Big News, Rails Rumble is now Ruby Rampage!

Rails Rumble is now Ruby Rampage!

Sep 09, 2016

Throughout the years, teams have always asked if they had to use Rails, or could they use another Ruby framework instead. And we’ve always said you could use any Ruby framework you wanted. Well, now it’s time to make it official. Rails Rumble is now Ruby Rampage! The rules are still the same, though. Teams of up to 4 people compete over a 48 hour period to build the best app they can, using Ruby. We’re also keeping the BELT!

You didn’t think we were getting rid of the belt, did you? Come on, we’re not animals.

But wait, there’s more! In addition to renaming the Rails Rumble as Ruby Rampage, we’ve also announced this year’s competition! So head on over and reserve a spot for your team. See you next month!

Introducing RumbleX!

Feb 29, 2016

Tom and Nick Mango here to pass along some fun and exciting news. We’re partnering up with Node Knockout and its organizers, Jacques and Sakina Crocker to form a brand new company called RumbleX! You know what that means… MORE HACKATHONS ARE COMING! Sooner than you might think too 😀

We also have one more person joining us at RumbleX. Nick Plante, aka NAP, the co-creator of the 48 hour virtual competition structure, and the co-founder of Rails Rumble way back in 2007. Damn, that’s so long ago millennials consider it “back in the day”.

Keep your eyes peeled because we got some great stuff brewing.


- @tsmango & @alternate1985

2015 Rails Rumble Gem Teardown

Jan 15, 2016

In keeping with our tradition of Rails Rumble Gem Teardown posts, we’d like to thank the Red Miners team for putting together this fantastic post. Don’t forget to check out their entry, Gemsavvy, which placed 8th overall!

Welcome to the Gem Teardown for the 2015 Rails Rumble. For background, the Rails Rumble is a competition where teams have 48 hours to build a Rails app from scratch. Teams compete for fame and sweet prizes provided by the Rails Rumble sponsors. The contest wrapped up and the winners have been announced. Congratulations to everyone who participated!

The Rails Rumble organizers - especially Tom Mango - were kind enough to collect Gemfiles from the teams and provide them to us for some analysis. They did a similar writeup last year except that this year, the first analysis was made by the Rails app we made during the Rails Rumble!

First, let’s introduce you to the Gemsavvy project.


Basically, you create a community - let’s say Rails Rumble - then start a survey - let’s say 2015 Gem Teardown - and ask your fellow members to upload their Gemfile. Gemsavvy will analyse all gems used by your community and propose graphs based on gems usage among different categories (ie Background Jobs, Search Engines, etc.). Plus, it will show you the Outsiders, these gems that are quite popular on Github but only used by few people from your community.

The purpose of this analysis is to discover trendy gems and create exchanges among members of a community. These exchanges could even lead to lightning talks in local Ruby User Groups.

Red Miners

As you may have guessed, your humble authors for this writeup are the members of Red Miners competitor team: Anthony Laibe working for Smart Pension, Kevin Disneur, Michael Fatoki-Bello working for Arena Flowers and Cecile Veneziani freelancer and Rails teacher.

In 48 hours, we pushed 264 commits, merged 102 pull requests, closed 62 issues on Trello and last but not least, there were only 4 hours without anyone committing on the repository.

Gem Analysis

We analyzed 128 Gemfiles. Read on to learn how the Rails Rumble teams were able to create such amazing apps over one weekend.

Web frameworks / Database adapters / Web servers

What a first surprise! Someone built a project with cuba, a micro framework. Concerning Sinatra and its 10.4% of usage, some - like us - might have just installed it in order to have a web interface to sidkeiq. But obviously the most popular web framework is still Ruby on Rails with 88.1% of usage.

Rails Rumble used Heroku for deployment this year again. So most teams used PostgreSQL (80.9%), the Heroku default. Note that 5 teams made the choice to use MySQL. We’re quite surprised to note that 22 teams have sqlite in their Gemfiles. We can only suppose that some might have forgotten to remove it or that some really used it.

It’s really interesting to have a look at charts like web servers because all of these projects are quite old and well used. Here again we can see that the defacto puma proposed by Heroku is widely used. Now, the interesting part is the distribution usage between passenger, thin and unicorn. We can clearly guess which one is the oldest.

Authentication / Authorization

Ok there’s no discussion here. Devise with its 65.2% is the most used authentication gem. But we must say that we were quite surprised to discover that some teams used other gems such as clearance, sorcery and even authlogic.

Looks like in the authorization world no one clearly stood out after the retirement of cancan even if here Pundit seems to be the most used one.

