How to hire a full-time Ruby on Rails Developer: Recruiting insights from our data team

Mar 16, 202311 minutes read

Despite economic turbulence and layoffs at tech companies, specialized tech talent is still in record-high demand

One sought-after engineering skill is Ruby on Rails. Software engineers who know Rails, a web app framework used by Airbnb, GitHub, and Shopify, receive 1.78 more interview requests on average.

If you’re finding it difficult to find and hire a Ruby developer, you’re not alone. That’s why our data team (special thanks to’s Data Analyst Amy Shi and Head of AI Xu Miao) crunched the numbers on tens of thousands of Ruby developer profiles. With our Talent Graph of 10+ million tech profiles across the United States and Canada, they extracted insights from this data to spot five quick fixes recruiting teams can make right now to increase their hiring success

We’ve included these tips in our guide on how to hire a ruby on rails developer — along with top skills to target, where to look, and market compensation data.

How to hire a full-time Ruby on Rails Developer, 5 learnings from our Data Team

To give the best recruiting tips for hiring a full-time Ruby on Rails developer, we tapped into our state-of-the-art deep learning methods and our talent graph that covers over 10 million software engineering profiles in The United States. Here are five things we learned from analyzing the data, so feel free to use them to improve your recruiting process.

First, our data team looked at where Ruby Developers are located and how this information could help us to find one to hire.

They found that RoR Developers are primarily located in the traditional tech hubs of Silicon Valley and the Greater New York Area. However, they also have a significant presence in growing cities such as Seattle, Texas, Toronto, and Boston. 

Geographic distribution of Ruby on rails developers
Ruby Developers are primarily located in the traditional tech hubs of Silicon Valley and the Greater New York Area

75% of developers say they want to work remotely at least three days a week. And our research found 62% of Ruby developers outside of traditional tech hubs, with a small number of people only listing the USA as their location.

Offering remote work options or better relocation benefits can help employers attract a wider pool of candidates.

#2: Loosen Education requirements

Our data team found that Ruby developers were less likely than Python or Java developers to possess a traditional 4-year Computer Science degree (or a bachelor’s degree).

In terms of education, only 47% of Ruby developers with a bachelor’s degree majored in Computer Science or a related field. 64% of Ruby Developers from our data had at least a bachelor’s degree.

Of the 36% of Ruby developers who didn’t have any 4-year bachelor’s degree, half (51%) did study an IT-related subject or participated in a Computer Science-related program or boot camp.

Coding LanguageComputer Science BSBachelor’s Degree

Employers looking to hire a Ruby developer should consider relaxing degree requirements and hire based on skill proficiency.

#3: Cast a wide net for seniority

Our data team analyzed hundreds of JDs and spotted a significant gap between the Ruby developers available and those targeted by hiring teams.

Nearly 42% of Ruby job descriptions were looking for mid-level to senior developers with 2-5 years of experience — yet only 11% of Ruby engineers fall into this bucket.

Ruby job descriptions

To quickly access a much larger pool of Ruby developers, hiring teams should consider widening the range of acceptable years of experience.

#4: Target Passive Candidates

Ruby on Rails developers are widely distributed across various product domains, of which the three most popular are Fintech (14%), Staffing and Recruiting (12%), It services and IT consulting  (9%), Technology, Information, and the Internet (8%).

Hiring teams can consider targeting engineers at companies with large numbers of Ruby on Rails developers. We found through our data several companies of varying sizes with large populations of Ruby developers.

Large Companies (over 10,000 employees)Mid-Size Companies (500-1000 employees)Small companies (under 500 employees)
General AssemblyApptegyEasyPost
StripeHerokuLighthouse Labs
SquareUpstartLaunch Academy

#5: Understand their role distribution

Our proprietary talent graph found there are currently 74,751 developers proficient in Ruby in the United States.

Role-wise, Ruby developers are primarily concentrated in DevOps (30%), general SDE (28%), and QA (12%) roles, with 5% working as full-stack developers.

Ruby developer roles

When hiring a Ruby developer, it’s essential to consider the market you’re targeting. For example, it might not be too difficult to find a DevOps engineer proficient in Ruby. On the other hand, it might be more challenging to hire a full-stack Rails developer — mainly if the role is located outside of a primary market such as the Bay Area or New York.

