January 10th, 2019

The Portrait of a Ruby-on-Rails Developer [Infographics]

The second article in the series that describes how typical Ruby-on-Rails engineers behave, what's their salary range, age, job responsibilities, experience, and technological stack.
What do we know about Ruby? Not only is it a red gemstone in real life, but it is also a popular language among web-developers that has gained a lot of popularity and has become as precious as a jewel.
Ruby is now among the most demanded skills on the market, and like its Ruby-on-Rails framework, gives a sizeable advantage for aspiring developers when they decide to choose it as their primary tool.

Let's see how this technological perk affects the lives of those who were persistent enough to master and utilize it as their primary job activity.

Age

When mentioning the developers' age, it is necessary to say that they're not the youngsters that many of us could imagine. Unlike the youthful image of the Silicon Valley, in real life, they're usually over 30 years old, and this can be explained by the specific Ruby/RoR nature: it's pretty rare when people choose it as their primary tool. Usually, we see Java, PHP, and JS being the common picks for the aspiring devs, while Ruby is what a matured developer may prefer, given how constantly in high demand this technology is.

Only India has fairly young Ruby representatives of around 27 years-old the US is well above with a 32-year-old mark; Europe is a 30-year-old middle-ground with their Eastern segment usually being 2 years younger than the Western counterpart.

Salary

Being a Ruby-on-Rails developer means being paid $90K on average, according to Glassdoor. But it definitely depends on the country how much money they can actually earn. To no surprise, the US leads across the whole area and Ruby is not an exception: the RoR developer earns, on average, $115–121K (€100–105K) a year, according to SimplyHired and Glassdoor, which is greatly fueled by developers in California who earn somewhere around $140–150K (€123–132K). A regular Ruby dev makes around $77–100K (€70–87K), depending on where to look. This big discrepancy is easily explained by the higher RoR toolkit qualifications: Ruby is simply its part, so paying for the whole framework makes a lot of sense. The same 15–20% margin can be applied to every country: in Germany, the RoR-proficient dev can expect around $70K (€61K) a year and $60K (€52,5K) for its Ruby component knowledge, $23–25K (€20–22K) ratio for Ukrainian peers, and $5–6K (€4–5K) for India, respectively.

Some may argue that the US salary is inflated by San Francisco devs, but it would still be high even without the whole state of California with both Washington (14%) and New York (9%) still paying more than the average country median.

Job Satisfaction

Big surprise: both RoR/Ruby developers feel pretty good about their workplace. This type of job is usually regarded between 80 and 100% satisfaction level across the globe. And the previous paragraph is a good explanation of why. According to BLS, $44,564 is the median wage in the USA; now compare this to a regular Ruby developer — almost a doubled salary is a good reason to have a good time. A clean and cozy office is also what comes in a package for proficient Ruby developers who make high-quality products.

Other countries are no different. If anything, the discrepancy is only greater for the less-developed peers: even Germany's average $33K (€29K) income is no match to the Ruby devs salaries. Meanwhile, the Eastern European and Asian countries can have an average salary that is 5–10 times smaller than what a good Ruby professional can get.

Gender

Equality is surprisingly high when it comes to Ruby developers, at least in Western countries:

  • the USA female component makes up to 11% of the pros;
  • Western Europe is at the forefront of diversity with a whopping 15% female margin;
  • Eastern Europe has a large gap between countries and can represent 7–16% of women who utilize Ruby;
  • India is surely not a diversity den with only 3% of the devs being female.

These numbers, however, are even more fluid than the salary figures: there's no country or tech area where the female component wouldn't increase, so expect it to grow even bigger in the upcoming years.

Experience

Being tied to the age numbers, this part is also what forms the salary value. Unlike such common tools as Java or PHP, Ruby is a more niche skill that has gained its popularity in the recent decade, therefore, it includes a much bigger portion of freshmen than the seasoned techs.

