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So you decided that the main technology for your web application will be the Ruby on Rails framework. Trust me, it is a great choice. Now, it's time to pick up the development team. The market is full of software companies, and you are wondering, "Which team of Ruby on Rails developers should I choose?". You are in the right place because I'm going to show you which factors are important while choosing developers.

The selection of the wrong IT partner can cost you time and money. One of our clients already knows that. We were not the first pick of Tim Jones (CEO of LaunchMatic). In January 2020, he contacted us, telling us that he needs some professional Ruby on Rails developers to complete the already started project. Why was that? Tim wasn’t satisfied with the result delivered by the previous software development partner.

What do we do in that kind of situation? First of all, we need to check the code quality. Tim's web application for generating screenshots needed improvement. Our RoR developers decided to rewrite it.

Ruby on Rails web application - Launchmatic

How to find the best Ruby on Rails remote team? 6 tips

There are a few common ways of how our clients found us. Most of them come to us through recommendations. Our clients/partners are our showcases :) The second sources are B2B Rating & Reviews platforms like Clutch.co, Digital Knights, or G2.com. The third way is our website or blog. We gain quite nice traffic from Google.

As you may know, the number of software houses that code in Ruby on Rails is enormous. Typing phase "ruby on rails developers/company" in Google shows tens of results. How to choose the best remote developers team? There are 6 actions you may take to evaluate whether the software house and its developers are trustworthy:

01 Check the portfolio

My first advice is to check how many and how comprehensive projects written in RoR the company and its developers already finished. It is the best way to judge coders' skills. The portfolio tells everything. You can evaluate what technologies, integrations and features they can implement.

Curious how we work at Railwaymen? Take a look at 3 applications examples: 

  • To develop LaunchMatic (web app for screenshots generating), we ensured one Ruby on Rails developer (and Team Leader) that implemented screenshots designer, automatic iOS & Android devices screenshots adjusting, and captions translator. Technologies used in this project: Ruby on Rails, React, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PostgreSQL, Webpack, and Ruby. The app is also integrated with Stripe, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and Google Cloud Translate.

Case study of Ruby on Rails project -  Launchmatic

  • Building James Marketing Amplifier (marketing automation web application for law industry) required a much larger team because of the functions' advancement: Branded documents, Library, Client Lifecycle, User & Admin Panel and Statistics. The scope of the project required two Front-end developers and two RoR developers. Technologies used: Ruby on Rails, Ruby, PostgreSQL, HAML, React, JS, CSS, HTML.  James Marketing Amplifier app is integrated with Twillo, Adobe InDesign and Zapier.

Case study of Ruby on Rails project - James Marketing Amplifier

  • During working on Frindow (social networking app for people who feel lonely), our developers implemented 8 functionalities: Video chat, Chat, Profiles, Proxy users (different types of accounts), Groups, Forums, Events, Notifications. To meet the budget and timeline, we engaged 2 Ruby on Rails developers and one Front-end developer. They used Ruby on Rails, React, Bootstrap, Websockets, ES6, Redis, JS, PostgreSQL, CSS, HTML. This web app is integrated with Twillo, Mailchimp, and Google Analytics.

Case study of Ruby on Rails project - Frindow

As you can see, creating a Ruby on Rails application requires using many various technologies and implementing some integrations. Your future development team needs to have strong programming skills to deliver a high-quality digital product.

It is also a good idea to look for a software partner with some experience in building web apps for various industries. If you notice that the portfolio includes projects for marketing automation, social networking, foodtech, fintech, construction, etc., it means the developers are flexible and deal with varying tasks. 

02 Read the reviews

Checking the reviews is definitely a good idea. How can you do that? First of all, you can do it in person by finding the name from the case study on LinkedIn, write a private message, and simply ask about the background of cooperation. Secondly, you can use online platforms that gather B2B reviews. Clutch.co is the most popular one (it gains over 1,2 million viewers each month).

Each opinion on Clutch.co is meticulously verified whether the author actually cooperated with the IT company. The review has 5 parts: Background, Challenge, Solution, Result and final Rating.

Fragments of Railwaymen's reviews on the Clutch.co03 Ask about the team structure

The size and structure of the development team are related to the project scope and its difficulty. One of the most important questions you should ask is, "How many Senior Developers are working in your company?" Their experience allows them to find the solution for even the most challenging code issue. Senior Developers provide invaluable value to app development. Of course, it doesn't mean that having a Junior or Mid Developer in the team is a disadvantage. Usually, they are very creative because of a fresh look at app development.

At Railwaymen, half of our Ruby on Rails developers are Seniors with years of experience, and every project has at least one of them in the development team.

04 Check the communication

Communication is essential for good cooperation and building a long-term partnership. A programmer should have both soft and hard skills. It is worth cooperating with developers who are open to discussion, code reviews, come up with ideas, and have an open-minded attitude. In short, it is good practice to get to know developers a little bit before signing the contract. We know well that positive flow among clients and the dev team is important. That's why we launched free Design Thinking Workshops where we can meet and understand everyone's perspective.

