You’ve read it. I’ve read it. We’ve all read it somewhere. On a good day, Rails is a dying language, and on a bad day it’s already dead. But is that really the case? And what's that statement even based on? This article details an interesting bit of research done by Yoel Blum on the demand for Ruby on Rails developers. And if you think Rails developers aren’t in demand, you might be surprised by the findings.
He had previously written about the decline in popularity of Rails, and mentioned Laravel, Django, and Express.JS as comparably popular frameworks. This previous piece was based on StackOverflow questions asked over time – which is not necessarily the best measure of a framework’s popularity.
Yoel researched the number of job openings posted on LinkedIn for various frameworks. Job postings are a seemingly fair measurement of demand for a certain skill set. So how in demand were Ruby on Rails developers?
In the United States, Rails was the second most mentioned framework in job descriptions behind .NET, with 8,710 mentions (For comparison, Asp.NET has 12,203). When you narrow the search down to Silicon Valley, Rails actually comes in ahead of both .NET and Django with over 1,000 job postings at the time of article publication.
Is this data 100% bulletproof in showing the popularity of Rails? Not exactly. One thing I’ve noticed while looking at developer job descriptions is that often more than one framework is mentioned, written like this: Web application development experience in Ruby on Rails or other modern MVC framework (Spring, Backbone.js, etc...). This means there may be some overlap in the data that would take some more digging to uncover.
But these numbers are certainly a promising look at the current state of Ruby on Rails in the broader ecosystem of application development. And it’s a helpful response to the next person that asks you why you’re still using Ruby on Rails. :)
For the rest of Yoel's data findings and conclusions, you can read the full article on Medium.