Hire the Top 3% of Freelance Ruby on Rails Consulting Specialists
Toptal is a marketplace for top Ruby on Rails specialists and consultants. Top companies and startups choose Toptal’s Ruby on Rails web development services for their mission-critical software projects.
Jano is a full-stack developer and founder specializing in databases. Using PostgreSQL, he has worked on database services with government data, recommendation engines, and performance optimization projects and has experience with startups, consulting, and leading small teams. Jano has a master's degree (summa cum laude) in software engineering from the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava.
Brian is a freelance software developer with a long career in delivering technology value in the corporate world. Expertise with a variety of open-source technologies from those used in embedded systems to large-scale web applications.
Johan is a mobile app and cloud back-end developer with over 15 years of experience. He's been telecommuting for startups in the USA since 2010. He has worked with enterprise stacks for a number of years, but more recently his primary focus has been on building native apps for mobile and desktop (Mac, iOS, Android and Windows) using Swift, Objective-C, Java, Kotlin, and C#. He also builds his own RESTful back-ends with Rails, Node, and Golang.
As an entrepreneur, Boris understands the importance of close communication with clients and users to better mold applications to real needs. He has also learned how to make things simple—he creates maintainable code using best practices and elegant techniques.
Hrvoje is a software developer who achieved his master's degree in computer engineering while simultaneously working for a telecommunications company. He handled the production and testing of numerous applications. He has ten years of experience in multinational companies and Agile teams, including eight years of experience working remotely.
Nikola is an experienced software engineer with a strong math and computer science background. His career spanned different domains and technologies and he can work within the whole spectrum of development, from architectural and programming requirements to deployment, testing, and technical writing.
Kyrylo is a Software Developer that likes to take on new challenges. He is unafraid to step outside of his comfort zone and engage with technologies to which he has previously been unexposed. In the last 3 years, Kyrylo has specialized in Ruby on Rails to build highly efficient and scalable applications.
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Tripcents wouldn't exist without Toptal. Toptal Projects enabled us to rapidly develop our foundation with a product manager, lead developer, and senior designer. In just over 60 days we went from concept to Alpha. The speed, knowledge, expertise, and flexibility is second to none. The Toptal team were as part of tripcents as any in-house team member of tripcents. They contributed and took ownership of the development just like everyone else. We will continue to use Toptal. As a start up, they are our secret weapon.
Brantley Pace, CEO & Co-Founder
I am more than pleased with our experience with Toptal. The professional I got to work with was on the phone with me within a couple of hours. I knew after discussing my project with him that he was the candidate I wanted. I hired him immediately and he wasted no time in getting to my project, even going the extra mile by adding some great design elements that enhanced our overall look.
Paul Fenley, Director
K Dunn & Associates
The developers I was paired with were incredible -- smart, driven, and responsive. It used to be hard to find quality engineers and consultants. Now it isn't.
Ryan Rockefeller, CEO
Toptal understood our project needs immediately. We were matched with an exceptional freelancer from Argentina who, from Day 1, immersed himself in our industry, blended seamlessly with our team, understood our vision, and produced top-notch results. Toptal makes connecting with superior developers and programmers very easy.
Jason Kulik, Co-Founder
As a small company with limited resources we can't afford to make expensive mistakes. Toptal provided us with an experienced programmer who was able to hit the ground running and begin contributing immediately. It has been a great experience and one we'd repeat again in a heartbeat.
Stuart Pocknee , Principal
Site Specific Software Solutions
We used Toptal to hire a developer with extensive Amazon Web Services experience. We interviewed four candidates, one of which turned out to be a great fit for our requirements. The process was quick and effective.
Abner Guzmán Rivera, CTO and Chief Scientist
Sergio was an awesome developer to work with. Top notch, responsive, and got the work done efficiently.
Dennis Baldwin, Chief Technologist and Co-Founder
Working with Marcin is a joy. He is competent, professional, flexible, and extremely quick to understand what is required and how to implement it.
André Fischer, CTO
We needed a expert engineer who could start on our project immediately. Simanas exceeded our expectations with his work. Not having to interview and chase down an expert developer was an excellent time-saver and made everyone feel more comfortable with our choice to switch platforms to utilize a more robust language. Toptal made the process easy and convenient. Toptal is now the first place we look for expert-level help.
Derek Minor, Senior VP of Web Development
Networld Media Group
Toptal's developers and architects have been both very professional and easy to work with. The solution they produced was fairly priced and top quality, reducing our time to launch. Thanks again, Toptal.