As a result, even such experience-leaning countries as Germany have a 1–4–year group as their largest 48% Ruby part of all the devs, which is narrowly followed by 41% of those who have spent 5–9 years in this area.

The US also falls into this category with 66% of Ruby pros being in a 1–4–year range and 19% in a 5–9–year category. Countries like Ukraine are somewhere in between with 56% and 30% figures, respectively. Meanwhile, India stays India with almost all the workforce being in the 1–4–year range (81%).

These numbers only prove the very nature of Ruby — while being fairly new, it requires a meticulous job to master as no country utilizes more than 8% of devs who have less than 1 year of experience.

Tech Stack

Regardless of geography, the requirements are pretty much the same for all sorts of RoR professionals: Ruby, OOP programming, MVC paradigm, API+JSON, REST and HTTP protocol, ERB, app configuration. Frontend skills are also in demand for this matter, at least HTML, JS, and CSS, same about PostgreSQL, MySQL, and NoSQL — good RoR devs should be well-rounded in order to grasp the concepts of their projects.

MySQL is a clear winner among the factors that affect the RoR devs' salaries (17%), jQuery can help in 13% of occasions when Web-dev, HTML, and basic SQL principles will increase the salaries of 8–10% of workers.

Medical Benefits

It's not a secret that sitting behind the monitor doesn't improve your vision and eating schedule.

Like the other areas, RoR developers are eager to use medical benefits if they're from the US: 78% of them have done it, with 53% workers having sight problems, 61% dental work, when only 21% refused to have any medical care. Western European peers don't mind to use it either, with roughly 65% of them doing this on a regular basis (18% for dental and 8% for vision matters).

The countries with a less-developed medical care system tend not to affect RoR professional lives: both Ukrainian and Indian devs are the terminators — only 43% and 48% of them use any type of medical assistance with little to no attention to the dental and vision issues.

ROR Usage

Despite being not as popular as Java or JavaScript, Ruby is a language that is used by 10.3% of the professional devs and regarded as a "loved" tool by 47.4% of them. With quite a bit of the share market, RoR is presented by more than 1.5M live sites.

RoR devs can count themselves as the successful workers. Despite being underrepresented in the overall market, sites made on RoR are usually wildly popular, with only 2.53% of them in the top 1M charts, 6.32% in top100k, and 11.54% of top10k sites, respectively. Amazon, BBC, Cisco, JP Morgan, NASA, and Yahoo use Ruby, while RoR can boast Scribd (70M per month visitors), Groupon (38.5M), and Basecamp.

If we talk about the regular languages, RoR professionals prefer English (73%), French (6%), Russian (5%), German (3%), plus 13% of other dialects.

When it comes to the industries, the largest portion prefers business (18.62%), arts and entertainment (9.88%), telecom companies (7.87%), marketplaces (5.51%), and more than 58% form the "others" group.

Ruby Bonds

RoR developers are also very friendly in their own IT manner. Their altruistic approach made it so that they have one of the healthiest GitHub communities with more than 3,500 contributors (compare this to 1.5k Python or Django contributors). The updates are constantly made by the RoR enthusiasts that create lots of open-source libraries to push its convenience forward.

These people also don't mind trying out new things: 55% of them use 5.1 or 5.0 Rails version, while 75% of the 4th version users plan to migrate onto a new one in the nearest future.

The Bottom Line

As a result, we have a 30-year-old dev who is usually male (roughly 90%) and is highly satisfied by the job. Some love towards Ruby is a must for such people, a regular RoR dev is not a novice and has 1–4 years of experience and is likely to contribute to the whole technology given the size of their GitHub community.

There's also a good chance that this person is good at MySQL and jQuery on top of the decent English skills that are used when crafting a RoR-based product for general business matters. Financial and medical benefits are the 2 appreciated factors: a regular RoR dev tends to have a high salary ($90K a year on average) that is universally good depending on his/her location and doesn't mind using health insurance, at least in Western countries.

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