Why and when outsource Ruby on Rails development?

Outsource Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails, although it doesn't spark riots on developer forums, is still a valid choice for projects when time is of the essence. And that's exactly the same reason why outsourcing Ruby on Rails developers is usually a better decision than going in-house: reaching out for the support of an external partner is always faster. But is it also better?

In this blog post, we will dive into the details about the nature of Ruby on Rails, discovering what makes it a good choice for developing IT projects, which types of projects will particularly benefit from Ruby on Rails, why it is an "outsourcing-friendly" technology, and when it is the right moment to shake hands with the chosen partner.

Ruby on Rails in tech landscape

While some speculate that Ruby on Rails (RoR) is declining, it would be a mistake to lend credence to those rumors. Certainly, it is no longer the darling of developers, but its position seems to be quite stable. 

This language defends its position even as more modern solutions such as Node.js are stealing the spotlight. Today, many developers continue to favor RoR for their projects, praising its practicality and efficiency. It's no wonder that RoR is used on a large number of websites, with data showing that there are over 763,418 live websites, including major ones like GitHub, Airbnb, Zendesk, Shopify, Basecamp, Twitch, and Cookpad, which speaks to its reliability and scalability.

Deciding whether RoR is a go-to direction should take into account the Ruby on Rails community, which is robust and active, making a significant presence on GitHub and continuously contributing to the maintenance of the framework. Regular updates, such as the introduction of new gems and improvements to existing ones, prove the framework's relevance.

Rails grew to be mature technology, and as such, it can serve as a foundational element for creating proofs of concept (PoC), minimum viable products (MVP), commerce platforms, and content management systems.

Ruby on Rails is far from dying. It continues to evolve, remaining a good choice for developers and businesses looking for a reliable, scalable, and efficient web development platform.

Outsourcing in software development

Generally, IT outsourcing allows companies to delegate control of a specific development process, project, or part of it to an external partner, aiming for cost reduction, efficiency improvement, and acceleration of time to value.

Some time ago, this approach might have seemed reckless, due to the common belief that the in-house department is the 'heart and soul' of a company. Now, however, it has become a necessity. Why? Given the breakneck pace of the arms race in technology, it is nearly impossible, extremely difficult, and costly to gather all the needed talents under one roof, at the right time.

Indeed, the recent significant layoffs in the tech industry may suggest that developers' skills have stopped being considered priceless, yet that doesn't mean they are affordable now. Moreover, this harsh situation has only proven that flexibility is crucial in staying competitive in the market.

According to data compiled by Layoffs.fyi, the online tracker keeping tabs on job losses in the technology sector, 1,186 tech companies laid off about 262,682 staff in 2023, compared to 164,969 layoffs in 2022. In 2024, 35 tech companies have already laid off 5,586 employees.

There are also skill gaps that are hard to fill. The ever-evolving nature of tech roles, recently propelled by the speed of AI development, leads to a mismatch between the skills that professionals possess and those that companies need.

Advantages of RoR outsourcing

Fluency in Ruby on Rails (RoR) - not the hottest one but still useful and used by companies - often is a kind of competence gap the businesses need to fill in.


Outsourcing eliminates the need for significant recruitment and training costs associated with building an in-house team. External development companies already possess the necessary infrastructure, tools, and resources, which saves on overhead expenses. Given that RoR is widely used in developing PoCs or MVPs where time is crucial, outsourcing appears to be the only solution worth considering

Access to Expertise

RoR has been with us for two decades, while other technologies often come and go. Outsourcing provides access to a team of skilled developers who specialize in RoR. These experts possess a deep understanding of the framework and its best practices, which can lead to more efficient development and troubleshooting. While developing a PoC, where there is a need to convince stakeholders of our project, having expertise that allows avoiding errors can be a "make or break" factor.

Focus on Core Competencies

RoR is far from dying, but—as we've said—it is not the dominant technology in the current landscape. Thus, not many companies' core businesses are built entirely with RoR technology. Outsourcing RoR development enables organizations to focus on their core competencies and business goals, as the outsourced team handles the chosen aspects of the project."

Ruby on Rails to MVP development

There are a variety of projects where Rails would be a perfect fit and an equal number of cases where a different technology might work better. But instead of giving an 'it depends' answer, we will cut to the chase.

RoR is an ideal solution for building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) because of its readable structure and relatively simple syntax. This is why it has become popular among startups trying to carve out their market niche, as well as established companies looking to extend their product offerings.

But let's dive into the details.

Its philosophy of 'convention over configuration,' vast amounts of predefined configurations, and an extensive ecosystem reduce the number of decisions developers need to make. This speeds up the development process and allows them to operate within limited budgets and with reduced risk. This approach is safe, in terms of business, and fosters an R&D culture within organizations by allowing managers to quickly test their ideas in practice and correct assumptions if needed.

RoR includes a built-in testing framework, enabling developers to write tests alongside their code, which helps in maintaining a robust PoC with fewer bugs. And, if the general ideas prove to be solid, RoR is easy to scale up. The community provides a vast library of gems, which are reusable code packages that can speed up development and add functionality without the need to build everything from scratch. With RoR's support for RESTful architecture, it is easy to build APIs and services that can interact with other applications or services.

It is worth noting that Ruby on Rails (RoR) has proved itself as a good starting point for e-commerce platforms and social media apps handling multiple transactions, high traffic, and complex data operations simultaneously, even though their workloads are not steady. RoR often serves as a kickstarter, and later, when the time is right from a business point of view, companies decide to extend their tech stack and go beyond RoR by adding other technologies.

RoR doesn't limit the business; it is a technology capable of growing with it thanks to its flexibility on one hand, and its comprehensive library, streamlined codebase, and community support on the other.

What companies use RoR?

GitHub, powered by a joint force of C, Shell, Ruby, and MySQL, stands as the number one source code hosting service for software developers worldwide. With over 1.8 million companies, ranging from established enterprises to emerging startups, utilizing GitHub, Ruby serves as one of its crucial elements.

Airbnb is another app based on a tech stack that includes Ruby on Rails. Serving as an online marketplace for lodging and experiences, Airbnb's reach extends to 191 countries as of late 2022. The platform's choice of Ruby on Rails for web development was determined by its capacity to facilitate the efficient management of vast data volumes.

Shopify, a leader in the eCommerce sector since 2006, supports businesses of various scales in establishing online stores and makes RoR the heart of its infrastructure due to its adaptability and the cost-efficient management it offers.


You can outsource development in every technology you need to achieve the goals, and if you will manage to achieve them, you can be sure that you've made the right call. Yet, there are some universal factors in-built in Ruby on Rails, that make it suitable for specific problems, and - of course - outsourcing developers specialized in this tech are not the only way, but - if RoR is not a crucial element of your tech stack - is the best way.

Kaja Grzybowska avatar
Kaja Grzybowska