Jeremy Wessels, CEO
We had a great experience with Toptal. They paired us with the perfect developer for our application and made the process very easy. It was also easy to extend beyond the initial time frame, and we were able to keep the same contractor throughout our project. We definitely recommend Toptal for finding high quality talent quickly and seamlessly.
Ryan Morrissey, CTO
Applied Business Technologies, LLC
I'm incredibly impressed with Toptal. Our developer communicates with me every day, and is a very powerful coder. He's a true professional and his work is just excellent. 5 stars for Toptal.
Pietro Casoar, CEO
Ronin Play Pty Ltd
Working with Toptal has been a great experience. Prior to using them, I had spent quite some time interviewing other freelancers and wasn't finding what I needed. After engaging with Toptal, they matched me up with the perfect developer in a matter of days. The developer I'm working with not only delivers quality code, but he also makes suggestions on things that I hadn't thought of. It's clear to me that Amaury knows what he is doing. Highly recommended!
George Cheng, CEO
As a Toptal qualified front-end developer, I also run my own consulting practice. When clients come to me for help filling key roles on their team, Toptal is the only place I feel comfortable recommending. Toptal's entire candidate pool is the best of the best. Toptal is the best value for money I've found in nearly half a decade of professional online work.
Ethan Brooks, CTO
Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works, Inc.
In Higgle's early days, we needed the best-in-class developers, at affordable rates, in a timely fashion. Toptal delivered!
Lara Aldag, CEO
Toptal makes finding a candidate extremely easy and gives you peace-of-mind that they have the skills to deliver. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone looking for highly-skilled developers.
Michael Gluckman, Data Manager
Toptal’s ability to rapidly match our project with the best developers was just superb. The developers have become part of our team, and I’m amazed at the level of professional commitment each of them has demonstrated. For those looking to work remotely with the best engineers, look no further than Toptal.
Laurent Alis, Founder
Toptal makes finding qualified engineers a breeze. We needed an experienced ASP.NET MVC architect to guide the development of our start-up app, and Toptal had three great candidates for us in less than a week. After making our selection, the engineer was online immediately and hit the ground running. It was so much faster and easier than having to discover and vet candidates ourselves.
Jeff Kelly, Co-Founder
We needed some short-term work in Scala, and Toptal found us a great developer within 24 hours. This simply would not have been possible via any other platform.
Franco Arda, Co-Founder
Toptal offers a no-compromise solution to businesses undergoing rapid development and scale. Every engineer we've contracted through Toptal has quickly integrated into our team and held their work to the highest standard of quality while maintaining blazing development speed.
Greg Kimball, Co-Founder
How to Hire Ruby on Rails Consulting Specialists through Toptal
Talk to One of Our Industry Experts
A Toptal director of engineering will work with you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
Work With Hand-Selected Talent
Within days, we'll introduce you to the right Ruby on Rails consulting specialist for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
The Right Fit, Guaranteed
Work with your new Ruby on Rails consulting specialist for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.
How are Toptal Ruby on Rails consulting specialists different?
At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our Ruby on Rails consulting specialists to ensure we only match you with talent of the highest caliber. Of the more than 200,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, fewer than 3% make the cut. You'll work with engineering experts (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. The end result: expert vetted talent from our network, custom matched to fit your business needs. Start now.
Can I hire Ruby on Rails consulting specialists in less than 48 hours through Toptal?
Depending on availability and how fast you can progress, you could start working with a Ruby on Rails consulting specialist within 48 hours of signing up. Start now.
What is the no-risk trial period for Toptal Ruby on Rails consulting specialists?
We make sure that each engagement between you and your Ruby on Rails consulting specialist begins with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to confirm the engagement will be successful. If you're completely satisfied with the results, we'll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you'd like. If you're not completely satisfied, you won't be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial. Start now.
Eight Clear Signs That You're Ready to Hire a Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails development is trending for many reasons, but the most important one is how easily you can start using it.
Want to build a simple website or some platform with an administrative panel? You barely need more than just pure Rails and its default installed gems. In a couple of hours, you can end up with something really nice-looking and almost ready to deploy.
But then, requirements start to grow.
Indeed, those basic skills won’t be enough to continually deliver an application that is stable, easy to maintain, and has really good performance. There are so many factors when dealing with complex applications that require really good knowledge of Rails and its capabilities.
Only an experienced professional is able to advise you of the best solutions.
As a project owner or manager, sometimes you’ll already know you could use more help as your day-to-day team administration duties grow. But there are cases where it’s your code that reveals this need, and only a Ruby on Rails consulting specialist will suffice.
