If you’ve been on Twitter or other web development forum in the last year, you’ve likely heard shouts of “Ruby on Rails is dead” and debates on whether new developers should learn the framework in 2018. While it’s true that as new frameworks emerge and gain popularity, acquisition of Ruby on Rails has slowed down – Rails is far from dead in the water.
Many large companies still depend on Rails to power their businesses today. So what’s actually built with Ruby on Rails? Here are 18 apps that depend on Rails every day.
In case you’ve been under a rock the last year, Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies, litecoin and ethereum) are hot commodities that people all over the world have rushed to invest in. Investors need a way to buy and sell these cryptocurrencies, which is where Coinbase comes in. They’ve served over 10 million customers and exchanged over $50 billion in digital currency. Who says Rails can’t scale?
This digital health and food tracking app has helped millions of people get healthier and lose weight. The app was founded in 2005 and grew for a decade to 80 million users before being acquired by Under Armour in 2015. It’s currently both an in-browser app (built with Rails) and mobile app.
If you run or cycle, you should check out Strava. It’s part fitness tracker, data reporter, and social network for people who love to be active. Users can share maps and photos from their outdoor activities with a like-minded community, as well as set goals for their next outing. There’s an Android, iPhone, and web app that pair with most personal GPS devices like your smartwatch. Their web team is still expanding, and they’re currently looking for Rails engineers.
Intercom has built several web tools for sales, marketing, and support teams. Their most popular tool is a live chat that you’ve likely seen on many popular sites you regularly visit. Over 20,000 businesses use Intercom’s tools to connect with the right leads and close them quickly. They depend on Rails to keep some of these tools up and working properly 24/7.
As a web-based crowdfunding application, Kickstarter helps creators of all kinds find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. Over 14 million people have backed a project on Kickstarter, pledging 3.5 billion dollars along the way. Their engineering team documents their lessons on Rails and other tech stacks we’re familiar with (like React) on their engineering blog – a helpful read for devs.
We use this simple scheduling tool in our office when booking meetings with potential clients (we love using internal tools built with Rails when possible!) Calendly makes it easy for someone to reserve a spot on your calendar without the annoying back and forth emails. It integrates with other calendar systems to keep your availability up to date, and scheduling meetings is now a lot quicker.
The music streaming service Soundcloud was originally built with Ruby on Rails more than nine years ago. Back in 2014, their development team began breaking apart pieces of their original Rails monolith (coined “Mothership” by their dev team) into microservices in Scala and Finagle. Today, Ruby and Rails are still used throughout portions of their product, though a variety of other languages and frameworks have joined their arsenal.
Over 65 million members use Goodreads to see what their friends are reading, track books they’ve read or want to read, and browse personalized recommendations. Otis Chandler, the founder of Goodreads, learned Ruby on Rails shortly after it was launched, and while learning it, created Goodreads along the way.
This time tracking and reporting software helps companies in various industries track time down to the minute. This information can be used for reporting, billing clients, and optimizing priorities in the future. We use Harvest for our time tracking internally – here’s how it helps us.
This popular project management software has helped over 2.5 million businesses create more self-sufficient teams, reduce time spent in meetings, and become more productive as a whole. It’s natural that Basecamp continues to run on Ruby on Rails – the founder and CTO, David Heinemeier Hansson, actually created Rails by extracting it from Basecamp back in 2003.
Dribbble is both a source of design inspiration and a resource for hiring designers and creators for your next project. They’re a self-described “show and tell for designers” with an easy-to-browse interface for aimlessly exploring and also finding exactly what you’re looking for.
AngelList is a popular hub for startups and people looking to work for or invest in startups. They host nearly 75,000 jobs on AngelList, with a commitment to disclosing salary and equity up front for applicants. Investors can gain access to thousands of startups looking for investors through AngelList as well, with minimum investments starting at $1,000.
Etsy is an ever-growing marketplace for consumer goods ranging from vintage photo frames to custom wedding gifts and more. They specialize in giving an online storefront to small makers and creators that allows them to reach and sell to a broader market. Etsy is one of many marketplace style websites that have had success using Rails to power their business.
For freelancers looking to find more contract work, or entrepreneurs looking to partner with freelancers to keep their business lean, Fiverr is a popular choice for connecting people to projects. The tasks on this gig economy marketplace range from digital marketing and design services to researching topics on Google.
Products that automate marketing tasks are a quickly growing segment. Kissmetrics helps companies understand what people are doing on their website serves up behavior-based engagement campaigns to nurture them from visitors to customers. Kissmetrics presents analytics and segmented targeting in an easy-to-understand interface using Ruby on Rails.
Ruby on Rails powers one of the most robust web-based photo editors, Pixlr. The application allows users to tweak, crop, filter, blur, and edit their photos for free in any browser. It’s essentially a scaled-down Photoshop – incredibly handy for the photo editor on a budget.
Higher education is long overdue for a redesign. Codecademy is one of many companies looking to offer alternative educational experiences focused on programming. Codecademy is not only an excellent resource to learn Ruby on Rails – the learning platform and curriculum interface itself is built on Rails. The program has a free track, a paid track at $19.99 a month, and an intensive option starting at $199.
Similar to Codecademy, Treehouse is another web-based alternative learning platform. They offer a broad selection of curriculum ranging from web development to marketing, finance, and corporate structure. Their service is priced at just $25/month, making a much more accessible path to these focused areas of learning than traditional higher education.
These powerful web applications built on Ruby on Rails demonstrate just how effective this framework can be for companies of all sizes. Its convention over configuration approach can help new companies get the ball rolling quickly, and these apps prove it can scale as your company grows.