How to hire a Ruby on Rails developer: recap

To sum it all up, if you’re having trouble hiring Rails developers, you can:

  • Allow remote work or better relocation benefits
  • Relax education requirements and hire based on skill
  • Widen the years of experience range
  • Target companies with a high number of Rails developer employees
  • Know which roles Ruby Developers often take on an engineering team
  • You can try applying these learnings when sourcing on Github or searching for candidates on Stack Overflow.
  • You can also apply these parameters to your boolean search for Ruby Developers

Essential web development skills for Ruby Developers

If you’re looking to hire Ruby on Rails developers, here are the top tech skills to mention in your job description, look out for in resumes, and target in your interview process.

Solid experience with the Ruby language

It’s no surprise that Ruby developers need to have a strong understanding of the Ruby programming language, including its syntax, object-oriented programming concepts, and built-in libraries. A strong Ruby developer can design, test and deploy efficient and reliable Ruby code.

Proficiency with Rails (or another framework)

While Rails is the most common framework for a Ruby developer, other popular frameworks include Sinatra, Camping, Hanami, Goliath, Ramaze, Padrino, Cuba, Grape, Scorched, Roda, and Volt. A Ruby developer needs a good understanding of the framework’s features and capabilities and how to use them to solve problems and implement new features.

Database management

If you want to hire Ruby developers, don’t overlook strong database skills. Ruby developers frequently work with databases, including relational databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and Oracle, as well as NoSQL databases like MongoDB, CouchDB, and Cassandra.

API development

APIs work as the middleman between different software systems, allowing them to communicate, share data and integrate with each other. REST APIs are the most common, through GraphQL is growing in popularity.

Version control

Git is like Google docs for RoR developers — allowing them to retrieve previous versions of code, collaborate asynchronously, and cross-reference everybody’s independent contributions to ensure they make sense. It creates forking branches through versions of a project and allows team leaders to see the whole picture — only merging pieces of code to the main code base once everyone’s sure that the merge won’t break something.

Cloud services

With nearly everything being built in the cloud these days, Rails developers should be able to deploy and manage applications using a cloud services platform such as  Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure.

Testing and debugging

Strong testing skills are critical to ensure code functions well — a Ruby on Rails developer needs knowledge in testing methodologies (such as unit, integration, and acceptance testing, test-driven development) and Ruby testing frameworks (such as Cucumber, RSpec, and MiniTest).

ruby developer

Top websites to find a Ruby on Rails Developer

Hire a freelance Ruby developer


  • More flexibility to scale your team up and down is valuable in uncertain economic times
  • Freelance developer covers their own benefits, taxes, and other costs


  • High hourly rate
  • Freelance developers are less integrated into the culture of your team


  • Find freelance Rails developers through a site such as Fiverr

Outsourcing Agencies for Rails developers


  • Access to a team of experts with different skills and experiences
  • Pay only for the Rails development services you need


  • High cost
  • An agency typically lacks a deep understanding of your business


Hire a full-time Rails developer


  • More control over the software development process
  • Better communication with your team and understanding of your needs


  • Higher upfront investment
  • Delivers more value only if you have sustained development needs


  • Hire full-time developers with an AI-sourcing solution like

FAQ: What is Ruby?

Ruby is an interpreted, open-source general-purpose programming language. Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto designed it in the mid-1990s to emphasize productivity and ease of use. “I want to emphasize the how part: how we feel while programming,” he explained. “That’s Ruby’s main difference from other language designs.”

Ruby’s rise can be attributed to its positive software developer experience, as well as its power. Ruby built its reputation as one of the fastest programming languages to go from zero to Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a key advantage for startups.

Though the evolution of programming languages such as JavaScript and Python has eaten into Ruby’s popularity in recent years, it isn’t expected to go anywhere. It remains one of the most popular frameworks among top-skilled engineers.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails (also known as Rails) is the most popular backend or server-side framework written in Ruby. Built-in the mid-2000s by David Henemeier Hansson, Ruby on Rails follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. 

hire ruby developers


One of the key principles of Ruby on Rails is convention over configuration. It provides default settings and conventions for developers to build their applications quickly without having to spend a lot of time configuring every detail.