You can use the following situations to identify when your application has reached this point.
1. Outdated Gems, Rails, or Ruby Versions
This is one of the most common situations we face in Rails development. The application uses gems or even Ruby builds that are really old. Sometimes they don’t even have support anymore. It’s really important to try to keep everything, from tools to databases, as updated to the last stable version as possible.
Rails itself is one of the most important things that should be updated. Its releases sometimes focus on security. This is one of those things that you should never avoid, for obvious reasons.
And Rails is famous for providing some really interesting features on every new minor version. Maybe that feature that was not available months ago is now ready and really well tested in some other gem. Your project will no longer need the custom-made code it was using instead.
With this switch, the open source community can take some of the burden of maintenance off your project’s shoulders.
But outdated dependencies can bring so many headaches, especially because some versions are incompatible with one another. A specialist will already be used to tackling these issues while bringing your project up to date. Better still, they will know where to use techniques or features available in the new versions to improve all sorts of aspects of your project.
After that, your project will be in a much better position to keep current.
2. No Integration Tests
These are different from unit tests, which are theoretically intended to test a single piece of code and “mock” most external behaviors. In contrast, integration tests are automated tests that get as close as possible to the user experience.
Setting up integration tests is one of those time-consuming tasks that most developers simply ignore. Later on in the project, when they feel the need for it, it’s often too much of an obstacle to bother with.
But it’s even more time-consuming, and sometimes even resource-consuming, to rely on manual tests alone.
Sometimes, there are too many steps to reach the part that needs testing. Other times, there are too many possibilities to check. Especially in these cases, it’s quite inefficient for someone to spend precious time checking every single path.
That’s when integration tests come in handy in RoR web development. You can test complete flows, from start to end, and ensure that buttons with the expected texts lead to the correct locations and the application is all perfectly tied up.
If your growing application doesn’t have this kind of automated test yet, a Rails specialist who knows integration tests very well can save you a huge amount of time. There are so many gems and inherited tests that can be implemented that don’t require too much time and will save a lot of headaches in the future.
3. Too Much Logic in the Controllers
It’s a common scenario, especially among new Rails developers. They tend to think that any logic about handling database entries, form data, security checks, or anything else should go right in controllers. (And sometimes even worse, in views.)
It’s easy to think that. This is a more neutral place where everything connects and there is some sense that this is a “place where things happen.”
But it’s among the very core concepts of RoR development: Controllers should be very thin and as similar as possible to each other, while models hold the most of the logic.
There are many ways to avoid this problem. A Ruby on Rails specialist will know that the answer isn’t as simple as “move everything to models.”
Knowing how Rails works, especially its lesser-known inner parts, can save a lot of lines of code. This keeps your code simpler and focused better on your project’s actual requirements, instead of the infrastructure gluing your codebase together.
4. Too Much logic in the Models
Very similar to the last situation, but a little bit less common, are those models that seem to have an almost infinite number of lines. Or, in some other cases, a seemingly infinite number of models, all in the same folder, each one with a name more confusing than the last.
Most intermediate programmers end up with big applications that are just like those described, and they can hardly figure out how to solve it.
After all, we’ve just said that models are meant to hold most of the logic. That’s what they’ve conformed to here, isn’t it?
But it’s hardly maintainable.
A Rails consultant will know many ways to solve this and even plenty of coding concepts that can be used to save your app from it in the first place.
You may face a huge change of architecture here by deciding to make your code easier to understand. But only those that have decided to do this understand just how much it can come in handy. They’ve seen the difference it makes in the time it takes to implement a new feature when the code base is readable.
When your goal is to create an application that is not only really big, but also well modularized and readable without too much effort, such a refactoring is sometimes the only way. This is one of those life-changing initiatives that separates medium-sized code bases from humongous ones—given the same functionality.
5. Does Not Take Advantage of Using POROs
This is one of the ways that you could solve both points 3 and 4, but less experienced developers often don’t know how to use it properly.
Maybe it’s because it can be hidden behind too many different names, like Services or Libs. Maybe it’s because it can have different approaches, like the feature-to-gem approach (separating a piece of your application logic out into a gem.) Or maybe it’s because these are not interchangeable, yet are all based on the concept of using POROs.
Whatever the case, an inexperienced developer might use POROs on the wrong scale, or worse, not leverage their power at all. Specialists, in contrast, will know how to use POROs appropriately to produce complex and interconnected code that’s still nice to read.
