Discover the reasons why programming in Ruby is worthwhile and where to find job opportunities for Ruby developers.
When all else is equal, who do you think finds it easier to land a job: a Java developer, a Ruby developer, or perhaps a software tester?
Despite the large number of job offers for developers, competition remains high. Companies are looking for highly skilled specialists, particularly when it comes to the Ruby language, making it more challenging to secure a truly lucrative opportunity. Software development companies highly value proficient programmers who are adept in popular but not mainstream programming languages.
Such specialists are relatively scarce, and Ruby developers are considered particularly sought-after by talent acquisition specialists. To shed light on why this is the case, as well as the benefits and misconceptions surrounding Ruby being exclusively for startups, we turn to Oleg Bondar, Deputy Head of Talent Acquisition at SOFTSWISS.
Not Mainstream but Effective
According to the TIOBE Index, Python is the most popular language in 2023, with 12.46% of respondents favouring it. As expected, languages like C, C++, Java, and C# are among the leaders. If you’ve been in the IT industry for some time, this probably comes as no surprise.
Does this mean that Python developers have the easiest path to securing desirable job offers? The answer is both yes and no. The popularity of a language is never solely determined by its intrinsic value. If a language ranks first, it indicates demand for product development. However, the ‘demand-supply’ cycle comes into play, meaning that the more specialists of the same type there are in the market, the less their work is valued.
Indeed, the world’s largest job search aggregator, displays 159,872 job listings for Python. It’s undoubtedly impressive, especially for junior specialists. However, in the vast sea of Python developers, it becomes difficult for an individual developer to stand out. Familiarity with web frameworks like Django, Flask, or Tornado is now considered a basic expectation, and it no longer surprises recruiters when they see it on a candidate’s resume.
While having experience in using Python for solving Data Science and Machine Learning problems can be a plus, there are still numerous developers with such expertise. Consequently, companies have the luxury of carefully selecting the best candidates without haste, without having to fight over each one.
Advantages of Ruby
Ruby, on the other hand, presents a different scenario. While it ranks 18th in the TIOBE popularity list, and 17th in the StackOverflow survey, it has consistently held the 9th position in the RedMonk rating as one of the most popular programming languages over the past decade. It enjoys more demand than such languages as C, Scala, or Go.
Indeed, there are 10,955 job listings for Ruby, significantly fewer than for Python. However, a proficient Ruby developer still has plenty of options to choose from. From a market perspective, this indicates that Ruby is in demand without being swept up in the hype.
It’s worth noting that beginners rarely choose Ruby as their first programming language to learn. As a result, most Ruby developers are seasoned professionals who have honed their skills through backend development, debugging, and deployment challenges.
Ruby experienced a surge in popularity and was even named the “Language of the Year” by TIOBE in 2006. Around the same time, large companies began using Ruby for rapid prototyping and testing hypotheses.
While Ruby has been dubbed the “startup language,” its application extends beyond that realm. Notably, several startups that initially built their products with Ruby have grown into billion-dollar companies we all recognise, such as Airbnb, GitHub, SoundCloud, and Kickstarter.
In the RedMonk global ranking since 2012, Ruby has slipped down four positions. Despite this decline in popularity, it remains a language employed to solve various problems. Furthermore, Ruby still excels at prototyping and has powered multimillion-dollar websites and products.
Why Ruby is Cool
I am not afraid of making such bold statements because Ruby is a highly convenient language. Let me clarify: it’s not perfect, but it’s genuinely good.
Ruby boasts a simple, clear, and concise syntax. This facilitates fast development, and the resulting code is easy to read for anyone with even basic knowledge of English. These are not empty praises: when building a product in Ruby, approximately 25-30% of the time can be saved, which is highly beneficial within the entire development cycle context compared to other programming languages. Ruby is the number one choice for startups where the speed of bringing a solution to production is a decisive factor.
Sceptics may argue, “Okay, time is saved because Ruby requires fewer lines of code. Developers like the language for that reason, but what are the business benefits for companies using it?”
This benefit is essential and directly derived from the speed of writing and editing code. Saved programmer hours equate to saved company money. Within the same timeframe, more hypotheses can be tested, more edits can be made, and more features can be added.
This means getting ahead of competitors and winning the loyalty of your product’s users. Time is saved not only due to the language’s simple syntax but also its cross-platform compatibility. Ruby code runs smoothly across various operating systems and browsers.
Furthermore, Ruby is a fairly secure language, even though it is not classified as a low-level programming language. The creators of Ruby and its frameworks adhere to the Security Development Lifecycle rules, resulting in a relatively low number of security vulnerabilities, according to WhiteSource. This is why Ruby is used in the development of large-scale trading platforms, financial products, and complex SaaS solutions like Basecamp.
While updates for Ruby and its popular framework, Ruby on Rails, are not released frequently, the language continues to thrive. One of the best indicators of this (aside from its adoption by major platforms) is its large and welcoming community. The community even addresses non-fundamental issues, as demonstrated by the Ruby Style Guide gem with contributions from over 3,500 GitHub contributors.
Ruby at SOFTSWISS
At SOFTSWISS, we actively use the Ruby programming language. Our company has 4 offices in 3 countries located in Poland, Malta and Georgia, employing over 1,400 people, with approximately 80 being Ruby developers.
Ruby is extensively employed in the development of our Casino Platform, Affilka, and several internal company products that handle high workloads. Thanks to Ruby solutions, SOFTSWISS built the first iGaming software platform that worked with cryptocurrencies.
Currently, the company has 4 proprietary (non-outsourced) Ruby projects, along with an R&D team that offers opportunities to work on ambitious and interesting tasks within a team of Ruby development experts.
Are there any Ruby job opportunities?
Yes, the demand for Ruby developers is increasing. We are currently looking for 10 more Ruby developers for our projects and are even open to accepting entire teams. This is due to the rapid growth of our company, with an average increase of 80 people per month. We have open Ruby positions ranging from Middle to Tech Lead and Solution Architect.
There is no strict requirement to work from a specific office since SOFTSWISS allows for remote work and flexible time zones. Developers can choose to work from any European country or even popular resort islands. We currently have team members successfully working in Bali and Thailand. Our priority is ensuring the comfort and safety of our employees.