How Can Ruby on Rails Help Kickstart Your MVP?

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Jędrzej Bryll

Jun 27, 2019 • 8 min read
How can Ruby on Rails Help Kickstart Your MVP

If you want to have a successful digital product, you need to launch an MVP.

The first version of your app may be crude, but it needs to provide value to your target group or impress potential investors.

You need to build your MVP fast, so you have time and money to improve it once you learn the truth about your idea. Ruby on Rails (RoR) was made to kickstart beautiful and fully functional MVPs fast. Let us tell you how.

In modern product development, the project workflow is what matters most. The technology for web development is very advanced, the languages and frameworks are productive, the biggest challenge is dynamic environment, limited time, and rare talent.

You need a smooth execution of your plan to succeed before you're out of time and resources.

Ruby on Rails development can help you achieve it in many different ways. RoR is a technology that will improve your project development and provide real business value.

What is an MVP and why do you need it?

MVP is a critical milestone in modern digital product development.

Things always start with a product idea. However, the reality is uncertain and dynamic. You never know how the target group, the market, or investors will react to your product.

Practice shows that changes are always necessary. That is why you need to save time and resources for later when you can introduce changes after receiving feedback.

This is why instead of trying to build a complete product at the first take, you need a Minimum Viable Product that will give value to the users, solve customers' problems, but otherwise will be incomplete. You will make it perfect in later product development iterations, based on real-world feedback.

When do you need an MVP? How can an MVP help you in your project?

You need it in most situations:

  • if you are building a new product financed by yourself
  • when you want to have a product to be shown to potential investors
  • if you are building a corporate product

It's always better to make a working product as fast as possible. An MVP is a must.

The times when digital products were launched as "complete" seem crazy from today's perspective. Even a public "beta" was not enough as it suggested that this is the product, but with some bugs. Today's product owners, designers and developers have much more experience.

MVP will help you keep things simple.

People tend to visualize their final version with all the additional features. The truth is the fewer features you include in your MVP, the easier it is to understand for your users.

Not mentioning that they will encounter fewer design and coding bugs in the first version of your app, even if you build it very quickly.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails was made for fast programming by people with active project management and product development thinking. It's a framework written in the Ruby programming language.

RoR is based on the two main rules:

  1. convention over configuration - let's decrease the number of developer decisions by introducing "sensible defaults" - to make programming faster
  2. don't repeat yourself - it is about reducing the repetition of code. Each piece of logic should have a "single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system"

Ruby on Rails was introduced in the early 2000s and sparked the whole "framework culture."

The idea of limiting the possibilities of programming languages by additional rules to make coding much faster spread quickly. RoR’s creators inspired tools like Django for Python, Catalyst for Perl, or Laravel for PHP.

RoR’s creators worked on the Basecamp project management and communication software. Quickly the framework found new enthusiastic users.

Over the years dozens of top quality sites were built by RoR engineers: Scribd, Hulu, CrunchBase, SlideShare, Zendesk, Github, Groupon, Shopify,, Dribbble, Twitter (later rewritten to Java and Scala), Kickstarter, SoundCloud, UrbanDictionary, Bloomberg, Fiverr - these are just the most famous examples.

Why Should You Choose RoR for Your MVP?

  1. Fast prototyping. With RoR you can generate modules and functionalities very quickly. You get ready-to-use generators - pieces of code you can use to build your app. They work like building blocks.
  2. Great ecosystem. This is typical of modern open-source languages - you can reuse the code published by others in public libraries. In Ruby, the packages are called gems. They can perform the basic functionalities and are there waiting for your team to download them and use. These are things that are not so easy to build from scratch, which would take a lot of time.

With RubyGems, you get modules such as authentication, payment systems, administration panels, e-commerce modules, and integrations with external services (Salesforce, Facebook, Paypal, Intercom, and more) for free!

  1. Easy iterations. This is the core of agile software development and the idea behind launching an MVP. You kickstart a usable version of your app, and then improve it, change, add or remove modules to fit the needs of your users. Knowing the needs of your users is handy. They will notice bugs and ask for things you had no idea about when you were planning the app). RoR fully embraces iterative development. And RubyGems are made to do it.
  2. RoR stood the test of time. Under Lindy's Effect, the life expectancy of technology increases with the time it's being used. RoR is a mature framework and the Ruby programming language has evolved so that some call it an expressive language (just as our human languages) because it's economical and easy to read.
  3. RoR development is fast. The software developers who use RoR can assemble applications quickly. If you get on the same page during the scoping session, your MVP can be delivered even in days.
  4. RoR is 13 years old. The developers are experienced and the potential issues were identified and fixed. However, the most crucial part is that there are proven processes and best practices to build applications with RoR.
  5. Vibrant community. This is a vital aspect of MVP development. These are the people who fix bugs and create new gems you can use. The problems have been solved; you know who to follow. The most popular gems are well-tested.
  6. Easy to learn. This is thanks to the structure of RoR and the community. The language is easy to read and understand, and there are understandable tutorials and courses available online. You want the technology you chose for your project to be accessible, so you can potentially scale up the team.

Read more about Ruby on Rails pros&cons.

That's it. If you weren’t considering building an MVP before launching the full version of your product, we hope we convinced you to change your mind.

Launching an MVP will save you time and money, vastly increasing the chances of the success of your project. Save resources for the later stages and iterations. If people like your product, there will be many.

If you want to build your application's MVP fast, you should consider RoR as one of the options. Let's talk about it, and discuss which technology suits your business best.

Get in touch with us or estimate project.

We’ll be more than happy to chat through your requirements and advise you on the best path forward.

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Jędrzej Bryll

As a bioinformatics graduate, Jędrzej is passionate about computers and nature. You can often see...

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