But what are they, anyway?
Plain old Ruby object (PORO) simply means using object-oriented concepts on Ruby classes and objects. Most Ruby developers, especially Rails-focused ones, don’t even know how powerful the language behind the Rails framework is on its own. There are so many impressive built-in features that can be used to solve everyday problems.
If you need a very unique piece of code, sometimes it’s better to build a small structure under the lib path, without relying on other Rails classes. That way other developers don’t feel like there’s any magic happening: They can read, check, and even improve what’s there.
It’s important to know Rails and Ruby very deeply, and then use different solutions for different problems. The framework is built so well that you can take advantage of its features outside of the common MVC structure. Many modules can be reused to build amazing classes that work as excellent toolboxes, and a specialist will know how to do that.
6. Does Not Take Advantage of Using Inheritance in MVC Classes
It’s a very common situation to find: Every single class inherits from only the default Rails base classes.
This is a really basic approach. It works fine for small applications that don’t have too many behaviors repeated internally.
But, when things grow, requests should flow from generic to specific, passing through several steps to reach the final result. Rails specialists know that’s desirable: They know that providing a few layers to avoid repetition can save other developers’ time, keeping the code as sharp as possible, and way easier to understand, because those layers will be a very common part of your application.
When doing this, someone that really knows object-oriented design can take advantage of it, saving steps and time to produce a feature. This is one of the easiest approaches to expand your project, and works for almost everything, like models, controllers, and even views. Partials, direct inheritance, and polymorphism not only save development time, but help ensure consistency when it comes to user experience.
Although, to implement this in the correct way, you must plan your code very well.
To fix this afterwards, you’re going to need a very skilled Ruby on Rails consulting specialist. They won’t just segment and distribute the logic of your application, eradicating copied and pasted code. They will also know when to use a concern or a service instead of a helper to do so, keeping your code well-organized.
7. Keeping Everything Under Rails
A common mistake is to think that in web development, once you have decided to use this coding language, with that framework, everything should be under it, or use the same stack.
Any framework will have its limitations. Likewise, it will have its moments where it’s clearly the best tool for the job. Most frameworks can be used for everything that your project may require—but sometimes, this can give you really bad headaches when it comes to performance.
For instance, if you just need some sort of landing page, with some text and links, maybe even some translations, the best solution is to avoid Rails and go with something like Sinatra. Yes, a Ruby on Rails expert will know when not to use Rails for a given task.
Keeping the same tech stack is not something that a company should necessarily be proud of, because it sometimes only shows its limitations regarding expertise in how to solve things with the best tool possible.
Not that you need to use several programming languages and different code standards. Ruby by itself has so many frameworks for different situations. It has many really easy ways to deliver web-related tools. But many people are completely unaware of the ecosystem of the language behind the framework.
Sometimes, rare times, the idea of using another language should also be discussed. For instance, Go: It’s similar to Ruby, and delivers much smaller and faster message queuing applications than Ruby. However, this will add complexity to your overall project. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, if done for the right reasons.
The bottom line: If your application’s needs are growing more complex and more difficult to fulfill, but your tech stack is completely static, you likely need a specialist to know when to branch out from Rails or even from Ruby itself.
8. Too Many Steps to Set Up a Developer Environment
People who work in several projects, or change projects very often, may face this scenario. Each project has its own tools and processes that require many steps to get a development environment up and running.
Again, there are many easy and not-too-time-consuming solutions for that. But only someone who has had this experience will be effective in addressing that.
If your project requires more than fifteen minutes to be set up, it may require some automation. Rails was developed to be basically cloned and run, and the way it does that allows you to extend its original behavior and execute any project-specific steps before starting its web server.
Less experienced developers don’t know the Rails web servers, like Puma and Webrick, tend to create custom code, layers, or even some Gems to make sure that the development environment runs correctly. Only someone who knows RoR web development very well, and stays current with its tool and web server ecosystems, can provide a suitable answer.
Once their answer is implemented, the next developer you hire can start working in less than fifteen minutes.
When a Ruby-on-Rails Expert is Essential
It’s clear that the difference between a new Rails developer and a RoR specialist may be found just about everywhere in their work.
A rookie will probably present you with something useful in a short time, just because Rails allows them that. However, as things grow, someone with a better understanding of what’s under the hood can save you from spending valued resources.
Even if your project has already begun and grown, it’s not too late. A Rails consultant can still help your project become healthy, maintainable, and extendible—and stay that way.
Featured Toptal Ruby on Rails Consulting Publications