Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Ruby/Ruby on Rails Development: Job Market Overview 04/2011

To say it’s been a crazy start to the year is an understatement. (Where do I start?)

Personally speaking - I’ve never been so busy and in general, I haven’t seen the Ruby on Rails job employment market so buoyant for people seeking contract gigs and permanent moves since I started out in 2007.

There has been a sharp rise in contract opportunities. There are VC backed start ups popping up all over the UK and Europe, tech driven SME’ are continuing to expand there Rails teams and a number of larger corporations are starting to build in-house “Innovation/R+D” using Ruby/Rails as there primary language/framework choice. (Yay!)

Due to the lack of job seekers amongst permanently employed Rubyists in the UK - a number of well known employers I’m in contact with are looking at other options by:

1) asking me to target top Rails talent within Europe.
2) researching the he possibilities of setting up satellite offices in Europe
3) offering to cross train Developers who can demonstrate a real interest in Rails based tech (commercially or personally).
4) partnering with universities to spot graduates who have shown an interested in rails based tech/used Rails based tech for there final dissertation.
5) Increasing salary ranges, improving working environments, offering flexible working hours, and a range of other perks.

There is no doubt the rapid rise in popularity of Ruby/Ruby on Rails in the UK has led to a shortage of good developers, the demand for top talent is ongoing and I cant see this changing anytime soon.

Node.js/CoffeeScript and Rails

This maybe going a little off topic………………….

A number of clients who have started to add CoffeeScript/Node.js to the “desirables” on there job specs recently

It’s a new “buzz word” for me to be honest so after speaking to a number of Rubyists I relay on to keep me up to date on new tech - they have said CoffeeScript has a relatively large following in the UK Ruby community, to the extent that it likely to be included in the next point release of Rails (Please don’t quote me on this )

I’ve also been told its one of its most watched projects on Github in 2011…………… if you haven’t looked into CoffeeScript – please have a look at this https://github.com/languages/CoffeeScript as an increasing amount of companies are starting to use it.

Salaries/Rates overview

 Due to the high demand experience Rubyists - contractors should expect to earn between £350.00 to £450.00 per day depending on experience, the client, the length and flexibility of remote working.

 According to the IT jobs watch: (http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/ruby%20on%20rails.do) the average base salary for a permanent Ruby/Rails Developer is £40,000 – which seams low to me.

 From my network of Rubysists with 2/3 years commercial experience the average salary is c£51,000 (London)

 Based on the opportunities we recently been working on: 40% are paying £50,000 +, 25% are paying £65,000 +

The next few months

April is usually the busiest hiring period for our clients due to the sign off on new projects and renewed budgets to increase headcount. I.e. I have 20 + (yes twenty plus!) permanent openings for Junior, Midlevel and Senior Rubysists in the UK alone.

May/June is usually a quieter period for permanent moves however there is usually an increase in demand for contractors as our clients prepare for the summer holiday period where they could end up understaffed on key projects.

About us

Devonshire's client network is growing inline with the usage of Ruby/Rails based tech and we often hear about opportunities before they appear on the “open market” via 37 Signals, GitHub, Jobs.Ruby.Now WWR etc.

With that in mind we are constantly looking to expand our network with people who are interested in breaking into the Ruby space from other tech backgrounds or experienced Rubysists who are looking for a new permanent challenge or contract gigs in the UK and Europe.

Our main aim is to provide our contractors continued project work and our permanent contacts the opportunity to see what new positions are available without having to upload their CV on a mainstream job board and attracting the hassle of being bombarded by 1,000’s of generalist agencies that have no knowledge of the Rails Development space.

Our clients include a number of innovative start ups with VC funding, award winning SME’s and Global dotcoms across all industry sectors.

Our success so far has been down our focus on building relationships– we often like to make contact before you need us so when our clients brief us on a position or you hit the job market - we can present the most relevant and challenging opportunities to you - making the job search/recruitment process an enjoyable one for you, us and our clients.

For an informal and confidential discussion regarding new challenges within the Ruby space, please feel free to get in touch!

As always - any feedback on this post is appreciated.

Thanks and regards,


DDI: +44 207 469 0829
Mob: +44 7940 390 822
E-mail: Revans@devonshire.co.uk
Twitter: @rhysyevans
Connect via LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/rhysy
Keep up-to-date with Ruby on Rails Jobs in the UK & Europe: http://tinyurl.com/rubypays


  1. This is an excellent overview of the state of the ruby job market in London right now. A lot of people I talk to have trouble recruiting good ruby developers, and in a lot of cases, it's because they aren't offering enough as their upper bound. One thing I would add, is that ruby developers are often prepared to take lower salaries if they get to work with good people, so it's worth paying over the odds for one or two people who have a good reputation within the community, then you will find it easier to grow the rest of the team.

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