Hire the Top 3% of Freelance Ruby on Rails Developers
Toptal is a marketplace for the best Ruby on Rails developers, engineers, programmers, coders, architects, freelancers, and consultants. Top companies and startups choose Toptal Ruby on Rails development services for their mission-critical software projects.
United StatesToptal Member Since September 26, 2018
Dustin has been a professional full-stack engineer for over 15 years and has worked at companies and agencies, large and small. He's passionate and dedicated to his craft and always goes the extra mile for his employers and clients. Dustin is well-versed in handling both startup and enterprise-level architecture and will tailor his solutions to the requirements of any given project.
Eqbal is a senior full-stack developer with more than a decade of experience working in web and mobile development. He is a masterful problem solver and boasts an extensive portfolio of finished professional products.
Botond is a highly skilled professional software developer who enjoys writing code that others can understand and follow. His passion for programming began when he was 13, after receiving a ZX Spectrum-compatible Russian PC from his father. He learned programming and became a true lifelong enthusiast.
Ruby on Rails developers are skilled at creating full-stack web applications using the Ruby language and the Rails framework. This guide to hiring Ruby on Rails developers features job description best practices, interview questions and answers, and tips to help you identify the best candidates for your company.
... allows corporations to quickly assemble teams that have the right skills for specific projects.
Despite accelerating demand for coders, Toptal prides itself on almost Ivy League-level vetting.
Building a cross-platform app to be used worldwide
Creating an app for the game
Leading a digital transformation
Drilling into real-time data creates an industry game changer
Tripcents wouldn't exist without Toptal. Toptal Projects enabled us to rapidly develop our foundation with a product manager, lead developer, and senior designer. In just over 60 days we went from concept to Alpha. The speed, knowledge, expertise, and flexibility is second to none. The Toptal team were as part of tripcents as any in-house team member of tripcents. They contributed and took ownership of the development just like everyone else. We will continue to use Toptal. As a start up, they are our secret weapon.
Brantley Pace, CEO & Co-Founder
I am more than pleased with our experience with Toptal. The professional I got to work with was on the phone with me within a couple of hours. I knew after discussing my project with him that he was the candidate I wanted. I hired him immediately and he wasted no time in getting to my project, even going the extra mile by adding some great design elements that enhanced our overall look.
Paul Fenley, Director
K Dunn & Associates
The developers I was paired with were incredible -- smart, driven, and responsive. It used to be hard to find quality engineers and consultants. Now it isn't.
Ryan Rockefeller, CEO
Toptal understood our project needs immediately. We were matched with an exceptional freelancer from Argentina who, from Day 1, immersed himself in our industry, blended seamlessly with our team, understood our vision, and produced top-notch results. Toptal makes connecting with superior developers and programmers very easy.
Jason Kulik, Co-Founder
As a small company with limited resources we can't afford to make expensive mistakes. Toptal provided us with an experienced programmer who was able to hit the ground running and begin contributing immediately. It has been a great experience and one we'd repeat again in a heartbeat.
Stuart Pocknee , Principal
Site Specific Software Solutions
We used Toptal to hire a developer with extensive Amazon Web Services experience. We interviewed four candidates, one of which turned out to be a great fit for our requirements. The process was quick and effective.
Abner Guzmán Rivera, CTO and Chief Scientist
Sergio was an awesome developer to work with. Top notch, responsive, and got the work done efficiently.
Dennis Baldwin, Chief Technologist and Co-Founder
Working with Marcin is a joy. He is competent, professional, flexible, and extremely quick to understand what is required and how to implement it.
André Fischer, CTO
We needed a expert engineer who could start on our project immediately. Simanas exceeded our expectations with his work. Not having to interview and chase down an expert developer was an excellent time-saver and made everyone feel more comfortable with our choice to switch platforms to utilize a more robust language. Toptal made the process easy and convenient. Toptal is now the first place we look for expert-level help.
Derek Minor, Senior VP of Web Development
Networld Media Group
Toptal's developers and architects have been both very professional and easy to work with. The solution they produced was fairly priced and top quality, reducing our time to launch. Thanks again, Toptal.
