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How to Hire Ruby on Rails Developers

How to Hire the Best Freelance Ruby on Rails Developer

My business partners and I have run software development companies and hired hundreds of different types of programmers over the past 20 years. Our experience means we know a lot about hiring the top Ruby on Rails developers.

In this article, we will share our tips on what to look for in a Ruby on Rails developer and where to find the best talent.

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What is Ruby on Rails Used For?

Ruby on Rails is a backend web development framework that provides Rails developers an easier way to write code. Ruby on Rails is one of the most popular web development frameworks. It is notable for having low maintenance and is built for collaboration.

Because Ruby on Rails is an open source software, it is free to use. Over 5,000 people have contributed code to Rails. The community contributing to Rails is empowered by the mission to “Optimize for programmer happiness with Convention over Configuration”.

Here are some of the most common uses of Ruby on Rails:

Ecommerce application development

Ruby on Rails is the backend engine behind the ecommerce platform Shopify, which powers approximately 500,000 websites.

The reason why Rails is great for ecommerce is speed of development, flexibility, and security. All of these are critical to managing a lot of simultaneous transactions. Not to mention, there are a thousands of ecommerce gems (libraries of code) pre-built and ready to deploy for Rails developers.

Social-media-like applications

If you are contemplating the best framework for developing a social media site, then Ruby on Rails is an ideal option. Ruby on Rails offers rapid development, it comes packed with a horde of gems to make build a social networking site a lot easier. Some popular gems provide following, file uploads, like/dislike options, feeds, and messaging.

SaaS projects

Building a SaaS, or software as a service, business on Rails is a common occurrence. Popular SaaS projects on Rails include ZenDesk, GitHub, and Basecamp.

Minimal Viable Products (MVPs)

Ruby on Rails is often chosen for cost-effective and fast development of MVPs. It is commonly used for prototyping, introducing updates and testing different versions of products before building fully functional apps.

What to Look for When Hiring a Rails Developer

When hiring a Ruby on Rails programmer, there are a few things you have to consider including experience, rates, and the type of work arrangement. It also depends on the type of project you have and what skills you need to complete it.

Ruby on Rails Required Skills

Here are some of the basic skills that a Rails Developer is expected to have:

  • Ruby skills including syntax knowledge and object oriented programming
  • Rails skills including MVC Framework, REST API, and active record
  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript expertise
  • Proven ability to write clean Ruby code

Ruby on Rails Experience

Ruby on Rails developers should have some experience with the following:

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Libraries like Resque and RSpec
  • Code versioning tools including Git, Github, SVN, and Mercurial
  • AngularJS or BackboneJS
  • MVC, Mocking, RESTful, and ORM
  • Server-side templating languages including Slim and Liquid

How to Write a Ruby on Rails Developer Job Description

Writing the perfect Ruby on Rails job description is essential to ensure that you can attract the top developers. It's also important to ensure that you set the proper expectations up-front to streamline the vetting process, saving everyone time and money.

Ruby on Rails Developer Job Description Template

Company Introduction

Use this section to write 2-3 sentences about your company. Make sure to provide information about the company culture and benefits. This would be a good section to link to your company website. The best candidates will do some advanced research.

Job Description

We are looking to hire a talented Ruby on Rails Developer to manage the interchange of data between our users and the server. You will be responsible for developing and maintaining the server-side logic for the central database, testing performance, troubleshooting, and integrating front-end elements into the application.


  • Design, build, and maintain efficient, reusable, and reliable Ruby code
  • Integration of data storage solutions {{may include databases, key-value stores, blob stores, etc.}}
  • Integration of user-facing elements developed by front-end developers with server side logic
  • Identify bottlenecks and bugs, and devise solutions to these problems
  • Help maintain code quality, organization and automatization
  • Add other responsibilities here that are important for the project/job


  • Experience with Ruby on Rails, along with other common libraries such as RSpec and Resque
  • Good understanding of the syntax of Ruby and its nuances
  • Solid understanding of object-oriented programming
  • Good understanding of server-side templating languages
  • Good understanding of server-side CSS preprocessors
  • Basic understanding of front-end technologies, such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3
  • Familiarity with concepts of MVC, Mocking, ORM, and RESTful
  • A knack for writing clean, readable Ruby code
  • Ability to integrate multiple data sources and databases into one system
  • Understanding of fundamental design principles behind a scalable application
  • Able to create database schemas that represent and support business processes
  • Able to implement automated testing platforms and unit tests
  • Proficient understanding of code versioning tools
  • Specify other frameworks, libraries, or any other technology relevant to your project/job
  • Education level or certification requirements

Ruby on Rails Interview questions

When looking to hire a Ruby on Rails developer, consider asking some of the following interview questions:

  • What is Ruby on Rails?
  • What do subdirectory app/controllers and app/helpers do?
  • What command can you use to create a controller for the subject?
  • Name five things Rails Migration can do.
  • What is the Rails Controller?
  • How can you protect Rails against Cross-Site Request Forgery?
  • What does garbage collection do in Ruby on Rails?
  • Name three limits of Ruby on Rails.
  • What are some advantages of using Ruby on Rails?
  • Name the four types of variables available in Ruby Class.

