Should I Learn Ruby on Rails in 2023?

By Sunjay Armstead |
February 10, 2023
Official Ruby on Rails logo on a black background

I often get overwhelmed by how much there is to learn as a software engineer. Sure, formal or informal education should take place, but it seems like new technologies come out every week. And with them usually come misleading claims like, “If you didn’t learn this framework yesterday, you’re already behind. Kiss your career goodbye!” So, what about those tried and true technologies? Should we still keep those in our back pockets as well?

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is one of those frameworks that’s been around since the mid-2000’s. Built on the Ruby programming language, Rails attempts to take the grunt work out of setting up project architecture. This means that, even on first install, Rails sets up a server, a database, routing systems, and unique ways to present your front-end.

Rails is incredibly useful and stills powers several well-known apps like GitHub, Square, and Airbnb.[1] Rails is also very well documented, supported by a thoughtful “doctrine”, and has an expansive community.

And the Verdict Is ….

So, is Rails relevant to today’s engineering landscape? I’d answer that question with a resounding “yes”! It is important to note that newer technologies have since come out with similar capabilities (RedwoodJS is a notable JavaScript example). But the full-stack nature of Rails, it’s sustained history, thorough documentation, and the current apps it supports all demonstrate that this framework is important to learn.

Where Do I Start?

The primary prerequisite to understanding Ruby on Rails is learning the Ruby programming language itself. Don’t worry, Ruby is actually a lot of fun to use and you’ll catch on pretty quickly. I learned Ruby through Codecademy (yep, it’s one of their free courses).

As for Rails, I’d immediately point you toward the official documentation (guides and API docs). Admittedly, the Rails guides have a lot of content. I will say, though, that it is organized well and contains a fantastic “Getting Started” guide. It will really benefit you to take notes and code along with that guide. And yes, I’ve gone through this same process and created a fun project called Mi Casita. I can’t wait to see what you build as well!


[1] Company data retrieved from homepage of on February 10, 2023.