Jeremy Wessels, CEO
We had a great experience with Toptal. They paired us with the perfect developer for our application and made the process very easy. It was also easy to extend beyond the initial time frame, and we were able to keep the same contractor throughout our project. We definitely recommend Toptal for finding high quality talent quickly and seamlessly.
Ryan Morrissey, CTO
Applied Business Technologies, LLC
I'm incredibly impressed with Toptal. Our developer communicates with me every day, and is a very powerful coder. He's a true professional and his work is just excellent. 5 stars for Toptal.
Pietro Casoar, CEO
Ronin Play Pty Ltd
Working with Toptal has been a great experience. Prior to using them, I had spent quite some time interviewing other freelancers and wasn't finding what I needed. After engaging with Toptal, they matched me up with the perfect developer in a matter of days. The developer I'm working with not only delivers quality code, but he also makes suggestions on things that I hadn't thought of. It's clear to me that Amaury knows what he is doing. Highly recommended!
George Cheng, CEO
As a Toptal qualified front-end developer, I also run my own consulting practice. When clients come to me for help filling key roles on their team, Toptal is the only place I feel comfortable recommending. Toptal's entire candidate pool is the best of the best. Toptal is the best value for money I've found in nearly half a decade of professional online work.
Ethan Brooks, CTO
Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works, Inc.
In Higgle's early days, we needed the best-in-class developers, at affordable rates, in a timely fashion. Toptal delivered!
Lara Aldag, CEO
Toptal makes finding a candidate extremely easy and gives you peace-of-mind that they have the skills to deliver. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone looking for highly-skilled developers.
Michael Gluckman, Data Manager
Toptal’s ability to rapidly match our project with the best developers was just superb. The developers have become part of our team, and I’m amazed at the level of professional commitment each of them has demonstrated. For those looking to work remotely with the best engineers, look no further than Toptal.
Laurent Alis, Founder
Toptal makes finding qualified engineers a breeze. We needed an experienced ASP.NET MVC architect to guide the development of our start-up app, and Toptal had three great candidates for us in less than a week. After making our selection, the engineer was online immediately and hit the ground running. It was so much faster and easier than having to discover and vet candidates ourselves.
Jeff Kelly, Co-Founder
We needed some short-term work in Scala, and Toptal found us a great developer within 24 hours. This simply would not have been possible via any other platform.
Franco Arda, Co-Founder
Toptal offers a no-compromise solution to businesses undergoing rapid development and scale. Every engineer we've contracted through Toptal has quickly integrated into our team and held their work to the highest standard of quality while maintaining blazing development speed.
Greg Kimball, Co-Founder
How to Hire Ruby on Rails Developers through Toptal
Talk to One of Our Industry Experts
A Toptal director of engineering will work with you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
Work With Hand-Selected Talent
Within days, we'll introduce you to the right Ruby on Rails developer for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
The Right Fit, Guaranteed
Work with your new Ruby on Rails developer for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.
Find Experts With Related Skills
Access a vast pool of skilled developers in our talent network and hire the top 3% within just 48 hours.
First, define the project scope to clarify the specific technical skills and experience you need from your Ruby on Rails developer or team. Then prepare a detailed job description. While you search for candidates and review résumés, prepare a list of interview questions about the Ruby language and its specific uses with the Rails framework. Then interview shortlisted candidates to gauge their technical knowledge, problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and cultural fit.
How can your business benefit from hiring a Ruby on Rails developer?
Hiring a permanent or freelance Ruby on Rails developer benefits businesses in numerous ways. RoR developers can create a wide range of applications, from simple websites to complex, data-driven web applications, making it a suitable choice for many different business needs. Ruby on Rails follows the convention-over-configuration approach, which streamlines the app development process, leading to shorter time-to-market. Rails developers can build scalable web applications, allowing your business to grow seamlessly. Rails is cost-effective: It’s open-source and has a large, active community, which lowers development costs via free resources, tools, and libraries (or “gems”). With built-in support for testing, Ruby on Rails enables developers to create robust, well-tested applications with fewer bugs and improved performance. Finally, Ruby on Rails has strong built-in features that help developers create secure applications and protect sensitive data, ensuring the safety of businesses and their customers.
