Why is Ruby on Rails A Good Choice For Developing Your MVP? [2023 Update]

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Jacek Górniak

Updated Jun 16, 2023 • 10 min read
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Ruby on Rails was designed to jumpstart the process of developing your application by quickly creating visually appealing and fully operational MVPs through rapid prototyping and economical development.

Changing environments, time limitations, and rare talent are challenges you'll face when developing the first iterations of your application.

You'll need a smooth execution of your plan to succeed before you're out of time and resources. Ruby on Rails development services can help you achieve this in many different ways. RoR technology will speed up your project development process and provide real business value to your target audience. In this article, we go over why you should pick Ruby on Rails for building your MVP.

Why choose Ruby On Rails for your Minimum Viable Product?

Because of its rapid development capabilities, high-velocity development environment Ruby on Rails is a great choice for developing a Minimum Viable Product.

Getting your MVP launched should be the priority of your business. It provides a playground for feature testing and a basis for customer feedback, all while providing your business a platform to showcase your commitment through consistent improvements and updates.

Here's why Ruby on Rails is a great choice for MVP development.

Fast prototyping

RoR provides ready-to-use-generators that work like building blocks to build your application. What was previously manually coded, migration files, and database tables, can now be offloaded into RoR commands that have been created to automate common tasks in Rails applications.

Great ecosystem

When Ruby on Rails first entered the scene, its convention-over-configuration design system facilitated and sped up developer work on many levels. It has been the primary driver that has turned Ruby on Rails into the popular framework that it is today. After all, its feature set includes object-oriented programming, multi-platform compatibility, and functional programming.

The RoR community has built a great ecosystem filled with public libraries and built-in development tools that feature millions of lines of open-source code. These packages are called gems in Rails and are used primarily to speed up RoR development by making it easier to "assemble" the most commonly used layers of the applications.

According to RubyGems, there is the staggering number of 175,000 Ruby gem packages available for use right now, with over 126 billion downloads and 170,000 users.

That said, its loyal community is partially why Rails is a great framework for MVP development. Community members are often the people who fix bugs and create new gems for you to use. With the most popular packages having gone through rigorous testing, businesses can feel safe knowing that their project is using a framework that some of the more popular businesses have used throughout the years.

Easy iterations

The ease of facilitating future iterations of the current product is the core principle behind using Rails to launch an MVP. With Ruby gems, RoR fully embraces iterative MVP development through straightforward syntax that allows RoR programmers to solve complexities in fewer lines.

Businesses that constantly release new versions of their application often have difficulty maintaining clean, readable code. Rails' focus on programmer happiness and beautiful code means that the framework was hell-bent on using keywords and constructs to instruct the programmer and that it would be written in a simple, reader manner. Its “convention over configuration” principle means that implied code need not be written.

On top of this, building new features for your web application is easier as Rails integrates well with other technologies and APIs to translate theoretical business logic into a practical application feature. The backend database could also be modified and configured without worrying about breaking the code.

Longstanding history - maturity

Under Lindy 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. Some call it an expressive language (just as our human languages) because it's economical and easy to read.

Its maturity bodes well for you as a business. Past Rails developers have experienced and solved potential issues you might face, and proven processes and best practices have been built to facilitate a bug-free development process.

Access to skilled developers

Finally, the wide acceptance of Ruby on Rails in Silicon Valley has made it one of the foundational frameworks for any developer to learn. From a developer perspective, there are countless tutorials and resources available online to learn from, as well as existing projects, like AirBnB, Dribbble, and Scribd, to examine and study for best practices.

For a business, this means that finding a Rails developer is an easier endeavor, even if your developers have no experience with Ruby or RoR yet. While knowing one language does not signify future competency in another language, developers who know Python Django, for example, should understand the basic underlying concepts of Rails. Of course, a Ruby developer could also pick up the framework fairly easily.

Developing an application with RoR: Use case

Over the years, dozens of top-quality sites have been built by RoR engineers. Here are some examples:

  • Scribd
  • Hulu
  • CrunchBase
  • SlideShare
  • Zendesk
  • Github
  • Shopify
  • Dribbble
  • Twitter (later rewritten to Java and Scala)
  • UrbanDictionary
  • Bloomberg

Specific to Netguru, our Rails developers have worked on numerous Rails projects in industries spanning everything from healthcare to education.

One of our more well-known projects is Artemest, an Italian ecommerce site featuring curated home decor, jewelry, and lifestyle art. Here's a breakdown of how we built their platform.

The problem

Artemest had faced scaling issues for their platform when they first approached Netguru. Though they had an existing product, their online infrastructure needed heavy renovation to support their growing client base.

Artemest_product_dev -1

The project aimed to help artists reach a wider audience while highlighting the incredible skill and attention to detail the artists needed to craft their products.

Netguru needed to maintain the growth pace while providing a reliable infrastructure that didn't disrupt the company's day-to-day activities. With over 350 vendors on the platform, Artemest needed to test for application designs, B2B and B2C features, and consumer adoption.

In short, Artemest needed a scalable, maintainable application that could be improved alongside their business. Their press coverage and rapid growth also meant that the company needed their MVP released as soon as possible.

The solution

To solve these issues, Netguru provided a full stack solution to their problems that started with a DevOps review of their code. UX was another salient point that needed improvement – beautiful user interfaces should reflect the extraordinary craft.

The application, from start to finish, was built using Ruby on Rails for the back end. This case study highlights how easy it is to constantly revise and improve a Rails application without experiencing major setbacks to the business's day-to-day operations.

Using Rails for MVP development has allowed Artemest to release, analyze, and test features at a rate the company had never experienced before – helping them grow into the large community-driven platform they are today.

"We've definitely increased the pace of development," highlighted Marco Deseri, Chief Digital Officer at Artemest. "We're now releasing more features than we used to before we started the cooperation with Netguru."

Do you really need an MVP?

Businesses are often launched with their idea of a "perfect product."However, reality is uncertain and dynamic. You never know how the target group, market, or investors will react.

Practice has shown that improvement and further development are always necessary, so it's more efficient and less costly to start by building a working prototype and iterate from there.

Instead of trying to build a complete product in the first take, you need a Minimum Viable Product that will give users value and solve customers' problems, but otherwise will be incomplete. You could improve your prototype and strive for perfection in later product development iterations based on real-world feedback and application performance metrics.

From this feedback, you can test features, shift project requirements, and prioritize your target market's needs. When you're unsure how your target audience will react to a new product or feature, an MVP will help validate your business vision.

Create a functioning MVP with Ruby on Rails

The framework's rich libraries and extensive documentation makes building with Ruby on Rails easy. Having existed for over 15 years means that the framework has withstood the test of time and has developed proven processes and best practices that allow businesses to build and release their MVPs as quickly as possible.

While a deep understanding of architectural designs and component coupling are detriments to building an MVP with Rails, RoR remains a great choice if your project has tight deadlines and stringent budget requirements. What Rails lack in flexibility, it makes up for in cost-effective and time-efficient development through the framework's many dependencies and packages.

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Jacek Górniak

Jacek graduated in economics from Poznan University of Economics. Besides programming, he is...
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