How to Hire Ruby developers

Work with the Most Talented Ruby Developers in the Region

If you want your Ruby development projects to succeed, then you need the help of the most talented Ruby developers available. That’s precisely what BairesDev can provide you the Top 1% of Ruby engineers to work on your products with a high-quality delivery guarantee. 

We can do so because of our meticulous hiring process powered by Staffing Hero, our AI-driven staffing solution that can build tailored-fit development teams in no time to meet your project’s needs and ensure seamless integration with your in-house team. 

Ruby developers

How to Hire Ruby Developers through BairesDev

Guide to Hiring a Ruby Developer

While Ruby might not be the most popular programming language out there, it’s still one fantastic tool to tackle many kinds of projects. A lot of people like to think of it as a web development language, mainly because of the huge popularity of Rails, Ruby’s best-known framework, but that’s far from the truth. 

Ruby isn’t a “web language” nor it’s limited to web development. In fact, it can be used for almost anything, from building mobile apps to creating processing scripts. Unfortunately, many engineers that learn Ruby stop exploring its possibilities after grasping what they need to use Rails, so finding Ruby developers that can actually make the most out of the language can be challenging. 

That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to help you hire Ruby developers. The goal is to provide you with everything you need to know to search for Ruby engineers that can play to the language’s strengths while mitigating its weaknesses. For starters, you have to know what you’re looking for in the Ruby development field, and there’s no better way to do so than asking you some key questions before you begin your search.

The first thing you should ask yourself is “What are Ruby engineers responsible for?” Understanding what these engineers can bring to the table can help you better comprehend how they can impact your development projects and decide whether they are the right choice for your needs. Investigating all that Ruby has to offer, from features to frameworks, it’s a good start. Then, you need to check Ruby projects to see how they perform and read about Ruby developers’ role in a development team.

The second question you should ask is “What things should you pay attention to before looking for Ruby engineers?” While that’s a somewhat complex question that needs to be explored in full detail, it’s enough for you to know that you should shortlist professionals according to a set of relevant criteria, including:

• Technical knowledge.: Ruby has multiple implementations such as MRI, Rubinius, mruby, and JRuby, all of which serve different purposes. Thus, you need to be sure that the candidates you’ll be interviewing will be familiar with the different implementations and know their way around the type of software you’re trying to develop.

• Testing knowledge: The best Ruby developers have a sound understanding of testing methods and they are very familiar with test-driven development. By using that knowledge, those engineers can reduce bugs and vulnerabilities during development while producing higher-quality code.

• Soft skills: Modern engineers have to go beyond technical skills and develop “softer” skills to thrive in today’s development environment. In other words, you should look for candidates who show strong communication, teamwork, and critical-thinking skills.

• Feedback: Hiring Ruby developers should have you going past the resumés and into portfolios, testimonials, and accomplishments. Social proof of past clients can help you better understand the work of a particular engineer and identify potential red flags.

The third and final question should be “Where to find skilled Ruby developers?” The answer might seem as simple as making an online search through Ruby development companies, freelance portals, and job boards. But putting it like that doesn’t do any justice to the subtleties that come with searching for the right Ruby engineers. 

First, you need to know that experienced and knowledgeable Ruby developers are scarce, mainly because interest in the language is slowly decreasing over time. Then, you have to factor in that the Ruby community isn’t as big as other popular languages such as Python or Java. And then you have the fact that many Ruby developers are mostly Rails developers that can only work in web development projects.

All that means that, while searching online on the resources mentioned above is your best bet, you’ll have to be patient, attentive, and persistent to find the best Ruby developers. As we said before, shortlisting candidates will help you in these first stages of your search but, after them, you’ll need to dig in deeper to spot the truly skilled Ruby developers. Below, you’ll find a questionnaire that can aid you in assessing your Ruby candidates’ skills and that can lead you to a successful hire.

