The creators of Ruby on Rails declared it an open-source framework in 2004, and it has gained considerable popularity since then. It’s a powerful framework that can help you do a lot very quickly.
For example, you can easily create a peer-to-peer video calling app like Skype using Ruby on Rails. You can also create modern apps using AngularJS on the frontend and Ruby on Rails on the backend.
Its ease of use and popularity has prompted many programmers to learn Ruby on Rails over the years. You can certainly find lots of Ruby on Rails programmers out there today. This might give the impression that you can easily hire developers for a Rails project. In reality, hiring such developers is more complex.
The key to resolving this dilemma lies in carefully reviewing your project and business requirements. Before that, another key question demands your attention. How best to evaluate a Ruby on Rails developer? We suggest that you look for the following skills:
In many ways, Ruby on Rails is quite different from other server-side web development frameworks. You are using this framework primarily to reduce the time and effort you need to build a web application.
Consider the focus on “convention over configuration” in Ruby on Rails. If you follow the naming conventions that the framework suggests, then you don’t need to write lengthy configuration-related code. This can save a lot of time for developers. However, programmers need to know the framework quite well to take advantage of its strengths.
Look for developers with the following skills:
- Ruby on Rails framework;
- Common libraries like Capybara, RSpec, and Resque;
- Ruby syntax and its intricacies;
- Object-oriented programming;
- Server-side templating languages like Liquid;
- Server-side CSS processing.
Effective Ruby on Rails programmers need to have a few more skills too. Look for the following sills:
- HTML5 and CSS3;
- The knowledge of concepts like “Model-View-Controller” (MVC), “Object Relational Management”
(ORM) frameworks, etc.;
- Minitest, a popular testing tool for Ruby.
Note: Depending on your business requirements, you could offer features that use cutting-edge technologies. You would then need to look for associated skills, which aren’t necessarily Ruby on Rails skills. For example, look for Python skills if you require “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) development. Here, we focus on Ruby on Rails and associated skills.
A successful Ruby on Rails developer will need several other skills too, which are as follows:
You will likely process some form of sensitive data in your web app. Given the focus on data security and privacy these days, you would need to secure your app. Look for the following skills:
- The ability to mitigate key application security vulnerabilities like injection, broken authentication, etc.;
- The knowledge of tools and techniques like multi-factor authentication (MFA), encryption, etc.;
- The skills to secure the 1st party APIs;
- The knowledge of best practices related to coding.
A full-stack web developer or a mobile app developer must know lots about application security if your product is to be secure.
You need RESTful API development skills when you hire Ruby on Rails developers. Note that we aren’t talking about 3rd party APIs here, rather, we are talking about developing your own 1st party APIs.
APIs help the front-end of your app to access the back-end using a consistent framework. You can also scale your development process with the help of APIs. “REST”, which stands for “Representational State Transfer”, is the de-facto standard for API development.
Hire Rails experts that can use appropriate tools for API development. They should be able to use modern databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc. to create the backend. You will likely use a cloud platform, and they should be able to host APIs using it.
The Ruby developer you hire needs to secure the APIs they develop. Such a developer should know how to use tools and techniques like authentication tokens, encryption, digital signature, quotas, throttling, etc. for this. Knowledgeable developers should know how to design API endpoint URLs smartly, moreover, they should be able to formulate effective rules for API requests and responses.
Look for developers that have familiarity with cloud platforms. Using a cloud platform can help you to focus on design and development instead of infrastructure management. Since you are developing a web application, you can use a “Platform-as-a-Service” (PaaS) platform.
Popular PaaS platforms like AWS Elastic Beanstalk or Heroku manage the cloud infrastructure, networking, storage, operating system, middleware, and runtime environment. This enables you to focus on development.
Such reputed PaaS platforms typically offer robust DevOps tools. They help you to integrate APIs and scale your app. The good news is that most of the experienced Ruby on Rails developers know about these PaaS platforms.
You need developers that know how to make your project a success. Look for the following skills:
- Code review: Code review can catch many defects that testing can’t. Application security vulnerabilities are prominent examples.
- Coding in alignment with the UI design: A successful programmer knows how to code in perfect alignment with the UI design.
- Coding in line with the architectural decisions: Experienced programmers know that their code should align with the software architectural decisions in the project.
- Collaboration: Effective programmers proactively collaborate with testers and DevOps engineers so that the project can have an effective CI/CD environment.
Now that you know the skills you should look for, you need to start the hiring process.
Make no mistake! Ruby on Rails is an easy-to-use and versatile framework, however, web development using this framework isn’t necessarily easy. Of course, developing an eCommerce app could be easy. However, most projects tend to be more complex.
Your hiring decisions directly influence the success of your web application development project. Choose your hiring platform carefully.
