Why we use Ruby on Rails at Wildcard

Nathan Tesler
Sep 18 · 2 min read

Every time someone asks what stack we use at Wildcard, I brace myself for the reaction. “Oh. Rails? That’s cute.” or “People still use that?”

We’ve built a full transaction and savings account in Ruby on Rails, and right now it clocks in under 7000 LOC. We chose Ruby and Rails (and we’re sticking with it) for a simple reason — so we can ship high-quality code quickly.

Rails lets us focus on the important stuff

Every backend for every transaction account in the world has a database layer. Only one transaction account streams money between your accounts in real-time. There’s code that makes you different, and then there’s boilerplate — we believe that 99% of our engineering time should be spent on the former, not the latter.

Rails makes this possible, because its core components are rock solid, have been around for a decade, used by tens of thousands of companies and already preconfigured the way we need them.

We can only focus on so much at a time, especially with a small engineering team. For us it’s important that we spend our energy on the stuff about us that’s unique and valuable.

Ruby has a diverse, friendly community

Just like dogs look like their owners — developers look like the language they work in.

Go to a Ruby meetup, and then go to a meetup for another development language. The difference is stark —even just in the way you feel. I’ve always felt welcome at the Rorosyd meetup, and I think you can trace that culture all the way to the culture of the people who build and maintain Ruby and Rails.

Typical scene at a Rorosyd meetup. That’s me on the left, mid-laugh.

You’ll also find a much higher proportion of women and minorities working with Ruby. I think that’s because of the culture that’s formed around Ruby (and eventually Rails), that’s based on the core tenets of the Ruby language. The language is designed to be friendly and approachable, and it in turn attracts people who are friendly and approachable.

Developer happiness = customer happiness

Engineering is an afterthought at many companies, even tech companies. A stack that prioritises developer happiness leads to carefully-written and considered code, which leads to a stable, solid, reliable backend, which leads directly to happy customers. It’s a straight line all the way through, and for us it starts with Ruby on Rails.


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Thanks to Stacy Goh and Giorgio Doueihi

Nathan Tesler

Written by

Founder of Wildcard and Werdsmith.

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