Good Interview Questions to Hire a Ruby Developer

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    Preparing
    Preparing an interview to hire a Ruby developer when you aren’t a technical person can be a tall order. That’s because interviewing Ruby engineers (or any other software engineering professional, for that matter) requires a mixed questionnaire that combines more traditional questions to explore the candidate’s formal education and job experience with specific questions that assess their technical capabilities.
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    Process
    That’s why it’s highly important to come up with a robust interviewing process before engaging in the search for Ruby engineers. At BairesDev, we layer our selection process by assessing more traditional aspects first and analyzing the candidate’s tech skills later and through a series of technical tests. We also have a proprietary AI solution called Staffing Hero that helps us with the whole selection process up to matching engineers with specific projects.

While it’s understandable that such a solution won’t be available to everyone out there, the approach to interviewing is still valid. Apart from the traditional questions, we’ll assume you already have, here are some of the key areas to explore in a technical interview:

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    Understanding of basic algorithmic concepts
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    Knowledge about databases
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    General modeling
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    Object-oriented and functional programming
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    Security protocols

All of those areas have enough room for you to create a lot of questions that will provide you a better understanding of the candidate’s knowledge about Ruby in particular and software development in general. If you’re looking for examples of questions you could ask, then here’s a list that can help you:

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    Is Ruby a statically or dynamically typed language?
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    What are classes and modules? Which are their similarities and differences?
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    Which are the three levels of method access control for classes and modules?
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    In your opinion, what are some good tools for linting, debugging, and profiling?
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    What’s the difference between public, protected, and private visibility in Ruby?
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    What do polymorphism, inheritance, and encapsulation mean?
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    What’s duck typing?
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    Which is your preferred Ruby implementation? Why?
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    Name at least three gems you consider essential for your work

Be sure to include broader questions to assess the candidate’s knowledge about software development in general. Some of these might be:

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    What’s a good unit test and what a functional one?
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    What’s your stance on agile methodologies? Do you have a preferred one?
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    Walk me through the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how you resolved it.
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    Have you ever been a part of an open-source project? How did you contribute to them?
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    Apart from Ruby, do you know any other languages? Which ones? Why did you learn them?
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    What’s a good unit test and what a functional one?
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    What’s your stance on agile methodologies? Do you have a preferred one?
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    Walk me through the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how you resolved it.
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    Have you ever been a part of an open-source project? How did you contribute to them?
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    Apart from Ruby, do you know any other languages? Which ones? Why did you learn them?
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    What’s a good unit test and what a functional one?
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    What’s your stance on agile methodologies? Do you have a preferred one?
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    Walk me through the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how you resolved it.
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    Have you ever been a part of an open-source project? How did you contribute to them?
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    Apart from Ruby, do you know any other languages? Which ones? Why did you learn them?

Combining all of those questions with the more traditional ones about education and job experience can provide you with a clearer picture of your candidates. Additionally, you can assess their communication skills while you’re interviewing them since that’s also an essential trait all Ruby developers should have.

Finally, we know that many of these questions are very technical and you might not have the knowledge to analyze the answers you’re given. That’s why you should add a member of your development team to your search, or hire Ruby consultants to help you with it. 

Job Description Template

Now that you have a clearer knowledge of Ruby and what you can expect from a Ruby developer (and even have ideas as to how to interview your Ruby candidates), it’s time to start the hunt for them. You have several options to do so, including using social media, creating referral programs, poaching from other companies, and posting job ads on other channels. 

Your safest bet is to use them all, so you maximize the exposure of your search, but before you start with that, you have to come up with a comprehensive and clear job description that can speak to the right candidates. The following job description template can surely help you write a posting that can generate a good amount of answers.