How do I choose between two quality Ruby on Rails developer candidates?
When comparing Ruby on Rails developer candidates, it’s essential to consider their hard skills (technical expertise) and soft skills (interpersonal abilities). Hard skills include expertise in the Ruby language, the Rails framework, object-oriented programming, front-end development, databases, testing, and essential tools. Compare portfolios: Review their past work, focusing on code quality and project complexity. Evaluate their willingness and ability to learn new technologies or processes—developers who adapt quickly may be a better fit for evolving projects. Consider, too, their industry experience and work on similar projects. Relevant experience leads to a better understanding of your business requirements. Regarding soft skills, observe their ability to express ideas, ask questions, and provide feedback. Effective communication is crucial for collaboration and project success. So is cultural fit: Candidates who share your values and adapt to your team are more likely to be successful. Candidates with a willingness to grow can be valuable assets.
Are Ruby on Rails developers in demand?
Many well-established companies and startups continue to use Ruby on Rails for their projects, which drives the demand for skilled Ruby on Rails developers. Some prominent companies that use Ruby on Rails include Airbnb, GitHub, Shopify, and Basecamp. While Rails may not be the newest or trendiest technology, it has a mature ecosystem, an active community, and a strong reputation for rapid development, maintainability, and scalability. The demand for Ruby on Rails developers can vary depending on factors such as location, industry trends, and specific project requirements, but top-quality experts do enjoy a competitive edge in the job market.
How quick is the hiring process with Toptal?
Typically, you can hire a Ruby on Rails developer with Toptal in about 48 hours. Our talent matchers are experts in the same fields they’re matching in—they’re not recruiters or HR reps. They’ll work with you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics, and match you with ideal candidates from our vetted global talent network.
Once you select your Ruby on Rails developer, you’ll have a no-risk trial period to ensure they’re the perfect fit. Our matching process has a 98% trial-to-hire rate, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best fit every time.
What is Ruby on Rails and what are the benefits of choosing it?
Ruby on Rails is a major open-source web development framework with varied tool sets and a strong, active community. Its reliability, developmental efficiency, and scalability are undeniable. These traits, combined with Ruby on Rails’ full-stack capabilities—Ruby on Rails has built-in solutions that seamlessly combine front- and back-end development—make it ideal for prototyping and building MVPs. Ruby on Rails also offers numerous libraries (“gems”), which are rich resources that cut development time even further. Since Ruby on Rails is an opinionated framework, it promotes well-organized, maintainable code, simplifying deployment and updates while ensuring the application remains scalable. Likewise, Ruby on Rails supports test-driven development (TDD) and behavior-driven development (BDD), helping developers create high-quality, reliable applications.
Market Faces Surging Demand for Ruby on Rails Developers
As the use of Ruby on Rails continues to grow, so does the market for professionals who specialize in it: In 2022, Ruby on Rails ranked as the second-most in-demand software engineering skill, with its developers having a 78% better chance of being contacted for an interview than the marketplace average.
So where can you find the best Ruby on Rails developers for hire? It’s relatively straightforward to locate developers with “Ruby on Rails” somewhere on their résumé, but finding a truly proficient expert in the field is a much greater challenge.
There are many Rails engineers who possess different levels of knowledge, experience, and motivation. Your goal is not to simply hire a Ruby on Rails developer who is qualified but to find the right one for your specific needs. Here we tell you how to find and hire the best Ruby on Rails developers for your project.
What attributes distinguish quality Ruby on Rails Developers from others?
A skilled Ruby on Rails developer can harness the power and efficiency of the Rails framework to swiftly build robust and scalable solutions tailored to your company’s needs. They can also support a preexisting development team to help architect new features, debug and optimize code, and align coding standards with best practices.
Here are the essential Ruby on Rails developer skills to look for when hiring:
Ruby – The primary programming language used in any Ruby on Rails project. If you hire someone who hasn’t mastered Ruby’s syntax and best practices, you can expect their code to have readability issues. These concerns can multiply development costs, especially in long-term projects.
