Learn Ruby Over Other Programming Languages

  • 2019-02-04

If you’re planning to step into field of software development, perhaps the toughest part is deciding on which programming language you should learn as there’re lots of them with widespread use and having their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to understand that different programming languages cater to different purposes. Ideally, you should learn one that is widely used for the most common purposes like web development, game development etc.

In this post, we’re going to focus on Ruby programming language and see why it can be considered as the better option over other programming languages.

What’s Ruby?

Developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto, Ruby is an object-oriented, dynamic programming language. Here, every piece of information can be given its own properties and actions. Ruby developers can simplify repetitive tasks and structure their codes by using Rails, thus expediting the development process of web applications.

Reasons behind popularity

Ruby is one of the most used and most preferred languages for numerous developers across the globe because of some key advantages. Let’s have a look at them.

  • Flexibility: As a dynamic language, Ruby doesn’t come with stringent rules on how to develop features. With different methods, you’ll gain more flexibility in solving problems. Though Ruby on Rails is what programmers do learn and use extensively, Ruby itself is still considered a strong general-purpose programming language and can cater to an array of purposes.
  • Usability: As it’s a high-level language by nature, Ruby reads much closer to common English, which means users are far removed from uncommon computer terms. Here, everything is written to be as clear and as simple as is possible.
  • Community: Community plays a crucial role in developing the user friendliness, knowledge, support and overall popularity of any programming language. With more than 27k followers, Ruby has made its place in the top 10 most followed languages. In addition, because of its large-sized community, chances are you’ll find that your required function is already built by someone, which in turn would help you to speed up your development process.
  • Career opportunities: As a Ruby developer, you’ll get lots of job opportunities – from startups to established names. Additionally, the ability of a programming language to stay relevant depends on whether it’s getting newcomers to keep its community alive, and Ruby is growing pretty steadily on that count. Apart from this, Ruby is also associated with some great tech businesses including Shopify, Bloomberg, Airbnb, Twitter etc. and numerous startups.

Comparison of Ruby with other programming languages

Before diving into the comparison, it’s important to learn the difference between Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Ruby is a programming language, which is used to write Ruby on Rails, which is a web framework. Here, we’re going to find out the major differences between Ruby and other common programming languages to get a clear insight of using the former one.

Ruby versus Perl

  • Ruby is more object-oriented compared to Perl.
  • Ruby comes with more third-party set of libraries compared to Perl.
  • Ruby is a more well-organized language than Perl, which is messy and unorganized due to its free nature.
  • Ruby comes with one variable type reference to an object while Perl offers multiple variable types.

Ruby versus Java

  • Programs based on Ruby run directly as it’s an interpreted scripting language whereas codes based on Java need to be compiled first and then executed.
  • Dynamic typing is used in Ruby while Java uses static typing.
  • Unlike Java, tasks in Ruby can be accomplished by writing fewer lines of code; It helps in increasing speed of development and in bug fixing.
  • In terms of flexibility and readability, Ruby is better than Java that offers enhanced application performance.
  • Ruby allows the developer to omit a few codes whereas Java follows a stringent C syntax in coding.
  • Ruby doesn’t come with type declarations, and a name to variable can be assigned as per requirement. In Java, there’s some class for every member variable. So, when working with Java, a programmer has to declare the type of variable as well as its name before implementing it in a code.

Ruby versus Python

  • In Ruby, you’re able to add methods to existing classes, while Python can’t do this by default (you’d need to use external libraries to make it possible).
  • If Rails is what you prefer, you should go for Ruby rather than Python because of its extremely vibrant, active and immensely helpful community.
  • Ruby comes with blocks that are elegant and simple, while Python tries to work using classes and decorators.

Ruby versus PHP

  • Testing of coding in Ruby is simple whereas in PHP, testing of coding and modules is a bit difficult.
  • If you’re into web applications, Ruby should be your best bet over PHP, which is ideal for backend web development.
  • Fewer lines of coding are required in Ruby for an application whereas in PHP, this volume increases significantly for the same application.

Final takeaway

As you can see, there aren’t too many differences between Ruby and other common programming languages. But there’re differences which make them best suited for different purposes. It depends more on what you’re looking to accomplish. Also, programming isn’t a field where the “one size fits all” concept can be applied. However, as Ruby is being widely used in a diverse range of fields and comes with the above advantages over other languages, it can be an excellent language to begin with.

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