“Maybe Python or Go is a better choice? Or even Javascript?” If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, this post is for you.

When I was learning how to code in 2016, Ruby on Rails was trending and every startup was using it. It was obvious that learning Rails would be an easy way to get my first dev job. We’re in 2021, though, and things have changed.

The answer to “Is Rails still relevant?” depends on your situation:

  • if you’re looking for your first dev job, it depends on how fast you need one. Python and JavaScript seem to have more low-barrier entry to beginners. It’s not as if there aren’t junior Rails devs jobs! I saw lots of junior opportunities at Rails Conf, for example.
  • if you’re an experienced dev wanting to work on more complex problems using a sophisticated tool, absolutely yes.

The question then becomes “what kind of opportunities are there for Rails devs in 2021?".

Is there still a market for Ruby on Rails?

The reason why Rails seems to be ‘paused’ is because there are not lots of things to keep improving it. You can see this as a good thing, though: it’s a stable framework!

Rails is a proven, well-understood, and stable web dev standard. That’s what makes it popular.

That means learning Rails can give you the opportunities to work with:

  • Existing established companies that won’t throw away their Rails code. A few examples: Github, Shopify, Vimeo, Clio;

  • Small businesses that don’t care which tech stack you build their products;;

  • Early-stage companies adopting Rails. A few examples: circle.so, orbit.love, meetcleo.com.

So if any of these markets look like what you’d be happy working with, then you can invest your time learning Rails without worrying there aren’t gonna have jobs for you.


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