Entrepreneurs have great ideas all the time, they are always scheming up new ways to add value to the world. We are living in an era that was made for entrepreneurs. Technology has completely smashed the barriers of entry to business. Anyone with an idea, technical knowledge and a will to execute can create something from nothing.

There has been so much buzz in the developer community around all the new javascript frameworks. You have Angular 5 on its way, React js, Vue js and who knows how many others. It has become a confusing landscape and many entrepreneurs are choosing to work with these frameworks because it’s the hot new thing. Here at Digital Intelligence, we are of the opinion that Ruby on Rails is still the best choice for people wanting to build their own tech startup.

There are so many benefits of using Rails for your startup, especially if you are coming from a non-technical background and are wanting to build your own minimum viable product (MVP). Ruby on Rails is the way to do it.

EASY TO LEARN

Ruby is arguably one of the easiest programming languages to learn, with its syntax being similar to plain English. Rails does so much for you, making it easier to get started and figure things out along the way

STABLE AND MATURE FRAMEWORK

Combine an easy to understand syntax with the Ruby on Rails framework and you have a solid foundation to build from. Rails has a global community of developers behind it that have contributed and continue to do so, making it a stable and mature framework.

WELCOMING COMMUNITY

Rails comes with a strong community of developers who regularly hold meetups all over the world. The community is helpful towards beginners and is always willing to help you through your bugs on stack overflow.

OPEN SOURCE GEMS

Rails Gemfile is probably the best aspect of the framework that makes it so suitable to startups. The gem file is filled with numerous gems that are open sourced pieces of code that other developers have worked on that perform various pieces of functionality for your website. You have a gem called Devise that requires only 4 commands to set up secure authentication for your application. These gems come with documentation on Github that help you implement them into your application. This really speeds up the development process as it cuts down on code time as you can leverage other developers work.

BOOTSTRAP AND THEME READY

You will still need to have a fundamental understanding of HTML, CSS and Bootstrap to be able to work with the Views with in the rails Models, Views & Controllers (MVC) file structure. However, with a number of good themes that are on the market now you don’t need to be an absolute expert as you just need to know enough to be able to integrate a theme into your application so that it’s mobile responsive and visually appealing. Every entrepreneur should have at least a vague understanding of these languages if they want to start a tech-based business.

This combination of Ruby on Rails, with a bootstrap theme, is in our opinion the best way for a non-technical person to build an idea for themselves, for whatever reason. Be it for the challenge, because they aren’t able to find a technical founder or for fear of someone stealing their idea(lol). Using this methodology you are able to get something out as quickly as possible that will allow you to validate your idea. You are constantly learning in software development and if you don’t give up you will bring your idea to life.

YOU DON’T NEED TO CODE FOREVER

Software development is an iterative process that is agile in nature. Your product will evolve over time, validating it and getting something to market fast is what really matters. That way you can learn from the experience and from your customers, refactoring your product so that it appeals more to the market. By this point, if you have customers and a product people are using, you will be in a better position to transition into a product manager role as you scale. You will understand the technology and be able to communicate with a team of contracted or outsourced developers. Giving you more time to focus on developing your business.

YOU STILL NEED TO UNDERSTAND DESIGN

Obviously, design skills are necessary for every entrepreneur, mainly skills in designing the functionality of your application, through things that enhance it. Like user stories and wireframes. Implementing these whilst using human-centered design principles helps you to focus on the problem your idea is solving and the people you are solving it for. This will enhance the overall user experience and make for a better overall product/business. The more time you put into the design the more time it saves you later and the better the idea will turn out.

ADD JS LATER

Another added benefit of rails is the fact that it can be integrated later with JavaScript frameworks like React with gems like react-on-rails that can enable you to break into the apple and play stores. This is where scaling comes in after you have already built an MVP, gone to market and gained traction. Here you have the added benefit of either refining your validated business scaling further with your team with revenue from your business, or you could take on investment with the goal to break into the apple and play stores. An investor will be more inclined to back someone with the technical foundational knowledge who would be able to use this in a product manager role as stated above. Some food for thought for all you hustlers out there with ideas they want to see come to life!