The Beginner’s Guide To Learning Ruby on Rails in 2021

Sep 9, 2021 - 5 min read

So you’re on the fence on whether you should learn Ruby on Rails or not, and you don’t know if it’s still worth doing so in 2021 given the staggering display of programming languages and frameworks out there.

Learning a programming language takes a lot of time, and making the wrong choice, in the beginning, might set you back a few months (or more) from reaching your goal.

I know how you feel, I had the same question when I decided to learn my next programming language.

But don’t worry, this article will give all the answers you need in order to make an informed decision about whether you should learn Ruby on Rails in 2021 or not.

But before we move on, let me tell you about what makes me qualified to talk about this topic.

Can you trust my advice?

Cezar Hacktalks
I’ve been working professionally with Ruby on Rails since 2008 (when Rails was at version 1.x), building all sorts of applications for the web. From small hobby projects to Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), to APIs, to multi-million dollar apps, and everything in between.

In other words, I’m not someone that is just getting started with Ruby on Rails, and you can rest assured that I know what I’m talking about.

Please note that this article is about the Ruby on Rails framework, not the Ruby language. I plan on writing a separate article that covers Ruby the language because it’s such a large topic and it deserves its own space.

Who is this for?

This guide is for you if one or more of the following are true.

  • You are just getting started learning Ruby on Rails
  • You are looking to get a job as Ruby on Rails developer
  • You are changing careers and you want to learn to code
  • You have a passion for building applications for the web
  • You want to start your own business

Why learn Ruby on Rails in 2021

By today’s standards, you can call Ruby on Rails an old framework. Some might say it’s already dying. So why learn it if it’s old tech?

It really depends on how you look at it.

If you’re the type of person that likes (and can afford to) play with the latest and greatest languages and frameworks, and you don’t really care about getting hired, or making money, then by all means feel free to move on to something else.

But if you are interested in using a mature framework with an active community, a ton of pre-built libraries, with highly-paid jobs, or if you want to start your own business, then I think investing your time in learning Ruby on Rails will pay off.


Taking a quick look at StackOverflow, there are 319,626 total questions for Rails. Plus another 214,696 for Ruby. This is important, it means you can get help really quickly when you get stuck on a problem.

Another useful thing is the number of libraries you can use in your code, and Ruby has about 10746 of them.

Imagine how much code you don’t have to write. Because it has already been written for you.

It makes you a better software developer

If none of those reasons make Rails a compelling technology for you, it will at the least teach you a few useful concepts. Here are a some of them.

Also, there are a lot of best practices built into the conventions that the framework is using which you can take to other languages or frameworks you will work with in the future.

In other words, your time investment will pay off if you decide to learn Ruby on Rails right now.

What will you learn in this guide?

I have split the guide into separate chapters, so you can quickly find what you are interested in. If you think I’ve missed an important topic, or if you have any questions that you can’t find answers to in this guide, please send me an email.

You can jump to any of the chapters either by clicking one of the links below, or through the links in the sidebar.

If you found this article useful, please help others discover it by sharing it on your favorite social media platform.

Cezar Halmagean
Software development consultant with over a decade of experience in helping growing companies scale large Ruby on Rails applications. Has written about the process of building Ruby on Rails applications in RubyWeekly, SemaphoreCI, and Foundr.