Rails is also known for its passionate and enthusiastic community of RoR developers who have created a vast ecosystem of libraries and tools to extend its functionality.

What is a Ruby developer?

A Ruby developer (also frequently called a Rails developer or RoR developer) is a backend or full-stack web application developer who specializes in using Ruby.

Uses of Ruby

Web application development

Ruby on Rails is one of the most popular web frameworks among software engineers for software development. According to our data, Angular (24%) is the most popular for web development, with Ruby right behind (23%). The other most popular web frameworks include Spring (22%) and ASP.NET (22%).

rails developer
Popular Coding Frameworks for U.S Coders


Ruby-based tools like Chef and Puppet are widely used for configuration management. They allow engineers to define application environments and configure web servers and applications automatically.

Ruby can also be used in DevOps to automate the deployment, testing, and monitoring of infrastructure and applications.

Building Servers

Ruby can be used to build web servers that can handle HTTP requests and serve web content (such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript files, and images) to web browsers.

rails developers

Data Processing

Ruby’s built-in map, reduce, and select functions can be used to solve data-processing problems. It also has extensive libraries and tools for common data structures and functions. 

Though Python is the most widely used language for data processing, many developers enjoy using Ruby for its data transformation capabilities which can be accomplished in just a few lines of code compared to other languages.

Web scraping and crawling

Ruby packages such as Vessel can be used to extract the data you need from websites easily. This is applicable to a wide range of scenarios, including data mining, monitoring, or historical archival.

Benefits of using Ruby on Rails

Open-source Community

Ruby on Rails has one of the most dedicated following of developers who find the language beautiful, expressive, and enjoyable to use. Having a large and enthusiastic community that regularly contributes to its development has been one of its significant drivers of success. Ruby now has many tools, features, and add-ons for developers.

Simplicity and Speed

As a dynamic, object-oriented programming language with a syntax similar to English, many developers find Ruby intuitive. It is an interpreted, high-level language and hides some details, errors, and exceptions from the developer — making it faster and easier to use, though less suited for low-level control.


Ruby on Rails is time-tested, proving its worth to millions of developers worldwide. Rails’ maturity also means that it has an extensive set of solutions for nearly any problem a developer might encounter, cutting down on the time required to code new solutions. Ruby’s maturity also means that it’s not as challenging to find an experienced Ruby developer or solid engineer with Rails developer skills.

ruby developers


Ruby on Rails can be used for a wide variety of software development projects ranging from the simplest to the most complex web applications. It can also be used for scripting, DevOps, mobile applications, games, data processing, and more.

How much does it cost to hire a Ruby developer?

Here is the market salary data to help a hiring team make a competitive offer and plan headcount targets.

It’s important to note that pay may vary significantly depending on location and company. For example, Ruby developers in the San Francisco Bay Area (CA) are compensated $112,701, and those in Helena (MT) make $92,804 annually.

LevelYears of ExperienceBase CompensationAdditional Compensation
Entry-level0-1 years$73,975$10,341
Ruby Developer4-6 years$83,026$11,382
Senior Ruby Developer4-6 years$100,002$20,978
Senior Ruby Developer10-14 years$123,588$30,829
web development

Try an AI sourcing service for finding Full-time Ruby developers

Whether you’re looking for a Ruby developer with 2 years of experience or 10, located in Palo Alto or Austin, AI solutions can help.’s proprietary AI Talent Graph of 20M+ candidates aggregates billions of data points across community forums, academia, personal websites, and a wide range of professional networks. Our machine-learning algorithms purpose-built for technical recruiting extend past other sourcing solutions to uncover untapped talent pools and deeply match candidates to your roles.

We offer:

  • A 3-Day average turnaround with warm talent ready for interviews appearing in your inbox or ATS in 1-5 business days.
  • 80% average acceptance rate of tech candidates for competitive, specialized roles like Ruby Developer, Full-stack Developer, Backend Developer, Frontend Developer, Data Scientist, DevOps Engineers, Machine Learning Engineers, Tech Leads, Architects, and Managers.
  • Instant flexibility to scale up and down your recruitment efforts as your hiring needs, role priorities, and budget shift during these uncertain economic times.

Start a free trial and receive a list of highly qualified ruby developer candidates today!

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