developers from Asia?
China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and The Philippines are popular locations for hiring remote developers.
Many of the countries mentioned put a lot of emphasis on ESL (English as a second language) and learn English from a young age, resulting in many regions scoring highly on the English First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI).
Singapore is ranked at 10th place in the EF EPI. You might consider finding a Ruby on Rails developer in Singapore because of this.
However, there are some challenges with these countries. Many have tropical climates and frequent storms that can cause power interruptions and cancel work.
The cost of developers from these regions can vary greatly. Make sure you investigate what the typical cost of hiring a remote developer from each country should be. For example, the cost of hiring a Ruby on Rails developer in The Philippines will be different from hiring a RoR developer from Singapore.
Be mindful of the time differences involved when you hire Ruby on Rails developers from this region.
We have summarized the time zone information in the table below:
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Ruby on Rails Developer?
The cost of hiring a Ruby on Rails developer can be drastically different, depending on where you choose to hire from.
We’ve researched the hourly rate of a Ruby on Rails developer based on their location. These costs are only a guide.
Remember that other factors can influence cost as well. For example, a junior Ruby on Rails developer salary will be drastically lower than the salary of someone with more experience.
The cost of hiring the best Ruby on Rails developers can also differ greatly from region to region.
Here are the hourly rates for each region according to PayScale: (Find out how PayScale gets its salary data here.)
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Hiring Rails Developers: 6 Common Mistakes To Avoid
After you find Ruby on Rails developers that you think could be a good fit, you’ll have to bring them through the hiring process. Making a mistake during the hiring process can be time-intensive and costly.
We have listed the 6 most common mistakes companies make when hiring Ruby developers—and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Pre-Screening Candidates Thoroughly
Always pre-screen the candidate by hopping on a 15-minute phone call to ensure they are still interested in the role and to verify the information on their resume.
Mistake #2: Using an Incomplete Job Description
Provide a complete job description with clear roles and responsibilities. This results in better applications coming in, since candidates know exactly what they’re applying for.
For example, if you need a junior Ruby on Rails developer with remote working experience, make this clear in the job description.
Failure to do so will result in your inbox being flooded with irrelevant applications.
Mistake #3: Poorly Prepared and Managed Interviews
Poor preparation combined with a lack of authority and professionalism can have disastrous effects in an interview and may dissuade candidates from joining your team.
Prepare the questions you will ask the candidate in advance, making sure to ask each candidate a similar set of questions so that the interview is balanced and fair.
Mistake #4: Frustrating Technical Challenges
Convoluted technical interviews can frustrate applicants. Strike a balance that allows you to test your candidates in a healthy way with valid challenges.
Make sure to test a Ruby on Rails junior developer differently than you would a more senior developer.
Mistake #5: Hiring Someone Based Only on Their Resume
Never hire a developer based on their resume alone. Most candidates exaggerate the achievements listed on their resumes. This is a reality of the modern hiring process.
Include additional steps in your hiring process like pre-interview screening calls and technical tests to get a better understanding of the candidate’s abilities.
Mistake #6: Not Checking References
When a candidate has completed your interview process with ease and it appears they will make a stellar addition to your team, it can be tempting to forgo checking their references.
Make sure you get a second opinion by contacting a candidate's past employers to gauge their reliability and skill level.
How to Manage Your Developer or Development Team
Managing a team of developers (on-site or remote) can be challenging. Whether you have hired a single developer or an entire Ruby on Rails development company, here are some rules that can help improve the chances of success for your project:
Set Out Clear Workflows and Processes
Select a workflow or process that works for your business and communicate it clearly to the new developer.
For example, the Agile Scrum methodology is a very popular framework for managing technical work. Many developers will have experience with both Ruby on Rails and Agile development.
Use Effective Tools
You can use a variety of tools to improve the management and workflow of your developer or development team.
Check out these examples below:
Project Management - Trello, Jira, Todoist, Notion, Basecamp
Chat/Meetings - Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams
Storage - Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive
Get Weekly Summaries of Work Completed
Get transparent updates in the form of weekly or monthly reports that will detail exactly what each member of the team has worked on. It is helpful to have this documentation on hand.
Consider One-on-One Meetings
One-on-one meetings allow you to get your employee’s feedback on how their job is going. The meetings will also help you meet your developer’s needs so they can be successful.
