The FinTech industry cannot afford using technologies that are not cutting-edge, but it also needs flexibility and compatibility. After all, FinTech companies range from small startups to banking giants, so making sure apps can work in all sorts of ecosystems in a stable, reliable way is vital. This is where Ruby on Rails, a server-side web application framework comes in. But why exactly is it so popular?
In order to understand the RoR phenomenon, we need to dive deeper into the history of this ground-breaking technology.
It may come as a surprise, but Ruby on Rails was created in 2003 to make the programmers’ lives easier. With this idea in mind, and in order to maximise the benefits of the convention over configuration strategy, David Heinemeier Hansson (who, by the way, is also successful a racing driver) created a web framework that is now one of the most important technologies used in FinTech projects.
Convention over configuration paradigm means that it is better to focus on functionality, than on creating code manually. In other words, developers can build their apps from existing bricks, only resorting to specifying and coding the non-standard elements. Obviously, the technology is not limited because of this, it allows developers to be as creative as they want and need to be.
But what does it mean for everybody?
The programmer’s perspective is not the only important aspect of Ruby on Rails. Sure, it is important, as it makes the whole creative process clear, effective and transparent, but the overall impact on the process is much stronger. Less code equals easier maintenance, even if some part of the work needs to be outsourced or the whole Ruby on Rails development team changed. It’s just saving money. However, convention over configuration is not the only reason for choosing Ruby on Rails. In fact, it’s just a tip of the iceberg.
FinTech companies decide for this framework also for:
Let’s break down what all this means in practice and how everybody benefits from using Ruby on Rails.
The power of freedom
First of all, RoR is open source, which means that it’s source is constantly being checked for possible security issues and worked on in a transparent manner. It’s also free to use, so even the smallest FinTech projects with limited budgets can use it on the same terms, as corporations do. Besides, everybody can modify it and publish new plug-ins to further expand the functionality. Each passing day, RoR is becoming an even more versatile tool, thanks to the vibrant community of users. And since the ecosystem already is very mature, the possibilities to create new products with only a bare minimum of coding are limitless.
Another factor that is a result of such wide-spread popularity is access to a constantly growing knowledge base and ready to help, friendly enthusiasts who will always help newcomers in the Ruby on Rails development team and, most importantly, help find solutions to any problems that a developer using RoR can stumble upon. Even the official Rails Guides website can be considered one of the best handbooks there are – and it’s free.
Because in the case of projects built with RoR, coders adhere to a very standardised structure, everything always stays transparent and readable, even for new Ruby on Rails development team members. Maintaining clean code is a breeze and the time-saving factor may be a game-changer. It also leads to how quality assurance processes benefit from RoR.
Ruby on Rails comes with a MiniTest tool out of the box. This special, little suite for Ruby provides a complete suite of testing facilities supporting test-driven development (TDD), behavior-driven development (BDD), mocking, and benchmarking. By integrating it in the software development process, companies can diagnose problems and solve them as soon as possible, further improving the product’s quality, minimising the risk of problems after it launches to the market and, most importantly, keeping costs low. After all, there is nothing worse than an app that needs to be fixed or whose functionalities need to be rebuilt after it has already disappointed the users.
Simplicity, you’ll love
Another aspect of RoR that makes it a cost-effective solution that FinTech companies love is the syntax. Because the framework was intended to keep the coding effortless and because it leverages the advantages of the Ruby programming language, the code is similar to the natural language. Not only programmers can understand what’s going on with the code, but also managers who only understand the basics. High readability makes the code require less documentation, in fact Ruby is somewhat self-documenting.
The future is now
Ruby on Rails is just the go-to solution for all those FinTechs that want to build a highly modifiable, scalable, reliable and compatible product in a quick, resource-effective way. It solves most of the problems legacy technologies had and its emergence empowered freshly baked startups to create products they would have never afforded to do before. Choosing it in mature FinTech companies allowed them to easily rebuild and upgrade existing apps. Right now, Ruby on Rails is the future of FinTech app development.
Technology enthusiast, literature devourer, and creator of insightful FinTech-related content. In his spare time, he also works with international public art projects.