As a copywriter at a web agency, and I can speak for many designers here as well, it’s not always easy to understand the methodology behind the development side.
Simply saying, “It’s Greek to me,” and leaving it up to someone else to deal with helps nobody. A team works better when they all understand each other’s role. So, I had to do a little research.
On our first blog post diving into the minds of Doejo developers, we look into Ruby on Rails. Its relevance, its popularity, what projects it’s ideal for, and what the benefits are.
So, this is what I found as simplified as possible.
Ruby on Rails is a framework for developing applications popular with developers for its easy-to-maintain code—cutting time and improving efficiency. (Essentially, “Rails” is a six-year-old web development framework built on top of “Ruby,” a programing language developed in the early 90s’).
Ruby on Rails, or “Rails” for short, was instrumental in creating Groupon, Twitter, Hulu, Shopify, and countless other e-commerce sites, business collaboration tools and high-traffic media platforms, for example. Another benefit is the active Rails community: there are more than 2,000 contributors updating the libraries and templates—developers love that.
Dev’s also love its flexibility and adaptability, so if there are changes that need to made in code at any point, they can respond quickly. What this means for client work is that Ruby on Rails is both robust and dynamic (read: featureful) but also less complex and time-consuming than other dev languages like PHP for example (read: less costly).
At Doejo, we recently utilized Ruby on Rails on a big project: BarsProducts.com, an international automotive chemical producer and distributor under the Bar’s Leaks and Rislone brands.
This site is jam-packed with useful features and resources: a full listing of their product line by category (complete with descriptions, testimonials, comments, related products, etc.), where to find them, a platform for support specialists, a comprehensive look at the company history, and a multi-media blog on BarsProducts in the motorsport scene. Most interestingly, as an international site serving various countries, each page comes in about 10 different languages built off the same platform.
Doejo developer Roman says he couldn’t have done this project on just any developer framework. He needed the robust resources, reusable code and reliable libraries of Ruby on Rails.
And then there’s Workify, a platform connecting odd-job contractors with users seeking help with work. This site offered contractors a place to create customizable profiles detailing their talents, to upload photos, and specify their price, etc. Users can then track down location-based help for chores with ease.
In an effort to get this site up and running quickly, our developers worked on Workify at the same time designers were producing the site’s brand identity/ visual elements.
Doejo developer Nysa was able to use Ruby on Rails to build the back-end skeletal framework before the colorful logos and icons were even fashioned. Another benefit from Ruby on Rails is that it allows developers to change the functionality of the site in the future, easier, since the code and templates are so decoupled and don’t rely on one-another. In other words, code is easy to replace without disrupting everything else.
Some other projects we’ve developed using the Ruby on Rails framework:
Bike and Park: a biking community resource with updated events, blog posts, newsletters, bike shop locators, info on bike and segway rentals and tours, etc. in three different cities but built on the same platform for brand continuity.
Beyond Credentials: A personalized resume network where users can create customized resumes/profiles in a creative platform like uploading personal Q&A’s, photos, writing samples, videos, etc.
Deals Go Round: A platform where users can resell/buy unused/ past Groupons, Living Social deals, and other collective bargaining deals in about 128 cities nationwide. We built the iOS and Android app components with multi-category searches.
Vista College Search: A map-based platform thought up by a college education consultant to help make finding an appropriate college easier and more efficient. And with about 1,570 four-year colleges to search from—geographic location, size of student population, city size and academic programs, etc.—it can be a convoluted process.