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    Job post title

    The title has to be clear, precise and should use the keywords you imagine Ruby developers will be looking for. Some examples include:

    • Backend developer with experience on RoR needed

    • Ruby developer needed with prototyping experience

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    Ruby project description

    Here, you’ll need to include all the necessary information about the tasks you expect the Ruby developer to do. This might be all about a particular project in a temporary position or about general duties in a permanent position. Consider including the following:

    • Scope of work: What you expect to build in the project (or what you typically build with your in-house development team)

    • Project length: Is this a small or large project? Is a temporary or permanent position?

    • Background: Discuss some of the specifics about your preferences regarding experience with specific industries, projects, tools, or any other background you deem necessary.

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    Ruby developer job responsibilities

    Here you’ll list the Ruby developer responsibilities the candidates can expect if they land the job. Some examples include:

    • Integrate UI to a Ruby on Rails backend

    • Handle the business logic layer of an application

    • Build, test, deploy, and provide support for a Ruby-powered content management system

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    Ruby developer requirements and qualifications

    This section is about the skills you want to see in the candidates. You can divide them into required skills and preferred skills. Some of the most commonly required skills include:

    • Deep knowledge of Ruby and its implementations

    • RESTful services, APIs, and third-party library integrations

    • Experience running tests

    • Knowledge of version control systems such as GitHub

Ruby for Business

What are the main uses for Ruby?

Web applications

Thanks to Rails and its gems, Ruby is a great choice to create web apps. It’s easy to use, it can increase development times, and it’s highly reliable.

Custom database solutions

Through Rails, you can use ActiveRecord, which lets you easily manage databases without SQL. It also integrates with Database Management Systems to manage more complex databases.

E-commerce

Ruby has many gems that were designed specifically for ecommerce, including gems for desks, payment gateways, and email campaign platforms. Such availability makes ecommerce development easier and quicker.

Content management

The language also has plenty of libraries with ready-to-use features for content creation, sharing, and distribution. Additionally, it has several SEO features to help that content rank better on search engines.

Prototyping

Ruby is great to build test versions of applications before moving on to work on a fully-fledged application. You can use it to design a basic structure that can help you test basic features and see whether your ideas are feasible.

How to be sure that Ruby is right for my project?

As it happens with other high-level, general-purpose programming languages, Ruby is also a great alternative for all sorts of development projects. In fact, a seasoned Ruby developer can work on pretty much anything you can think of, from designing prototypes to building IoT applications. 

Naturally, that doesn’t mean Ruby is the best alternative for all projects. There are certain project types that call for programming languages other than Ruby. Though it’s impossible to cover them all here, there are 3 main situations that call for a different language:

• Projects where runtime speed is essential: because Ruby isn’t precisely known for its execution speed.

• Scope: Large or complex projects that require memory-intensive tasks, since Ruby memory-related issues are unfortunately too common.

• Development teams that require more opinionated languages: Ruby can be too permissive, which can quickly derail projects that aren’t properly led.

As a rule of thumb, Ruby development teams are perfect for web development projects and for the use cases mentioned in the previous question. If you’re venturing outside those common uses, then you’ll have to check whether your project falls under one of the 3 types mentioned above and consult with your team about the project’s specifics.

Best frameworks for Ruby

Ruby has plenty of frameworks to facilitate development work across different areas and projects. However, there are some that stand out among the rest. 

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is the most popular Ruby framework by far. It boasts a very active open source community and is well supported, which means that new libraries are consistently released to the public. It’s efficient, has a wide array of plugins and modules, and it’s highly secure, all of which explains why so many teams use it for their Ruby development.

Hanami

Hanami is one of the most recent Ruby frameworks out there, but it’s quickly become popular, thanks to features like HTML escaping, clear database API, and a Content-Security-Policy. But it’s most outstanding characteristic is that it’s very lightweight, consuming 60% less memory than Rails.

Padrino

Padrino is another lightweight Ruby framework that’s highly flexible and that’s perfect to build simple web applications quickly. This framework boasts a low memory footprint, increased stability, and the ability to handle more requests per second than other popular Ruby frameworks.