This is especially important for remote junior Ruby on Rails developers as they will need more mentoring and guidance compared to senior developers.
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Remote Payroll Management Tips for Your Offshore Development Team
Managing the payroll of your full-time remote developers or entire Ruby on Rails development team can be a laborious task, especially when you have to consider the tax implications of the country they reside in.
If you partner with tech-enabled recruitment companies, like Revelo, to hire remote, full-time developers, payroll management is handled by the recruitment company on your behalf.
These tech-enabled recruitment companies typically focus on talent within a specific region, like Latin America in the case of Revelo.
Your workday is made much easier because these recruitment companies take care of salary, benefits, legal matters, and perks.
If you’re choosing to hire remote developers, here are some common remote payroll software solutions:
- Papaya Global
These examples feature an easy-to-understand user interface, which is intuitive to both the employee and employer.
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Which Companies Use Ruby on Rails?
Many major companies use Ruby on Rails. Check out this list of well-known companies that use the Ruby on Rails framework to deliver massive value to their customers every day:
As you can see, there are many companies that use the framework to build complex, traffic-heavy applications.
Onboarding New Developers: 10-Point Checklist
For your new Ruby on Rails dev to be successful, you will need to provide them with the necessary environment and tools that will allow them to deliver value from day one.
Consider this 10-point checklist when going to onboard RoR developers:
Computer Set-Up: Make sure your new developer has a machine capable of supporting your systems and infrastructure.
Communication Mediums: How you plan on communicating on a daily basis. Typical channels include email, phone, messaging applications, and team management software.
Task Management Software: How you keep track of tasks. Typical software applications for this are Jira, Trello, and Asana.
Work Environment: Provide recommendations on creating the optimal working space for the new team member to ensure they feel happy working from home.
Taking Breaks: Make sure your new hire knows how their break time is structured.
Working Posture: They should have an adequate office chair that supports their posture, with their monitors at eye level.
Version Control: How you will track changes in the software development project. GitHub and GitLab are often used by software engineers.
Financial Details: Make sure you have all of the necessary information to pay your new hire. This includes bank account details, tax ID number, address, phone, emergency contact, etc.
Company Policy: Make sure your dev understands the company policies on punctuality, communication, and reporting—and how to adhere to these on a daily basis.
Access: Make sure your new hire has the required security credentials to access whatever part of the system they need to.
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Ruby on Rails Alternatives
Here are some popular Ruby on Rails alternatives that may be better suited to your business or project idea.
Ruby on Rails for PHP developers is a viable transition to make, as the technologies share a lot in common.
- Django is an open-source MVC framework for Python
- Easy and flexible to use
- Easy data management practices
- Laravel is a lightweight PHP development platform and a comparison can be made between PHP and Ruby on Rails
- Open-source, MVC architecture
- Detail-oriented documentation when comparing Ruby on Rails vs. PHP
- Automated testing, error handling, and authentication services
- ASP.NET MVC is an open-source framework by Microsoft written in C#
- Brings MVC architecture to ASP.NET
- Highly performative, Windows-based full-stack development tool
- Easy to update and maintain
- Supports many external database engines
Where do I find top Ruby on Rails developers for my project?
You can find international talent offering their Ruby on Rails development services from locations such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.
How do I hire a Ruby on Rails developer in 2021?
You can hire a Ruby on Rails programmer using traditional job sites, freelancing platforms, or more specialized, tech-enabled Ruby on Rails recruiters.
How much would it cost to hire a Ruby on Rails developer?
The cost of hiring a RoR developer varies greatly depending on the region you hire from.
What skills should I look for in a Ruby on Rails developer before hiring?
When looking for a Ruby on Rails developer, seek someone that has direct experience with the framework, along with more general programming and web development skills.
In this article, we have examined each stage of hiring a Ruby-on-Rails developer.
We summarized the different regions you can hire developers from, such as Eastern Europe and Latin America, and the different implications of hiring from each region.
When it comes to hiring developers that know Ruby on Rails, remote options are your best bet, guaranteeing you a better selection of candidates and more options.
We’ve gone through some best practices for the interview stage, which will result in you hiring a better candidate for your company.
We also covered the best methods and tools for managing your Ruby on Rails developer or an entire development team.
With this knowledge, you can go out and hire a RoR developer that will add value to your business immediately.
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Further Resource: Alternative to Staff Augmentation Companies