Is Ruby a good choice for developers in 2022/23?
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The world of IT and programming, in particular, attracts more and more people. The ability to work from anywhere in the world, constantly develop, learn and create something useful sounds really tempting.
If we have an abstract person who is not connected with the IT world, who at one moment showed an interest in programming and is trying to figure out where to start, where to look, then they will definitely have such questions:
- Where to begin?
- Which language to choose? What is it used for?
- Demand and will I be able to find a job? Is it easy to find a job?
In this article, I will try to answer these questions in the context of Ruby. Because Ruby is a great programming language that gives us the ability to enjoy programming and create complex web applications. It also doesn’t have a hard entry threshold and is pretty easy to learn.
Let’s talk about Ruby #
Ruby was released in 1995 and since then has not ceased to develop and gain popularity. In 2006, Ruby achieved mass acceptance. The growth in popularity of the language is attributed to the popularity of software written in Ruby, especially Ruby on Rails, a framework for developing web applications. Now Ruby is included in most Linux OS distributions, comes with Mac OS X, and is available to users of other operating systems.
As of August 2022, Ruby is in the top 20 most popular programming languages, according to the authoritative specialized ranking Tiobe.
What is Ruby and what is it used for? #
Ruby is used in a variety of areas: from system administration to the development of complex dynamic web applications.
The main direction is, of course, web development. Ruby on Rails is a very cool and efficient tool that has been used to create many well-known services. In particular, Twitter, Airbnb, Crunchbase, Dribbble, Bloomberg, Netflix, SoundCloud, Upwork, Hulu, Basecamp, Kickstarter, and many more.
The language is actively used in system administration, and also has tools for mobile applications (Ruboto, RubyMotion, etc).
Ruby is a language FOR developers #
Ruby’s focus is on productivity and the joy of programming - Matz (Ruby creator)
The syntax of the language is simple and understandable, even for non-programmers (just knowing English), it is pleasant to write in it and to read someone else’s code.
The priority of the language is the convenience and minimization of the programmer’s labor costs when developing the program. Less code, more business.
Ruby also takes care of the freedom of the programmer’s decisions by providing opportunities to achieve the same result in several different ways.
What is good about Ruby? #
Programming in Ruby has a number of advantages.
Development speed. The most important advantage of Ruby is the high speed of development, which is achieved through a simple syntax, as well as a large selection of ready-made solutions for different types of tasks.
That is why Ruby is often chosen for prototypes and MVP when you need to quickly show a high-quality working product. But nevertheless, many large and serious projects are written in Ruby and their number continues to grow.
Standards. The world of Ruby has clear and understandable programming standards that have been used by the community for many years. This allows to effectively write structured code, easily connect new people to the project, and scale.
Transparency and flexibility. Ruby and Ruby on Rails allow you to write clear and flexible code that can be easily modified in the future. This makes it possible to scale without any problems and loss of quality, which is very important for business projects.
Code reliability. In the world of Ruby, development is based on the TDD (test-driven development) methodology, which allows you to write high-quality code and be confident in the result. For Ruby on Rails, you will find a lot of ready-made solutions for any kind of automated tests.
A huge number of ready-made solutions. Ruby has a large collection of libraries (RubyGems) - you can find almost everything you need to implement your idea.
Some downsides of Ruby #
The same as any other language Ruby also has some not-so-good things.
Speed. The performance of Ruby/Rails applications can be slower than in other languages, but it depends on the developer mostly. There is always a way to scale and improve the code to get better results. If some application requires good performance this should be taken into consideration before the implementation and checked after. Many big companies and projects use Ruby to support millions of web users.
Magic. Ruby and Ruby on Rails make it easier to write code and hide a lot of processes “under the hood”, that’s why it’s pretty easy to forget core knowledge of how things work (pointers, strong types, memory management, data manipulations). This could lead to performance problems, not optimized solutions, and magic bugs. While working mainly with Ruby it’s a good idea to have a pet project in some low-level programming languages or at least statically typed, compiled languages in order to “stretch” your brain.
As you can see the downsides of Ruby are not so bad. The result is always based on the developers’ skills and responsibility. It’s all about practice and focuses on quality results.
Statistics and demand #
Ruby is not a mainstream language, so experienced Ruby developers are in high demand and have good salaries. There are a lot of projects in Ruby and a lot of places where Ruby is the best choice.
As we said earlier, Ruby is in the top 20 most popular programming languages, according to the authoritative specialized rating Tiobe.
Ruby is ranked 17th in popularity among the most popular programming, scripting, and markup languages according to a recent Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022.
Also among Web frameworks and technologies, Ruby on Rails is in the 14th place rated by professional developers.
As we can see, the Ruby language is an active part of the programming world and it is worth paying attention to. Once you try it, you won’t be able to put it down!
Why Ruby? #
I conducted a small survey among the MobiDev Ruby team on why people chose Ruby as the main programming language and whether they would recommend it to those who are trying to decide on a programming language.
A lot of answers are very overlapping, I will share the main reasons why they chose Ruby:
- Many things can be done simply, and most importantly, quickly.
- Many ready-made solutions for standard tasks (authorization, validation, etc.)
- Simple and clear syntax (sometimes understandable even for non-programmers)
- It turned out to be an interesting and not mainstream language
- Conscious choice and transition to Ruby, because Ruby is about innovation and beauty
Absolutely all survey participants would recommend Ruby as the first programming language. The main reasons are:
- Allows you to quickly master a large toolkit for creating really high-level web applications, with moderate code complexity, in a short time (compared to other languages)
- It is not difficult to learn, it does not have such a hard entry threshold
- Ruby and Ruby on Rails is a stable programming language and framework.
- You can quickly get the result of the work, which motivates you to learn further.
In conclusion, I would like to add that Ruby is a good choice for developers in 2022/23. A beautiful and convenient language, many interesting tools and an active community allow you to enjoy your work and constantly develop. Also, a huge number of resources and tutorials will make the learning process fast and interesting.
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