The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Ruby on Rails Developers

Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a top choice and a pivotal tool in web development, especially for startups. Its speed, reliability, and ability to simplify complex tasks make it a favorite among startups, enabling them to launch products quickly.

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Understanding the Role

A Ruby on Rails developer handles everything from building applications to maintaining them. Key skills include:

  • Ruby, JavaScript: The core languages.
  • Hotwire, Turbo, Stimulus: For interactive applications.
  • Linux, Bash, SSH: Essential for server management.
  • PAAS (e.g., Heroku, For deployment.
  • Self-organized: They should manage their tasks.

Manager of One

In startups, developers must embody the ‘Manager of One’ concept. This means they work independently, make decisions, and drive tasks to completion without constant supervision. Understanding and preparing for this independent nature of the role will make you feel more confident in your hiring process.

Sourcing Candidates

Finding top talent can be tricky, but here’s where to start:

  • Reddit: Engage with communities like r/ruby or r/webdev.
  • Wellfound Job Board: A great platform for startups.
  • Avoid agencies and pre-vetted networks: They often don’t understand your unique needs.


Interviewing is crucial. Here’s how to nail it.

Technical Questions

Focus on non-trivial problems they’ve solved.

  1. Can you describe a particularly challenging technical problem you encountered and how you solved it? (Score: 1-5)
  2. What is the most complex project you have worked on, and what was your role? (Score: 1-5)

Non-Technical Questions

Look for passion, clear communication, and trustworthiness.

  1. What motivates you to work in this field? (Score: 1-5)
  2. How do you handle communication in a team, especially during conflicts? (Score: 1-5)

Manager of One

Confirm they can work independently.

  1. Can you describe when you managed a project or task alone? How did you ensure its success? (Score: 1-5)

Scoring System

  • 1: Poor - Did not address the question adequately

  • 2: Fair - Provided some relevant information but lacked depth

  • 3: Good - Answered the question with sufficient detail

  • 4: Very Good - Answered thoroughly with clear and relevant examples

  • 5: Excellent - Provided exceptional detail and insight, demonstrating strong capability

Evaluating Candidates

Here’s how to assess candidates:

  • Test Project: Send a 2-hour test project in PHP or Python. This will reveal your adaptability and problem-solving skills.
  • Peer Review: Have other developers (you can hire per task) evaluate their work.
  • Incentive: Offer an Amazon gift card for their effort.

2-Week Trial

A trial period is invaluable. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Immediate Start: Ensure they can begin coding on day one.
  • Daily Updates: Expect deliverables by the next day.
  • Evaluation: Monitor their progress and adaptability.
  • Pay for Time: Compensate them for the trial period.

Making the Offer

Crafting a competitive offer is critical:

  • Market Rates: Offer a salary in line with market standards and balance with shares.
  • Perks: Include benefits like flexible hours, remote work options, and professional development opportunities.
  • Clarity: Be clear about job expectations and growth opportunities.

Onboarding and Retention

Integrate new hires smoothly:

  • Welcoming Environment: Create a supportive and inclusive culture.
  • Mentorship: Pair them with a mentor for guidance.
  • Continuous Feedback: Provide regular performance reviews and feedback.
  • Community: Foster a sense of belonging through team activities and open communication.


Hiring the right Ruby on Rails developer can transform your project. By following these steps, you’ll find someone who fits your technical needs and thrives in your company culture. Adapt and refine your process based on feedback to continue attracting top talent.

Ready to build your dream team? Start today by implementing these strategies and watch your startup thrive.