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App Development
7 minutes read

Is Ruby on Rails Dead in 2021?

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
7 minutes read

Developers around the world are wondering, is Ruby on Rails dead? Web development technologies advance rapidly, and you don’t want to build a project using Ruby on Rails if the future of this technology is questionable. So let’s set the record straight, is Ruby on Rails dead? 

No, Ruby on Rails is not dead, and it is still a great choice for building web apps. Let’s take a closer look at why some people ask if Ruby on Rails is dead, show you why Rails is not dead or dying, and explore the projects Ruby on Rails is used for every day. 

Why People Ask if Ruby on Rails is Dead

Ruby on Rails was initially released back in 2005. That doesn’t sound like a long time ago, but in the technology sector, things advance quickly, and technology can get outdated fast. Rails is written in Ruby, which is a programming language close to a decade older than Rails. None of this is to say that Ruby on Rails is outdated because it is not, but the age of this framework is where the question of is Ruby on Rails dead begins. 

Another reason why you might see or hear people ask if Ruby on Rails is dead is that there is a lot of new web development framework competition. There is nothing wrong with competition. It drives innovation and leads to advancement. However, when there is more competition, it is hard for one technology to dominate the conversation. Lack of dominance may create the false sense that something is dying or already dead. 

Finally, people in the technology sector love fresh things. The latest advancements receive the most attention, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best. New technologies are interesting. When Ruby on Rails was initially released, it was the fresh, latest tech advancement that had everyone excited. Now Ruby on Rails is a well-established technology. It enjoys widespread use and stability, but it doesn’t enjoy the sense of being the newest advancement anymore. 

There are still plenty of projects, startups, and major tech companies that use Ruby on Rails, and the future of this framework is very strong. Outside observers might get the sense that Ruby on Rails is dead because it no longer generates the buzz it once did when it was a brand new technology, but that is part of becoming a well-established web development technology. 

Why Ruby on Rails is Far From Dead

Ruby on Rails is far from dead, but you don’t just have to take our word for it. There are a few good indicators that you can look at to determine the health and longevity of any technology, including:

  • Updates and maintenance 
  • Community 
  • Use cases 

Let’s see how the future of Ruby on Rails looks. 

Updates and Maintenance

Regular updates and maintenance are a part of any technology. If a framework is receiving updates and maintenance, this is a good sign. It means that people are interested in it and want to make sure that it is keeping up with innovations and other updates. As soon as a technology, whether it be hardware, software, a programming language, or a framework, stops receiving regular updates and maintenance, it is dying or already dead. 

Ruby on Rails gets updated regularly. The Ruby on Rails team and developers around the world help add key features to the framework to ensure that it is kept up to date. Without updates and maintenance, Ruby on Rails would not be able to keep web applications running. 

You can be sure that Ruby on Rails is not dead because there are a lot of people still working on improving and maintaining this web development framework. 

Community 

Ruby on Rails is an open-source framework. Open-source technologies rely on community support for a number of different things, but an active and engaged community is a surefire sign that a technology is alive and well. Ruby on Rails not only has a large online community of developers and enthusiasts, but this community is also growing

You can find a number of different Rails forums online in places such as Github, Reddit, and StackOverflow. This community is a valuable resource in troubleshooting, finding aid for advanced tasks, and sharing information and ideas. Technologies that are dying either have no community support or a very small community that continuously dwindles in size. 

It is clear that Ruby on Rails is not dead because the online community for Rails continues to grow year after year. 

Use Cases

It is generally very easy to tell when a framework no longer has any practical value or use. The best indicator is businesses. Businesses, especially tech companies, tend to be the earliest adopters of new technologies and the first ones to abandon technologies that are no longer providing a clear benefit. 

That being said, Ruby on Rails has many uses. There are a ton of Ruby on Rails use cases that you could explore, but it speaks volumes that companies like established tech giants Soundcloud, Shopify, Github, and Airbnb use Ruby on Rails as their main technology. This is not only an endorsement of Ruby on Rails by some of the leaders in the technology sector, but it is also the clearest indication that Ruby on Rails is far from dead. 

Projects Rails is Used for Every Day

Web developers use Ruby on Rails for a wide variety of projects. The framework’s flexibility helps ensure that it is far from dead. While Ruby on Rails is an exceptional web development framework, it really shines in the following settings:

  • Agile development
  • eCommerce 
  • Content management systems 

Agile Development 

Ruby prioritizes convention over configuration, and Ruby on Rails is written in Ruby. This makes Rails a great choice for agile development and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). This is a big reason why many startups choose to work with Ruby on Rails over other technologies. 

With Ruby on Rails, stunning web applications can be developed efficiently at or under budget. Plus, Ruby on Rails is scalable, giving your business’s digital assets the ability to grow quickly when the need arises. 

eCommerce

Obviously, Ruby on Rails is a great choice for eCommerce websites if eCommerce giant Shopify uses this framework. Rails is a great choice in eCommerce settings because it allows developers to easily implement custom pricing algorithms, image resizing tools, and tools for product photos and descriptions.

Rails’ modular approach to website development is a great fit for the development of an eCommerce website because there are so many different pages, products, and images to handle. Ruby on Rails also makes it easy to integrate payment systems with your eCommerce website. 

Content Management Systems 

Ruby on Rails is a perfect fit for content management systems because it is simple to navigate and makes uploading files, images, and content simple. A content management system built on Rails also makes revising, editing, and publishing simple too. 

Web applications built on Ruby on Rails also tend to be search friendly which is good news for SEO and return on investment. 

Final Thoughts 

The question, “is ruby on rails dead?” is a great “buzz” topic in the technology and web development sector, but the reality of the matter is that Ruby on Rails is far from dead. In fact, you could make the argument that Ruby on Rails is thriving thanks to its stability and superior performance in a number of settings. 

Still, this framework might not be the best solution for your project. If you want to learn more about Ruby on Rails and see if it is the right choice for your development project, speak with an app development partner. They can not only help you determine which technology is best suited for your project, but they can also guide you with their industry experience and technical expertise. 

Is Ruby on Rails dead? Not even close.

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