Ruby on Rails is an open source application framework that is quickly gaining traction in the marketplace. Building your website or app on Rails saves you money and time as well as gives you a reliable platform with a growing community of developers. However, finding a high-quality Ruby on Rails developer for your project isn’t always as easy as it seems.

This is in spite of the myriad resources available when it comes to finding candidates Like any job, it is a two-way street and it’s important to make sure that it’s a good fit for both parties before diving in.

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The problem with hiring Ruby on Rails developers

Since Ruby on Rails is still a relatively new programming language, experience doesn’t make a huge difference in judging a Ruby on Rails programmer’s ability. You can’t weed people out for only having two years of experience.

It can also be hard to get a full understanding of an individual’s capabilities in the interview process. That, on top of the fact that Rails developers are in high demand, means you are guaranteed to pay a premium compared to other languages.

Ruby on Rails freelance salary

The high price of freelance Ruby on Rails developers means that if you make mistakes in hiring, it will be costly. Be sure to check out Hubstaff’s guide on hiring a good web developer.

Where to look for Ruby on Rails development services

While you can definitely find great Rails developers on Upwork and, the open source nature of Ruby on Rails means there might be better options and places to look.

If you wish to go with a regular marketplace, be sure to check out our guide to freelance websites.

Audit your network for leads

Your network is your best friend. People who know you and understand what you are trying to accomplish are going to have the best leads.

Take a look at your current connections and ask around

More likely than not, someone will be able to point you in the right direction. LinkedIn will let you search for Rails developers in your network. Don’t stop with professional connections. Spread the word to friends, family, and even alumni networks.

Ruby on Rails agencies

When you don’t know anyone personally or through your network, staffing agencies can be a great way to get your foot in the door with potential hires.

Agencies also makes sense. A lot of people have a reputation they have built in the community, so they go into Ruby on Rails consulting.

This is great as they are able to attract the best talent due to their status, and have a name to protect when delivering work to clients.

Check out these Ruby on Rails job boards

With any programming language, there’s always a community around it that hangs out or gets their news from specific sources and websites.

The list below is of some of the Ruby on Rails websites that also have a job board or are known in the community as places to look for jobs.

  • RubyNow – Ruby jobs are posted here daily, making it a great destination for developers looking for jobs. Depending on the promotion level you choose, it costs $79-$199 to post a job.
  • Ruby on Rails Jobs – Many well-known companies trust this site in their Ruby on Rails recruitment process. It’s free to post a job and you can pay $29-$99 for extra “boost” features.
  • Rails Jobs – The site does exactly what the name suggests. It costs $99 to post a job but there are discounts if you wish to post multiple job posts. You can also get access to a CV browsing feature if you spend $425 on the service.
  • Rails Jobs De – This site is in German and aimed at the German market, but if you are happy with working either in German or with German developers, this site is worth a shot. It’s free to post jobs.

Of course, there are plenty of general development jobs boards and remote work boards that are suitable for finding Ruby on Rails developers.

Attend events

Since developers like to know who they are working with, connecting with them through Meetups, networking events or Ruby-specific conferences and events is a great way to find quality candidates.

The benefit of meeting someone in person is that you can quickly get a feel for whether or not they will be a good fit. Attending events also demonstrates your interest and commitment, which is important to developers.

Reach out directly to hire a RoR developer

It may not be the most reliable way to find a developer, but if you know exactly what you want, it’s worth a shot. If you see a Ruby on Rails developer that you think is the perfect fit, just reach out to them. Check out any of the open source RoR projects to find these developers.

There are also plenty of community websites speaking about currently active Ruby on Rails open source projects.

While it’s not guaranteed you will get to hire any of the lead developers under some of those projects, they are very likely to introduce you to great agencies or individuals that can help you. If nothing else, just shoot some emails out and see what happens.

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Qualifying a developer

Once you find candidates for your work, you’ll need to qualify them in order to get the best fit for your project. Here are a couple of quick tips to get you off on the right foot.

Check out the code

If you’re not technical yourself, get someone who is a little technical to look at the candidate’s coding. Every developer should have a GitHub profile (or something similar), that will have examples of their work. Even if you’re not super technical, this should give you an idea of how much experience they have.

Get references

Make sure to get references from previous clients. Sites like Upwork will have areas where previous clients can rate a freelancer. This should give you a pretty good idea of what they are like to work with.

You can also see references on LinkedIn profiles (but not all have them). If there is nothing available on their profiles, or you want to ask specific questions, simply ask developers if they have any references you can call.

Do a spec project

If you’re really not sure, you can always ask candidates to do a spec project to judge their skills. However, if you do ask them to do a small spec project, be prepared to pay up. Though you may not use the candidate, they are still providing work for you, so make sure you have enough money in your project budget to pay for a small sample of their work – it could pay off big for you in the end.

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One last thought for hiring the best Ruby on Rails developers

Demand for developers is generally quite high. This is especially the case with Ruby on Rails developers, so it’s extremely important to reinforce why your company is a great place to work, and the offer you are making for them.

If you have a compelling package and project, you could wind up with your dream hire.