Template engines / Form builders

Only 16% of the teams did use a different template engine than the standard ERB. 52.4% are (still) using haml compared to 33.3% using (the awesome) slim. Note that few used tilt and markerb.

It seems that a lot of people are (still) using the standard form helpers provided by Ruby on Rails. For the other ones, simple_form is widely used. It can be used in combination with cocoon to easily handle dynamic nested forms.

Only 14% of the teams needed file upload. Paperclip and then carrierwave are the most used ones. Shout out to the new comers dragonfly and refile.

Kaminari with 73.3% of usage is the defacto pagination gem since few years. It’s interesting to see that will_paginate is still used by some projects.

New entry in the gem teardown, the searching category. 4% of projects did use a search engine. We can say that the Rails community adopted elasticsearch.

Background jobs / Scheduling

24% of projects used background jobs. sidekiq is clearly the most used one. It’s interesting to see that here delayed jobs is more used than resque.

Only 4% projects needed scheduling. Among them 60% used whenever. The last 40% was shared by resque-scheduler and rufus-scheduler.

CSS / Assets

Note that Materialize was not tagged but we’ve done the math for you. Here are the stats: 32% for bootstrap, 10% for bourbon and also 10% for materialize.

And no less than 31 gems from Rails Assets!

Configuration management / State machines

We can notice that dotenv is widely more used than figaro. On the other hand, it’s quite surprising to see that settingslogic is still used while it hasn’t been updated for 3 years.

Only 3% of projects used state machines. It looks like that the community hasn’t chosen yet its state machine between aasm and state_machine.

Admin interfaces / Exception notification

Another category that is surprising. Only 7% of projects did install an administration interface while it’s a convenient way to have an overview of what’s happening on the app during the Rails Rumble judging week. While rails_admin is an easy option (everything working out of the box), at Red Miners, we prefer the configuration required by activeadmin. Thus we took time to tweak it during the hackathon.

Only 14% of projects configured an exception notification system. 3 trackers where used: 1 open source simple mailing gem named exception_notification and 2 free-tier services. Among them rollbar was clearly the most used but also the least beautiful. That said, compared to airbrake, rollbar offers a wider retention period.

Geocoding & Maps / Graphing

7% of projects used maps or geocoding and one of them used the PostGIS adapter.

3% integrated graphs with a preference to chartkick.

API / HTTP Clients

What an unexpected stat! More than 7 different APIs where used! The most used ones where GitHub and Facebook. But there were also Amazon Product Advertising, Bitly, Ebay, Linkedin and Twitter.

This section is quite interesting. It looks like we have more than 5 HTTP client gems. httparty and rest-client appear to be the most famous. Note that mechanize allows you to follow redirections, links plus fill and submit forms.

Code metrics / Tests

Even during a stressing event such as a hackathon, some took time to pay attention to quality and installed simplecov, rubocop and coveralls.

Again that’s really surprising to discover that 5% of projects do have a unit testing framework in their Gemfile even though it doesn’t permit us to know if these framework were really used.

Here there is no clear preference on whether rspec or minitest.


As we mentioned above, Gemsavvy is not only a per category analyzer. It also extracts interesting gems. We’ve extracted some here:

  • chewy - High-level Elasticsearch Ruby framework based on the official elasticsearch-ruby client.
  • email_spec - Collection of RSpec/MiniTest matchers and Cucumber steps for testing email in a ruby app using ActionMailer or Pony.
  • jazz_hands - Pry-based enhancements for the default Rails 3 and 4 consoles.
  • mutant-rspec - Mutation testing for Ruby.
  • seedbank - Gives your Rails seed data a little structure.

Red Miners’ Choice

Finally, we’d like to use our editor’s pen to highlight some of the awesome gems that were used for the contest. Definitely check them out:

  • config - Easiest way to add multi-environment yaml settings to Rails, Sinatra, Pandrino and other ruby projects.
  • enumerize - Enumerated attributes with I18n and ActiveRecord/Mongoid support.
  • foreman - Manage Procfile-based applications.
  • high_voltage - Easily include static pages in your Rails app.
  • materialize-sass - Materialize Sass version for Rails Asset Pipeline.
  • mechanize - Mechanize is a ruby library that makes automated web interaction easy.
  • reform - Form objects decoupled from models.
  • slim - The templating language.

Hope you’ve discovered fun facts about rumblers and discovered new gems. Spread the word in your Ruby groups and find more gems and categories on the survey!

The 2015 Winners Have Been Announced!

Nov 16, 2015

The winners of 2015 Rails Rumble, picked by this year’s competitors, have been announced, so go check them out!

Winners will be receiving a number of awesome prizes from our sponsors, like gift certificates and free access to services (thanks, sponsors)!

