The Future of Ruby & Rails: Summary of RubyMine Community Survey 2016

It’s been awhile since we asked your opinion about the future of Ruby and Rails. At last, we are ready to announce the (delayed) results of our community survey.

We were able to get 100+ thoughts from you, and we’d like to share some key findings.

Just to refresh your memory, we asked two fundamental questions:

  • What do you think about the future of Ruby and Rails?
  • Thinking of an ideal Ruby code editor of the future, what features should it have?

Though these open-ended questions prevented the results from being standardized and no statistically rigorous report could be produced, they helped us understand your thinking better. Also, the second question was perceived by many as “Show some love and name some bugs in RubyMine,” which was both pleasant and very useful for our team.

Popular opinions on the future of Ruby and Rails can be summed up as follows:

  • Many respondents suggested that Ruby and RoR have reached maturity and will maintain this position, becoming more stable and suitable for enterprise-level apps.
  • Some also suggested that Rails is carving out a niche as the framework of choice for small to medium-sized teams.
  • Rails may be linked with some of the most popular JS frameworks and get better integration with JS on the whole.
  • The committed community and high attention from recruiters prove RoR’s strength and durability.
  • Ruby and Ruby on Rails should look at what technologies like Elixir, Phoenix, Node.js and Go are doing.

We promised to compliment the best responses with $75 Amazon certificates, so here are the answers we chose as the most informative and thoughtful:

“I’m still convinced that RoR is adequate to implement the requirements of about 95% of today’s web applications, it’s obvious that it isn’t “hip” any more. I agree that the language and the framework might not scale up to millions of concurrent users, thousands of data streams etc., but I assume that this is not relevant for all but very few companies.

All the micro services and big data buzz reminds me of the mindless adoption of EJB application servers in the early 2000s, when even the simplest web application was designed using transaction monitors and heavyweight EJBs.

The team productivity for developing small to mid sized web applications with RoR is still unbeaten – there’s just no other framework that can deliver results within short time.”

— Nikolaus Rumm

“Based on the amount of recruiter attention I get, without looking, and the sheer volume of questions and activity surrounding Rails on so many community sites, it still feels strong to me. While some technologies are cutting into it, Ruby and Rails interest and activity remain strong … and regardless of the new hotness, Rails remains an easy tool to get MVP and early-sites off the ground fast.”

— Craig B Kaminsky

“It will be very popular for a number of years, 5-7 I say. Rails 5 merged rails-api and include ActionCable, these technologies will help to be popular for some time.

On the other hand rails has huge problems with performance and scalability. Metaprogramming in Ruby is double-edged sword: it’s very powerful, but misused can complicate maintainability drastically.

For me the future of Ruby On Rails is Phoenix framework, and I hope one day Idea will have first-class Elixir plugin or even separate IDE.”

— Sergei Silnov

The Amazon certificates were already sent to these three winners. Thanks for all your contributions!

Taking into account the experience and the data gathered, we are going to redesign our community survey (to be announced later). We’ll be running the new survey during the upcoming RailConf 2017, and try to figure out how your view of Ruby and Rails have changed over the past year.

We’d love to hear your take on these findings and your further opinions on the future Ruby and Rails. Post them in the comments section below!

image description