Freelancer sites are very popular for small projects. While they don’t focus exclusively on software development, these platforms have large networks of freelancers. You can hire Ruby on Rails
developers on these platforms, moreover, you might even be able to negotiate a low rate.
These platforms don’t provide any project management support though. Freelancers try to earn more by working on multiple projects simultaneously which can cause delays and problems. Some deduct fees of up to 20% which can be demotivating to freelancers.
Alternatively, some freelancer platforms focus specifically on software development, and many have a developer vetting process. This is good news as you are more likely to get programmers of a higher quality.
Unfortunately, these platforms don’t provide any management support so you need to manage the risks associated with freelancers. Managing time zone differences can be hard even with full-time developers, and it’s certainly harder with part-time freelancers.
The best option is to hire a developer through a software development company such as DevTeam.Space. We can provide Ruby on Rails developers for your application development project.
Our efficient and transparent contracting processes can help your recruiter dramatically cut down the lead in time to onboarding a great developer. DevTeam.Space also implements
technical, procedural, and physical safeguards to protect your sensitive data. For example, we make our developers sign a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” (NDA).
2. Interview the shortlisted candidates
After you choose a hiring platform, you need to interview the shortlisted candidates. Get someone with knowledge of Ruby on Rails if you don’t know this framework enough. You can also find interview questions on the Internet.
In addition to covering all the skill areas we have mentioned, you need to evaluate the project experience of the candidate. Check whether they have worked on complex projects and ask how they dealt with the complexities. You could ask them to show the apps they developed using the Rails framework.
Explain your project requirements and ask them to explain how they would approach the project. Don’t satisfy yourself with anything but comprehensive responses. Ask them to show tangible aspects of how they would achieve your project requirements.
Information is the key to the success of any product development, and your developers need it too. Provide all the information relevant to the project, which includes requirements and design documents. You need to explain the roles and responsibilities, deliverables, and the technical environment clearly.
Give access to all the relevant tools like your GitHub repository. Explain your quality management processes, milestones, communication process, and the payment T&Cs. Introduce the developers you hire to your existing team and foster a spirit of collaboration. Establish accountability standards and measures.
Keep the following interview tips in mind when you hire RoR developers:
Remember that Ruby is a dynamically typed language. That makes Ruby highly flexible and Ruby on Rails very powerful. However, inexperienced developers working on Rails development projects can make variable type-related errors.
You need sufficiently experienced developers in a Rails development project. That’s easier said than done! Assessing the real experience of developers can be hard. It’s harder if you interview freelancers.
Therefore, hire RoR developers from companies like DevTeam.Space that provide credible Ruby on Rails development services. Trusted Rails services companies like us do the “heavy lifting” for you by vetting programmers.
A great advantage of Ruby on Rails is the productivity gain that it offers. You should indeed try to maximize the productivity of your Ruby on Rails development teams. For this, you need to hire Ruby developers with in-depth knowledge of the framework.
Hiring RoR developers like that can be hard if you look for freelancers. You will find it hard to assess the relevant experience of freelance Ruby on Rails developers.
Therefore, hire from a trusted Rails development company like DevTeam.Space. We already follow stringent screening measures for our developers.
C. Focus on the important Ruby on Rails developer’s skills and not everything else
Remember that Ruby on Rails is a highly popular open-source framework. Also, Ruby is known as an exciting one among programming languages.
Therefore, many Ruby developers enthusiastically create excellent open-source tools for it. Ruby on Rails engineers have a wide choice of useful tools to use.
However, you don’t need all of these tools for all RoR web development projects. You will likely need only a few that cater to your software development project well.
Look for skills on those relevant tools only. Even the top Ruby on Rails developers don’t know every one of the open-source tools for RoR. Prioritize and focus on the important skills only.
Focus on assessing the hands-on knowledge of Ruby on Rails programmers, and ask questions accordingly. Check out the following examples of interview questions:
Answer: Some of the common Ruby on Rails scripts are Rails Console, WEBrick Web Server, Generators, and Migrations.
Answer: The syntax is as follows:
class ClientsController < ApplicationController
Answer: Yes, garbage collection issues can create security issues. There are immortal symbols in Ruby. The garbage collection process doesn’t work on these. There’s a possibility that many immortal symbols will be created in an app. Cybercriminals can exploit them to launch a DoS (Denial of Service) attack.
Review our Ruby on Rails interview questions and answers for more examples.
Ruby on Rails is a very promising framework, however, creating an app using it can often be complex. You should hire developers with all the relevant experience and skills.
Why not take a few minutes and fill out our DevTeam.Space product specification form and a dedicated account manager will contact you to tell you more about our process and the expert Ruby on Rails developers in our DevTeam.Space community.