Object-oriented programming (OOP) – A well-established programming paradigm that’s a natural fit for programming in Ruby, where everything is an object. A firm grasp of OOP principles like inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation is a vital skill for Ruby on Rails developers for creating clean, maintainable code.
SQL databases– A widespread and scalable way of storing data structured in tables. Rails is designed to work with SQL databases in general and even includes built-in support for SQLite to facilitate Ruby on Rails scaffolding. Anyone looking to hire a Ruby on Rails developer will want to ensure candidates have a strong understanding of SQL. PostgreSQL and MySQL are popular with Ruby on Rails developers, but this aspect will depend on your requirements unless you’re hiring for a flexible greenfield project.
Front-end development – Since Ruby on Rails is a full-stack technology, candidates must be well-versed in standard front-end technologies. At a minimum, these include:
HTML – The basis for every web page. Ruby on Rails developers who stay informed as web standards and browsers evolve in parallel will be able to leverage new features sooner, lowering development costs and elevating user experiences.
QA testing and QA engineering – The manual and automated ways, respectively, of ensuring that your code adheres to the desired functionality. Automated testing makes it possible to scale confidently by efficiently verifying your product even after adding new features or doing major code refactoring. For Ruby on Rails developers, this is a must-have skill.
Don’t neglect proficiency in essential software engineering tools like Git or Docker. The best Ruby on Rails developers will successfully blend these technical abilities with soft skills and excel at programming, problem-solving, and interpersonal communication—irrespective of whether you’re looking for a remote developer, a permanent on-site Ruby on Rails engineer, or someone in between.
How can you identify the ideal Ruby on Rails Developer for you?
When hiring a Ruby on Rails developer, you’ll need to consider not only their skills and attributes but also your project requirements to find the ideal candidate. You should line up your project’s scope, complexity, and budget with a developer’s skill range, technical acumen, and experience.
It also pays to gather a list of project-specific tools and methodologies, e.g., CI platforms like Jenkins, project management software like Jira, and advanced version control practices like Git flow. Familiarity with these can be a boon at crucial moments in a project’s development—like major upgrades—so this is a key factor when looking to hire a Ruby on Rails developer.
Rails is versatile and has been the framework of choice for renowned companies such as Airbnb, Twitch, Shopify, Coinbase, and GitHub. But these companies’ teams (and their products) couldn’t thrive without knowing how to rapidly classify experience levels when sorting through résumés of Ruby on Rails developers for hire.
Junior Ruby on Rails developers have:
A basic understanding of the Ruby language and the Rails framework.
Familiarity with the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, RESTful API design, front-end basics (HTML, CSS, and JS), and databases.
Some experience with version control systems like Git.
Sufficient confidence in handling smaller projects, which can benefit tight budgets, though they may still need guidance from senior developers.
Mid-level Ruby on Rails developers have:
Strong proficiency in Ruby and Rails, understanding best practices and software design patterns.
Experience with testing tools, front-end libraries, deployment tools, and performance optimization.
A proven record of working on projects of varying complexity.
Extensive knowledge of investigative techniques like git bisect and step-by-step debugging.
The ability to spearhead some projects that require advanced features; they can be counted on to work independently and make significant contributions.
Senior Ruby on Rails developers have:
Expert knowledge of Ruby and Rails, best practices, design patterns, and architectural principles.
Extensive experience with test-driven development (TDD) or behavior-driven development (BDD), Agile programming methodologies, advanced Rails concepts, and scalable applications.
Problem-solving skills, DevOps knowledge, and cloud computing platform acumen.
Deep awareness of Git’s internal workings to the extent that they can guide version control processes and correct any Git misuse that may occur.
The capacity to build and maintain large-scale projects and provide mentorship and technical leadership to other team members.
Regardless of expertise, candidates must keep up with new Rails releases, as they often introduce major improvements and clever new features that make development easier and faster.