And a special thanks goes out to RailsKits for sponsoring, and picking, the brand new, Best SaaS award!

Teams, you should now feel free to deploy any updates you have waiting. We’ll email you soon with details regarding your Heroku app and GitHub repository. And if you’re in the Top 10, or won the Best Solo, Best SaaS, or Public Favorite awards, you’ll also be hearing from us with details on how to get your prizes, but please give us a couple of weeks to get those ready.

Additionally, if you want to see how many points your team accumulated from competitor judges, sign in with Heroku and visit your team’s dashboard.

Thanks to all the participants, and public voters, for taking part in the 2015 Rumble!

- @tsmango

Time for Your Judge's Wig!

Nov 09, 2015

The judging portion of the 2015 Rails Rumble has officially started! Remember, the Rails Rumble is a community judged event. If you completed an app, you’re a judge and you’ll determine this year’s winners! So take some time this week (judging closes on November 15th at 23:59 UTC) to browse through the completed entries and pick your favorites.

When you’re done finding the ones you like the best, go to your favorites section and get it down to your top ten, put them in order, and click the finalize button to lock in your picks!

After you and the other competitors pick their favorites this week, winners will be announced on November 16th. Additionally, after the winners are announced, your team’s accumulated points will be displayed privately to you in your team’s dashboard, if you’re interested in seeing that.

If you want more details about how entries are sorted, how judging works, what kinds of things to look for, and how points for awards are calculated, please check out this very detailed page we put together.

The only award not picked by you is the Public Favorite award and that’s determined by, well, the public! So spread the word about not only your entry, but the whole Rails Rumble. Anyone can come to the site, sign in with Twitter, and pick their favorites.

Lastly, we urge you to leave feedback for other competitors. What did you love about their app? What didn’t you love? How can they make it better? How brilliant was their app? Competitors love feedback, so send it their way!


The Belt.

Oct 28, 2015

Beyond money, beyond notoriety, beyond all the free service prizes, there’s one thing that every single person that competes in the Rails Rumble, wants more than anything.

The Belt.

It’s all about The Belt! This year, our belt sponsor is the one and only Twilio. They’ve been sponsoring us for years now and we’re really happy to highlight their service here for you.

What is Twilio?

If you don’t know what Twilio is, we can explain it very simply. They are the telcom API champion! Developers use Twilio to build complex communication systems. But they’re also easy enough to use on a whim, to build small apps. They’re the perfect service for the Rumble. For instance, 2 years ago Caller Key won the Rumble, and they used Twilio.

What do I do with The Belt when I win?

Pfft, you mean if you win. Stakes is High! Well, if you win, you could wear The Belt at your desk, and show people what’s up.

You could also just sit it on your work fridge, and show people what’s up.

Wait, I thought I heard about Gloves last year?

That’s right! Starting two years back, the solo winners also got a pair of sweet, sweet boxing gloves!

Again, big thanks to Twilio for sponsoring this year’s belt and gloves!

- @Alternate1985

Registration Has Opened!

Oct 26, 2015

The Rails Rumble is a distributed programming competition where teams of one to four people, from all over the world, have 48 hours to build an amazing web app, with Ruby on Rails, or another Rack-based Ruby web framework, along with other web technologies. After the 48 hours are up, everyone picks their favorites and the top ten winners are revealed!

As many have already noticed, registration for the 2015 Rails Rumble is now open! To reserve a spot for your team, just visit and click the big Sign in with Heroku button. After signing in, you’ll be able to register a team, thus reserving a spot in the most action packed weekend of typing into a text editor since last year’s Rails Rumble! After reserving a spot, you’ll be able to invite up to three others to join you on your team.

If you’re in search for others to join your team, or a team to join yourself, use the hashtag #rumbleteamvacancy on Twitter or visit our community Slackline (see below).

There are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Spots are limited. Reserve a spot for your team early so that you don’t miss out. You’ll be able to add and remove people from your team up until the competition starts.

  • People judging can’t sign up for hundreds of Rails Rumble entries, whether it’s by email or via Twitter. It’s important to remember this when designing your entry. The easier it is to try, the happier the judges will be. It’s proven. It’s science! If you need user accounts, employ a Guest User Record style system.

  • If you reserve a spot for a team and later want to join a different team, realize you’re unable to compete, or just want to change teams, go to, sign in with Heroku, click the account button on the top left, click Team Dashboard, then click the Leave link next to your name under the Team Members section. If you’re the last member of the team, your team will be deleted and your spot will become available for another team that will no doubt be eternally grateful to their anonymous patron.

  • If you aren’t already, get familiar with Heroku before the competition! Here’s a great place to start.

  • To keep up to date with everything Rails Rumble leading up to the competition and during the competition, you should follow @railsrumble on Twitter.

  • To hang out with other rumblers before, during, and after the competition, connect your teams private Slack with our shared, community #rails-rumble Slack channel, powered by Slackline.

  • And speaking of our shared chat, please be sure to read our official Code of Conduct. The Rails Rumble has and will always be a place for everyone. Don’t screw it up.

  • Help spread the word about this year’s Rails Rumble! Take to Twitter and let everyone know that you’ve registered and are ready to show them what you’ve got.

If you need help with anything or have any questions at all, please feel free to contact the organizers. Otherwise, the competition starts on November 7th at 00:00:00 UTC, so don’t be late! We’ll be emailing you a few hours before the competition with more details about your Heroku app and optional GitHub repository.

And finally, while the Rails Rumble is a competition, it’s also about the Ruby community. Be nice. Make friends. Build something you’re proud of. And of course, have fun.

- @tsmango

Prizes Have Landed!

Oct 23, 2015

On October 26th, at 00:00:00 UTC, registration opens for the 2015 Rails Rumble. But today, we get to tell you about this year’s awesome prizes!

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

4th Place

5th Place

6th Place

7th Place

8th Place

9th Place

10th Place

Best Solo & Public Favorite Bonus Awards!

In addition to the top ten winners above, we have two special, bonus awards.

Best Solo

  • 2015 Rails Rumble Custom Boxing Gloves - Thanks, Twilio!
  • $500 Amazon Gift Certificate - Thanks, Heroku!

Public Favorite

  • $250 Amazon Gift Certificate per team member - Thanks, Heroku!

Best SaaS App!

New this year, we’re happy to announce that RailsKits will be picking their favorite SaaS app and providing a free full license to that team!

Everyone’s a Winner!

Even if you don’t place or get one the special awards, a number of our sponsors have been generous enough to provide coupons for their services. For example, RailsKits is giving everyone 20% off, Butter CMS is giving everyone a $50 credit, and Twilio is giving everyone a $30 credit! For more about how to redeem these coupons, visit your team’s dashboard near the end of the competition.

Thanks very much to our sponsors and good luck to everyone!

- @tsmango

Heroku Add-ons FTW

Oct 22, 2015

As you know, we’ve partnered up with Heroku as our infrastructure sponsor again this year. But what you might not have realized is that you’ll be able to leverage a ton of Heroku Add-ons in your app! Most add-ons have a free tier, but, like last year, Heroku wanted to give you access to even more, so they’ll be making the first paid tier free for a number of add-ons (see below) during the competition.

Once the competition starts, you’ll be able to install these Heroku sponsored add-ons, right from your team’s dashboard here on It’ll look something like this:

And the list is pretty incredible!

Don’t forget, registration opens on the 26th!

- @tsmango

Meet The 2015 Sponsors!

Oct 19, 2015

We’re fast approaching the opening of this year’s registration on the 26th, so what better time to see our sponsors? You can show your support by checking out the great companies that have helped to make the Rails Rumble happen again this year. And don’t forget, you’ll be able to leverage many of them during the competition!


Heroku provides services and tools to build, run, and scale web applications. When this year’s competition starts, you’ll have your very own private Heroku app set aside for your entry, complete with access to a number of add-ons!


GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over four million people use GitHub to build amazing things together, and you’ll be provided a private repository for your team for use during the competition.


Connect different Slack teams together. Save time and energy with Slackline by working with other companies from the Slack teams you use daily. Slackline is also sponsoring the official Rails Rumble community chat room this year!


The #1 developer service for uploading, processing, and viewing images, documents, and videos.


A password manager and secure wallet for OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android.


Sentry alerts you of any errors in your apps and games and provides all the details needed to debug them quickly.


Twilio is powering the future of communications software by enabling voice, VoIP, and messaging to be easily embedded into applications whether existing or built new on Twilio.


Railskits is a marketplace of pre-made Rails application components to help speed up your development. One example is our our SaaS Kit, which has been implemented in hundreds of successful software as a service business around the globe.

Butters CMS

Butter Cms is a modern hosted blog alternative for your Rails app. Butter’s Heroku add-on provides you with push-button blog functionality, have your blog running in seconds. No more hacking Wordpress!


PagerDuty is an operations performance platform designed to make businesses more reliable by eliminating the chaos across the entire operations lifecycle.

Sprintly is an integrated communication, instrumentation, planning and tracking tool for software development teams and their management.


O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators and expert early adopters to everyday users through books, conferences, news reportage, videos, and classes.

- @tsmango

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