Usually, web application development companies offer a Project Manager's that will be responsible for project coordination. At Railwaymen, we are flexible, and in some cases, clients can contact the technical Team Lead. Read the story:

Customer's Story - Cost Tracker FinTech web app

05 Check the development methodologies

Approach to project management and Ruby on Rails development is important, and it should be compatible with your business needs. Taking a closer look at the web development process, the workflow, task management, and tools used will help you evaluate whether the cooperation will be comfortable for you.

There are a few main app development approaches. As a development company, we recommend working in Agile way to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first. This approach reduces the risk of application failure.

At Railwaymen, we use a set of tools that allow us to run projects and communicate with clients efficiently:

  • Jira - project management tool,
  • Miro - an online visual collaboration platform,
  • Slack, Zoom, Google Meet - communication tools.

06 Be suspicious of cheap offers

During the Ruby on Rails companies' research, you will come across many web development offers. Some of them will be more expensive while others will be relatively cheap. Why is that? IT firms from different regions of the world have different cost rates. I recommend being careful with very cheap offers.

For example, developers from India are known to be the cheapest on the worldwide development market. Unfortunately, the low price affects the quality of the code. From time to time, we do receive offers to fix the incorrectly programmed application. But this is not always possible. Very often, the application is so badly written that it is better to code it once again. Each software house has its own guidelines in this area. You see, it is hard to correct someone else's work.

How much does it cost to hire Ruby on Rails Developers?

The hourly rate depends on the experience, job position and the region you hire app developers from. Team structure also impacts the final development cost because the Senior Developer rate is more expensive than Junior.

Remember that only a professional cost estimation will give you accurate information about your project price. Our Project Managers and Business Efficiency Experts can do it for you. Cost estimation is noncommittal and free of charge.

How many developers do your project need?

The number of needed developers is strongly related to the scope of the project and the deadline. Above, I have given 3 examples of applications from our portfolio: LaunchMatic, James Marketing Amplifier, and Frindow. I am sure you noticed that each of those projects is unique, and we ensured various teams to finish them.

To estimate how many Ruby on Rails Developers will be required to programming a custom web app, we need to know at least the client’s application vision. Our developers are involved in this process. They estimate the Man Days (amount of programming that can be done in one workday by one person) of each component that will be developed. After that, we can present our estimation to the client.

Are Ruby on Rails Developers enough to build web applications?

Developers are essential to building every application, they are the core of the team, but they are not enough. Custom software development is a comprehensive process.  To create a reliable custom web app from scratch, you need:

  • UX/UI Designer that will ensure pleasant app interface and good user experience
  • Back-end and Front-end Developers that will code an app
  • Quality Assurance that will test the app scrupulously
  • Project Manager that will coordinate the project and workflow

Some of our clients already have their Designers, and they only expect programming, testing and maintenance service. Nevertheless, we have over 50 experts on board, so if any of our partners will need to extend the cooperation, it is no problem for us.

I think that presenting real Ruby on Rails app examples from our portfolio will give you an accurate perspective. Take a look at the teams' structures of the software projects that we coded from scratch:

  • CostTracker is a comprehensive cost management software. We were responsible for Ruby on Rails development (Frontend & Backend), QA, UX & UI design. The team included the Project Manager, Front-end Developer, two RoR Developers, UX/UI Designer, QA Specialist.

Ruby on Rails development - CostTracker case study

  • ProTenders is an all-in-one construction platform. The scope of work included Ruby on Rails development (Frontend & Backend), Marketing Graphics, UX, and QA. We built a team of 10 experts: CTO, Project Manager, several Frontend & Backend Developers, UX/UI Designer and QA Specialist.

Ruby on Rails development - ProTenders case study

  • Shawarmer is a web and mobile application for food tech in the GCC region. This digital product required QA service, UX/UI design, Ruby on Rails, Android and iOS development. The dedicated team contained 11 specialists: CTO, Project Manager, UX/UI Designer, 2 x Quality Assurance, 2 x Android, 2 x iOS, and 2 x Ruby on Rails developers.

Ruby on Rails development - Shawarmer case study


How to choose the best Ruby on Rails Developers? Conclusion

Ruby on Rails is a powerful framework for web application development. One Ruby on Rails developer is not enough to build an application from scratch. Someone needs to design the wireframes and test whether any bugs do not interrupt the application usage. Our experience shows that in most cases, the scope of a digital product requires involving a team of development experts.

I imagine that picking the right partner is a challenging decision. That's why I have a few final tips for you:

  • The portfolio of the IT firm should present complete projects written in Ruby on Rails.
  • Recommendations and reviews are good ways of checking whether Ruby on Rails company is a trustworthy partner.
  • It's a good sign if the firm has many Senior Ruby on Rails Developers on board.
  • The communication with the IT partner should be smooth from the very beginning.
  • It is a smart move to work in Agile way and develop MVP first.
  • Cheap app development gives a risk of poor code quality.

Are you looking for a Ruby on Rails Specialists? We are ready to start cooperation with you. Download the presentation about our company culture and get to know us better!

Ruby on Rails development - Railwaymen presentation