How to Write a Ruby on Rails Developer Job Description for Your Project
Candidates need to know what will be expected of them and what value they will bring to the project and company. A clear, appealing, and well-thought-out job description is essential. Highlight the most relevant and enticing details to attract developers who will be proud to work on your project.
It can also be helpful to note the major technologies and tools your project uses (or will use), such as your choice of cloud platform, database, additional programming languages, and testing frameworks.
Finally, be clear about where your project is headed. If you are considering a significant pivot, like migrating a crucial part of your stack, be upfront about that in the job description.
What are the most important Ruby on Rails Developer interview questions?
Including a good mix of Ruby versus Ruby on Rails interview questions is wise since solid skills in the Ruby language are essential to working with the Rails framework. To gauge a candidate’s level of expertise, you might want to ask:
What is the difference between false and nil in Ruby?
In Ruby, false and nil are both falsy values. Still, they represent different concepts:
false represents a boolean falsehood, indicating that a condition or statement is incorrect or that an expression evaluates to a falsy value. false is an instance of FalseClass.
nil represents the absence of a value or the concept of “nothing.” It signifies that a variable or an expression has no value or that a method does not return any value. nil is an instance of NilClass.
While both false and nil evaluate as false in boolean contexts, they are not the same, as they belong to different classes and serve different purposes.
What does garbage collection do in Ruby on Rails?
Garbage collection in Ruby on Rails is an automatic memory management technique the Ruby language handles. It identifies and reclaims memory occupied by unused objects, using a generational system to improve performance.
Benefits of garbage collection (GC) in Ruby include:
Program stability – Helps prevent memory leaks and promotes stability.
Security – Mitigates risks by ensuring proper memory management.
Developer focus – Allows developers to concentrate on application logic rather than memory concerns.
While garbage collection can optimize resource usage in some cases, developers must also be aware of the risks of memory fragmentation—and the resulting memory bloat—due to Ruby’s GC design. Qualified candidates should have experience identifying and resolving Ruby memory issues.
What is the difference between :string and :text in Rails?
In Rails, :string and :text are data types used to store textual information, but they differ in terms of storage capacity and use cases:
A :string data type is conventionally used to store short pieces of text, usually with a maximum length of 255 characters. It is backed by the VARCHAR data type in most databases. Examples of when to use a string include storing names, email addresses, or short descriptions.
A :text data type, on the other hand, is conventionally used to store larger blocks of text, often without a specific character limit. It is backed by the TEXT data type in most databases. Examples of when to use text include storing longer descriptions, user-generated content, or even entire articles.
During the interview process for mid- or senior-level developers, it is wise to ask questions about advanced software development concepts beyond Ruby on Rails, such as:
Performance tuning and app health metrics.
Optimizing end-to-end user flows.
Effective code reviews.
Remember, even technical questions like these provide an opportunity to assess nontechnical skills. Soft skills such as effective communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and adaptability are vital to a Ruby on Rails developer’s cultural fit and success on your team.
Why do companies hire Ruby on Rails Developers?
Hiring a quality Ruby on Rails developer confers several advantages, including speed and cost-effectiveness. Ruby on Rails is a full-stack framework that includes most of the components necessary to create an app, which allows for rapid prototyping and MVP development compared to alternatives.
Another key factor in Ruby on Rails’ popularity is its breadth of performance capabilities. Rails allows developers to create high-performing applications rapidly using a vast array of built-in tools and libraries. Moreover, Rails frequently releases updates with new features to accommodate the ever-growing needs of modern web development without sacrificing quality or efficiency.
Ruby on Rails also offers a large and supportive community. This ensures access to extensive documentation and many open-source libraries and plugins, making the application development process more efficient and economical. And the Rails framework’s convention-over-configuration approach promotes clean, organized, and maintainable code, ensuring that projects remain scalable and easy to modify in the long run.
Ruby on Rails provides the web application foundation for a significant and growing number of companies. Hiring a quality Ruby on Rails developer will help you achieve faster, more cost-effective development and ensure scalability, maintainability, and high-quality code that can adapt to the ever-evolving needs of the digital world.
The technical content presented in this article was reviewed by Phil Pirozhkov.