Ruby on Rails developers create a variety of Web applications using an object-oriented and multi-paradigm programming language and a flexible open-source framework.
The career station of a Ruby on Rails developer can take many forms. Some may focus on front-end, UI-focused development, mixing Ruby on Rails applications with XHTML and Java to design fluid interface experiences. Other Ruby on Rails developers take a more back-end approach, mixing in SQL and running database analysis.
Both full-time and contract positions may be available, and the type of applications on which Ruby on Rails developers work come in many forms. A managed hosting company, for instance, might use a Ruby on Rails application to monitor, catalog and visualize usage statistics. A university might make use of Ruby on Rails for campus intranet applications. Large corporations might ask a Ruby on Rails developer to create a proprietary interoffice communication system.
What is the job outlook for Ruby on Rails developers?
CBT Planet, a provider of training in computer, IT and software business skills, cites in a knowledgebase article that Ruby on Rails development runs alongside cloud computing and virtualization on the short list of IT skills growing rapidly in demand. What's more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that job opportunities for applications software developers are expected to increase 22 percent between 2012 and 2022, a faster rate of growth than the average for all occupations. The projected upswing in employment translates to more than 139,000 new positions.
Here is a list of industries that hold great opportunity for Ruby on Rails developers:
- Web publishing
- Computer systems design and related services
- Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing
- Data processing, hosting, and related services
- Other information services
A few other fields, such as real estate leasing, aerospace manufacturing and management of companies and enterprises also hold some promising positions for a qualified Ruby on Rails developer, but the five industries listed above provide dense concentrations of opportunity. Candidates can consult an online service called Rails Job for an employment catalog that's specific to opportunities for Ruby on Rails developers.
What training or certification is needed to become a Ruby on Rails Developer?
The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) reports that 75 percent of software development professionals have earned at least a bachelor's degree, with 9 percent having continued on through post-graduate study to earn a master's. Computer science, computer software engineering and computer and information systems are the most popular fields of study when working toward a career as a Ruby on Rails developer, but many employers will accept nearly any science, technology, engineering or mathematics degree alongside industry experience in software development.
Developers can turn to the Ruby Association, an organization dedicated to supporting the culture of Ruby developers, to become certified in the Ruby programming language. Also, some third-party programs offer intensive coursework for students who wish to learn the essential skills of a Ruby on Rails developer in one shot. One such "bootcamp" program provides 5 solid days of study, broken down into 2 days of Ruby and 3 days of Rails.
While employers don't often make specific training or certifications mandatory, they can be a great way for aspiring Ruby on Rails developers to become familiar with the tools and concepts of the language and framework.
Summary Report for Software Developers, Applications, O*Net OnLine,
Software Developers, Applications, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013,