Cuba

Cuba is the most popular microframework for Ruby that provides the essential for rapid web development. Being “micro”, Cuba has very few features, as it’s designed to offer the bare minimum to quickly come up with simple apps. Its basic feature set allows it to improve your CPU consumption and notoriously reduces the length of the development cycle.

Does Ruby scale?

For a lot of people, one of the biggest Ruby drawbacks is scalability. In fact, for a long time, many software engineers avoided Ruby (and, as an extension, Rails) because of the scalability challenges that were associated with it. They felt that using this language led to applications that had to be entirely reworked once they needed to scale up. However, that’s not true.

Ruby scales as well as any other language out there. The key isn’t in the programming language itself but in how you use it. To avoid scalability issues in a Ruby application, you need to follow some simple yet effective coding practices during development, including:

  • Reducing the amount of code
  • Using code refactoring to make the code clear and maintainable
  • Using modular coding, as it helps by reducing code repetition
  • Employing the right gems

Using all of those techniques will make it easier for you to scale your Ruby software, a practice that will have you caching, offloading, segmenting data, and sharding.

How Does Ruby on Rails Handle Assets?

Assets in a Ruby on Rails application are the additional files that the browser calls after it receives the basic HTML. For instance, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, videos, and images are all assets, because they all require an additional request. RoR handles all these assets through the asset pipeline, which provides a framework to concatenate all the assets in a web page. It can also write those assets in other languages while allowing them to be combined with assets coming from other gems.

Using the asset pipeline, you can reduce the number of requests the browser will need to render a page. You can do that by concatenating assets, which will limit the number of requests, which will allow the browser to run them in parallel, loading the application more quickly. The pipeline also lets you compress CSS files, also leading to increased speeds in the web application. 

The asset pipeline can improve the quality of your web applications regarding performance, resilience, and code structure. Its features allow proper handling of your application’s assets and lets you overcome common issues related to static assets development and delivery.

What's the testing philosophy for Ruby?

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    The overall philosophy of Ruby is to prioritize “developer happiness.” The idea behind that notion is that engineers have to feel free to tackle their development challenges as they see fit. That’s why Ruby inherited the Perl philosophy of providing more than one way to do the same thing, which allows Ruby developers to choose the path that better suits their needs.
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    This philosophy has seeped into all of Ruby’s facets, including testing. That’s why the programming language has a built-in framework in its standard library called Test::Unit that allows you to set up, organize, and run tests. Surely, you can always resort to other popular testing frameworks such as rspec and cucumber. But Test::Unit embodies Ruby’s philosophy and it’s enough to understand the language’s approach to testing.
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    By providing 3 basic functionalities, Test::Unit keeps the level of “developer happiness” high and helps development teams that have embraced Test-Driven development and Behavior-Driven development as their go-to models for work. The 3 basic functionalities of Test::Unit are:
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    A way to define basic pass/fail tests
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    A way to group related tests to run them
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    A set of tools to run single or group tests

All of these provide the tools you need to come up with the unit tests required by your project, which you can later easily run in Ruby.

Main Drawbacks of Ruby

Many people would point at Ruby’s scalability issues as the language’s main drawback. Given that Ruby is mostly used for web applications, the difficulty when scaling applications is a severe problem. But, as we answered in another question in this FAQ, scalability-related problems can be tackled through good coding practices.

Other Ruby drawbacks that are best to keep in mind include:

Slow Runtime Speed of Ruby applications, something that you’ll only have to worry if you have an application with many concurrent users.

Sluggish Boot Speed, especially if you use too many gems and require too many files in your project.

Slow Processing due to high memory consumption, an issue rooted in Ruby’s principle of least astonishment, that treats almost everything in your code as an object. This might lead to a more predictable and consistent code, but it also impacts memory consumption, as Ruby applications need more memory to represent data as objects.

Limited documentation, makes it hard to thoroughly understand many gems, libraries, and frameworks.

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