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5 Characteristics of the Best Ruby Developers

Technical know-how is just one part of being among the best Ruby developers.

Robert Butler

By Robert Butler

Senior Engagement Manager Robert Butler helps foster positive relationships between BairesDev and clients while working with teams across the company.

10 min read

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The Ruby programming language first appeared in 1995 as a general-purpose language developed by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto in Japan. It’s known primarily for its role in web development. Ruby’s frameworks Sinatra and Rails are used by companies like Disney, Airbnb, and Shopify to perform a wide range of functions such as processing online payments.  

In addition to using it for building web-based assets, developers may find Ruby useful to learn because it’s always helpful to know programming languages other than JavaScript when working in web development. Given its similarities to other languages, it’s also a good jumping-off point to learn Python or Elixir. 

Naturally, learning the language isn’t enough to make a good Ruby developer. They also have to focus on quality, solve problems, be willing to learn new approaches and be able to work well alone and on teams. So, if you want to be a good Ruby developer or if you want to hire one, you should seek out those characteristics. Here’s some more about the traits of the best Ruby developers


1. Technical know-how

According to Career Karma, Ruby is “a robust, dynamically typed, object-oriented language with syntax so easy to understand and high-level that it’s considered as close as you can get to coding in English.” Matsumoto has said that he designed the language to help programmers be productive and enjoy programming. Still, there is a learning curve that a developer has to overcome to be considered proficient in Ruby. 

As a budding Ruby developer, you should first discover basics such as syntax, control flow, and loops before moving on to elements like hashes and object-oriented programming. After mastering these concepts, you can create your first project, which could be assigned or something you want to build to solve a problem in your own life. 

Additionally, it’s important to join communities where you can share your triumphs and challenges with other Ruby developers. Stack Overflow, GitHub, and freeCodeCamp are three examples of online spaces where Ruby developers congregate. There you can seek help on projects you’re developing. Finally, practice! Continue to work on projects for an employer or on your own until you’re going to those communities with more answers than questions. 


2. Quality-orientation

While quality can be a subjective term, it typically means something that works well and works as it’s supposed to. Quality code is generally clean, reliable, and secure. It should be consistent, well tested, and easy to understand by other developers who might need to look at it in the future. Quality-oriented developers use methods throughout the coding process and checklists at the end to ensure their code meets all these criteria. 

A few things that can contribute to quality code include understanding what the end result should look like, using a coding standard, testing throughout the process, and using a methodology (such as Agile) to guarantee a seamless process. At BairesDev, we use the following methodologies: Scrum, Agile, DevOps, Lean, Prototype, XP, and RAD, ensuring that every employee follows these principles in their work each day. 


3. Problem-solving mentality

You are bound to encounter problems in the process of using Ruby to code. You can respond with frustration, anxiety, or anger, but a better approach is to use patience, logic, and a desire to learn to remove any roadblocks. If you think of challenges as part of the process rather than something going “wrong,” then you have the right mindset to meet them. 

The following video lightheartedly presents several problem-solving approaches, including listing the problem and understanding why you need to solve it, seeing what others have done to solve the same problem, talking about it with other developers, breaking the problem down into smaller issues, exploring possible solutions, and practicing problem-solving:


4. Curiosity

As with problem-solving, there are more and less productive approaches to learning new skills. The less productive way is believing you already know everything there is to know and being unwilling to learn from your mistakes or from other people. The more productive way is to be open to new approaches no matter where they might come from, including online sources, community members, coworkers, or your own “lightbulb” moments. 

Believing you already know everything there is to know about Ruby or about coding, in general, is particularly problematic in an industry that changes so rapidly. In addition to being open to learning from existing sources, it’s important to change and adapt to new technologies, languages, and methods that come along and, in fact, to stay informed about them.  


5. Ability to work well alone and on teams

As a Ruby developer, you’ll likely spend many hours working alone but, eventually, you’ll need to collaborate with other people to bring your work to fruition. You need to do both of them well. First, you must understand the nature and requirements of the project and communicate clearly about your questions and initial ideas. If a paying client is involved, you’ll need to discern their goals and desires. 

The coding phase is when you’ll need self-discipline to get each part of the project done on time. At this time, you may also be checking in with other team members working on separate parts of the project. There may be meetings, testing, and changes in direction involved and you’ll need to serve in a useful capacity, again using your communication and collaboration skills to move the project forward. 


The Whole Package for the Best Ruby Developers

As we’ve seen, technical know-how is just one part of being among the best Ruby developers. These professionals must also be good problem solvers and “play well with others” to embody the full package of desired skills. If you’re interested in learning Ruby, aspire to gain all these essential abilities as you learn the language. If you want to hire a Ruby developer, look for these traits as you seek out the best person for the job. 


Robert Butler

By Robert Butler

Senior Engagement Manager Robert Butler fosters positive relationships with new and existing clients of BairesDev. Robert helps clients schedule their projects effectively, implements services, and helps prepare performance reports while working with teams across the company.

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