5 Famous Web Apps Built on Ruby on Rails

The Most Iconic Framework for Software Development

In recent years, the Ruby programming language has stolen the spotlight as one of the best software development technologies to build robust backend infrastructures. That’s exactly why so many companies have either hired top Ruby developers or started powering their digital acceleration through Ruby outsourcing

But behind all of this success is perhaps the most iconic framework a software development language could have asked for: Ruby on Rails (RoR). RoR is the convenient, powerful, and elegant solution that has allowed thousands of businesses to create websites that scale. And now that the number of companies using RoR is higher than ever, I figured it was a great time to take a closer look at the most famous web apps built with this technology. Let’s get started. 

Ruby developers

GitHub

Let’s start with one of the biggest players in the entire industry: GitHub. Since its launch in 2008, GitHub has hosted millions of codebases while making open source technologies more accessible than ever. And the secret behind its astounding scalability is Ruby on Rails. Over 10 years ago, GitHub chose RoR as its main backend technology because of its amazing capabilities—and keeps choosing it in 2021 because RoR is just the best. 

Granted, of course, that Ruby is just one of the many elements that compose GitHub’s tech stack. But what makes Ruby on Rails special is the unique win-win relationship it maintains with the version control company. Ruby has received hundreds of pull requests from GitHub engineers for every new version of RoR, and GitHub is always one of the first organizations to update to the latest release of Ruby on Rails. 

Airbnb

Airbnb is also in the club of early RoR adopters. Founded in the same year as GitHub, the P2P rental company knew that a strong backend infrastructure was the only way to success, and put Ruby on Rails at the top of its tech stack on day one. Like most other companies, what attracted Airbnb to this technology was its quick iteration cycle and the plethora of “magical” tools that simplify development and prototyping. 

As an interesting fact, Airbnb is one of the companies most committed to innovating their own technology solutions by mixing Ruby with other powerful technologies. A few years ago, the Airbnb Engineering & Data Science blog published a post on Medium explaining how they extended the capabilities of Ruby on Rails to satisfy its complex payment systems. A great read, if you ask me. 

Kickstarter

Kickstarter has made crowdfunding as popular as it has ever been. Products like Snapmaker, The Everyday Backpack, Fidget Cube, and the Pebble Smartwatch have been able to launch after receiving millions of dollars in funding from people all over the world. And, unsurprisingly enough, Ruby on Rails is the main technology behind the platform’s sophisticated microfinancing system. 

As a side note, it’s worth noting that the company’s engineering team actually has a Medium blog where they publish their thoughts on all of the technologies they use—and, would you look at that, Ruby even has its own section. The story on how the company upgraded to Ruby 5.0 is really interesting. Frankly, I’m still waiting for their post on the latest upgrade!

Fiverr

Unfortunately, Fiverr is not as open about its tech stack as the other companies in this list, but according to G2 Stack and StackShare, Ruby on Rails definitely plays a major role in the site’s backend. And it’s easy to see how the framework’s dynamic type system and automatic memory management impacts the speed and userbase scalability of the site. 

What we do know is that Fiverr also adopted Ruby on Rails at launch, and it is still the main technology powering their online marketplace of services. Besides that, I think it would be great for Fiverr to launch an engineering blog to talk about the technologies they use. I for one would get subscribed right away!

Twitch

And last but not least, the giant of video streaming: Twitch. If you thought that Ruby on Rails was great everything but video, this ought to be the proof against that. With 38 million visitors per month that simultaneously broadcast, watch, and chat, Twitch needs the best tech stack possible to support maximum performance without sacrificing scalability. And, once again, Ruby on Rails is the answer to that. 

That said, recently Twitch has started to look into other backend technologies like Go, and some developers have even worked on migration projects to transfer some services to this technology. Time will only tell how this goes. In any case, both of these are great options for massive services like Twitch. 

Bottom Line: Ruby on Rails Is Great

Believe it or not, these are just a few of the companies that use Ruby on Rails for their backend. And, to be honest, this list is a bit biased towards the companies I knew most about. If you are curious, I will leave you with a list of many other companies that use Ruby on Rails for their backend infrastructures. And, remember, if you’re looking to develop your next web project, Ruby on Rails might be exactly what you need!

Here are some other companies that use RoR:

  • Crunchbase
  • Ask.fm
  • Bloomberg
  • Dribbble.com
  • Yellow Pages
  • COOKPAD
  • Helpling
  • Apps for Good
  • Artemest
  • Intellection
  • SlideShare
  • 500px
  • Zendesk
  • Soundcloud
  • Clarity
  • Couchsurfing
  • Crazy Egg
  • Groupon
  • Indiegogo
  • Pixlr
  • Scribd
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Shopify
  • Urban Dictionary
  • Whitepages
  • Yammer
  • We Heart It
  • ThemeForest

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