Freelance Ruby on Rails Developer Rates

The average salary for a Ruby on Rails developer is $115,553 per year in the United States. When hiring a Rails freelancer, you can expect to pay $50.20 on average per hour. Rails freelancer rates can range from $30-$100 per hour depending on the developer's experience, where they are located, their availability, and other programming languages required.

Check out our detailed pricing guide for more freelance software developer rates.

Where to Hire a Ruby on Rails Developer – Top Websites

Where to find Ruby on Rails developers will ultimately depend on a few factors. Consider product duration, developer experience, cost, and how much time you're willing to put into the hiring process.

Here are our top 2 favorite places to find Ruby on Rails developers.


Best Freelance Websites for Developers - Upstack

Best for the top programming talent

Upstack aims to elevate remote tech teams worldwide through dedicated freelance talent. They look for the best freelance talent by sourcing their developers from all over the world.

They deploy an 8 point hiring process to ensure their site users have access to the best candidates with top-notch developing skills, communication, and personalities. They offer talent in a diverse set of fields including Java, Python, iOS, and PHP.

They’ve worked for big-name brands like Microsoft and Lego. However, Upstack has a diverse talent pool that’s highly scalable depending on the size and scope of your business.

Visit Upstack

Read our Upstack Review.


Freelance Websites for Developers - Fiverr

Best for small projects and gigs

As one of the largest freelancing job boards on the web, Fiverr is a proven platform for connecting with prospective freelancers. The site aims to streamline the process of connecting developers with clients in a way that’s efficient for both sides.

You can contact a developer by selecting their profile if you think you’ve found a good fit. Once the terms for a project has been finalized, clients pay the developer upfront. You have about three days to read over the finished product and decide whether to accept a project submission or reject it to get a refund.

Clients look through the site’s list of freelance developers by using its robust filter tools to find the right fit. You can filter developers based on their price range, body of work, and much more.

Fiverr is great for finding developers with a specific niche, as the site has categories for practically any type of development service. For example, if you click on the mobile application development link, it’ll let you sift through candidates based on even more specific guidelines, such as custom app development or web-to-app conversions.

Visit Fiverr

Read Our Review on Fiverr

If you still want more ideas, here’s a full list of the best freelance websites for developers.

Developer Hiring Guides

If you are looking for other types of technical talent, we’ve put together hiring guides for these technologies as well.

Programming Languages
Top Programming Languages
Frontend Frameworks
Top Frontend Frameworks
Backend Frameworks
Top Backend Frameworks
Content Management Systems
Content Management Systems
  • Unity
  • Salesforce
  • iOS / Android


Where can I find a Ruby on Rails developer?

There are many places where you can find and hire a Ruby on Rails developer online. If you're looking for a full-time developer, you can try popular job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn. For the best freelancers, consider using a remote hiring platform focused on placing programmers like Upstack or Toptal. You can also find Ruby on Rails developers on general freelancing marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr.

How much does it cost to hire a Rails developer?

The average salary for a Ruby on Rails developer is $115,553 per year in the United States. When hiring a Rails freelancer, you can expect to pay $50.20 on average per hour. Rails freelancer rates can range from $30-$100 per hour depending on the developer's experience, where they are located, their availability, and other programming languages required.

What are the most important skills to look for in a Rails developer?

A Ruby on Rails developer should have basic syntax knowledge and understand loops, classes, modules, and writing conditional statements. They should also understand object-oriented programming and structure application programming. Frontend skills including JavaScript and CSS are also an important skill to have. In addition, database skills like SQL and MySQL are required.

What does a Rails developer do?

A Ruby on Rails developer is responsible for writing server-side web application logic in Ruby, around the framework Rails. Ruby on Rails developers usually develop core backend functionality. They also integrate their custom built applications with other web services. Many Ruby on Rails developers also have some frontend JavaScript experience so they can create user experiences for the apps that they build.