Some of the web’s most-visited sites are built on Ruby on Rails, a framework that emerged in the mid-2000s.
Ruby on Rails is part of the web development curriculum here at Lighthouse Labs. We often get asked:
“Why do you teach Ruby instead of a rising-in-demand language like Python?”
Being a great developer is much less about knowledge of specific syntax (easily searched on Google) and much more about structure, process and variety of experience. We believe it is essential that we expose students to a second language, which helps generalize programming concepts instead of specific syntax. In fact, many of our graduates go on to take roles that are not focused on JS or Ruby.
There are also cycles of popularity and adoption with languages. That's the difference when you look at coding as an entire industry versus a snapshot in time.
According to Stack Overflow, 42% of professional developers say they use Ruby, and plan on continuing to do so. Meanwhile, TIOBE ranks Ruby among its top-15 programming languages. (For clarity, Ruby is the programming language while Ruby on Rails is a web-application framework that is implemented in Ruby.)
To give you a sense of its prevalence today, the following websites (not to mention the 500+ million others) are built with Ruby on Rails:
Canada’s Cinderella story, Ottawa-based Shopify is a multinational e-commerce company that provides online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.
Tobi Lutke, co-founder and CEO, in 2004 built the first iteration of Shopify, then known as Snowdevil, as a way to sell snowboards online. Today, Shopify powers more than one billion businesses in 175 countries and employs a number of Lighthouse Labs web development alumni and mentors.
Twitter was originally founded upon Ruby on Rails, but has since switched to Scala, an implementation which began in 2009. Originally, Twitter did this citing performance and scalability.
In 2010, Twitter shared that:
“In order to understand the performance gains, you must first understand the inefficiencies of our former Ruby-on-Rails front-end servers. The front ends ran a fixed number of single-threaded rails worker processes, each of which did the following: parsed queries queried index servers synchronously aggregated and rendered results”
The social media platform is one of the internet’s top-visited websites, and hundreds of millions of tweets are sent every day.
David Heinemeier Hansson, a partner at Basecamp, created Ruby on Rails in 2004. Basecamp is a project management and internal communication tool for remote teams worldwide.
According to [Wired.com](https://www.wired.com/2008/02/mf-signals/, Hansson worked 10 hours per week in the early days developing a website for founder Jason Fried. “Hansson used a little-known language named Ruby — which most developers felt was too slow and limited to be of much use — and developed a series of shortcuts to help him build the program quickly and easily.”
Five months after Basecamp (then 37signals) launched in February 2004, Hansson packaged his Ruby shortcuts and released them as Ruby on Rails.
Github is the world’s-leading software development platform. Github was developed in 2008 using Ruby on Rails and today boasts more than 40 million users. Developers use Github to host open source projects, and Github includes several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.
For reference, you can visit Lighthouse Labs’ Github page here.
The online marketplace for accommodation is built on Ruby on Rails. The Uber of accommodation acts as a broker for housing, and does not own any of the real estate which it lists on its platform.
Kickstarter is a platform where products are crowdfunded, and then launched to market.
As of December 2019, Kickstarter has received more than $4.6 billion in pledges from 17.2 million backers to fund 445,000 projects, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology, publishing, and food-related projects
Hulu, an American streaming platform, is built using Ruby on Rails. It’s one of the major subscription streaming services comparable to Disney+, Netflix, Crave (in Canada), and the like.
Unfortunately for Canadians, Hulu is not available north of the border without a VPN.
Couchsurfing is a more basic version of Airbnb. The website connects travellers with potential places for temporary stays abroad.
Although not as prevalent as it once was thanks to smartphones and social media, Yellow Pages is a website where Canadians can search for and find businesses.
Dribbble is a website where designers can share their work, look for jobs, collect feedback, and interact with the community.
That’s not all, these other major websites use Ruby on Rails: