Ruby on Rails Gem Recommendations

What are some of your favorite Ruby on Rails Gems?

I’m going to comment here when I’ve got one to share.

Development Productivity

  • better_errors: console in the browser when you get an exception and a link that can take you right into the RubyMine code anywhere in the stack dump.
  • rails-footnotes: Great information about what’s going into a page rendering, including partials, queries, etc.
  • capybara-screenshot: Automatically create a PNG and HTML file that gives you exactly the information you need for troubleshooting integration tests.
  • pry: Can’t say enough about all the great ways to use pry rather than the default console.


  • devise: I always use Devise.
  • simple_form: Works great with twitter boostrap, very effective for basic form layout.
  • bootstrap-sass: Awesome integration of twitter bootstrap.

I don’t work in rails without the following:

But some of my favorite gems include:
Paperclip for image attachments and manioulation
s3_direct_upload for client to S3 direct uploads
cocoon for easy nested forms and associations
Font_awesome for scalable icons including spinners
newrelic for performance insights
Devise for user management
cancan for authorization

Here is one I just found that is amazing for events and recurring schedules: IceCube (for events) and recurring_select (for a nifty ui around IceCube rules)

I’m sure there are more but these are my favorites.

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@Kaz Those sound pretty good!

I’ve got to say that I’ve gone from really liking CoffeeScript to really much preferring JavaScript with ES6 syntax, especially when used with great libraries like lodash and ReactJs.

One I failed to mention but has been an absolutely amazing gem that has literally saved me hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars is Rubber, for deploying and managing a cloud it is AMAZING.

If you combine rubber with a good unicorn/nginx front end, you get single command HITLESS deploys to your cloud. So nice!

On the front end side using guard-livereload is also invaluable. As you modify the asset pipeline seeing the visual results in real time without touching anything us great. Especially if you have dual or triple monitors :wink:

These 3 really help when working with Databases:

  • Bullet: help to kill N+1 queries and unused eager loading
  • lol_dba: displays a list of columns that probably should be indexed
  • Railroady: model and controller UML class diagram generator. This is a must if you’re working with legacy code
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I found these gems to be very useful:
Paperclip (handling images)
Rack-cors (CORS)
Pundit (authorization)
Omniauth (light-weight authentication)
Active model Serializer (json objects to client)
Has_secure_tooken (tokenizer, pre-released for Rails 5)