Back to All posts

Ruby on Rails Trade Tariff App: Makers Academy Talk

Jun 2013

Last Thursday, Matthew gave a talk to the students of Makers Academy about some of the lessons we learned building the Trade Tariff for HMRC & GDS. Makers Academy, a training institution based in London, runs a high-intensity web application development course, where the students learn Ruby on Rails, Agile, Lean, and general software development principles.

After covering the basics of the Trade Tariff apps we developed for HMRC, Matthew described some of the technology that powers it. The main back-end is a Ruby on Rails and Sequel application that powers a JSON API, which is then consumed by the front-end Rails application. He then showed some examples of legacy data we imported and merged into the EU XML data structure.

One of the biggest challenges of building the UK Trade Tariff was the size and complexity of the data model (see a part of it below).


The students were keen to understand the development of a real Rails application and took the opportunity to grill Matthew on the challenges they’d face as software developers.

Given the application is open source, it was a good opportunity for the developers to have a look at a well-tested and complex Ruby on Rails application.

The Trade Tariff code is open source, so students had an opportunity to look at it. If you are interested, you can also check it out on github:


You can read more about this project in the post below:

The all new Trade Tariff tool


You may also be interested in:

Stay up to date with our blog posts

Keep up-to-date with our latest blog posts, news, case studies, and thought leadership.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll never share your information with anyone else. Read our Privacy Policy.