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Is Ruby worth learning in 2019?

realtoughcandy profile image RealToughCandy.io ・1 min read

Is Ruby worth learning in 2019?

A subscriber asked me this, and it's a great question for numerous reasons. Firstly, some bootcamps still teach it, despite its decreasing adoption rates in enterprise development settings.

Secondly, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is one of the earliest backend web frameworks to hit the scene in late 2005. Despite its OG status, it seems to be falling off the popularity chart. Does that mean you should avoid it, along with the language that was used to build the framework?

Is it a bad career investment if you dedicate all your time and money to learning this language along with RoR?

Let’s see what the developers say. Over 200 devs responded to my poll, but what do YOU think? Should you learn Ruby this year?

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RealToughCandy.io

@realtoughcandy

Owner/Founder of www.realtoughcandy.io. Real-world web development! 100% indie software dev; author; instructor; follow me on YouTube! youtube.com/realtoughcandy

Discussion

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Github, Apple.com, Shopify all use Ruby. I am currently employed as a Ruby developer. It happens to be a great language for learners. In general, use whatever language brings you joy and gets you a paid gig, which both happen for me.

 
 

I think Ruby is possibly the best language for learning Object Oriented Programming and therefore will be worth learning for a very long time.

Not to mention seniority in Ruby is very valuable; there is a lot of legacy Ruby code. That legacy code isn't going anywhere either, so that means long-term demand.

 
 

My mother and stepfather are recently-retired COBOL programmers. That language kept me fed, housed, and clothed for years, so despite whatever personal revulsion I feel whenever I see any COBOL code, I have to appreciate it. :)

 

No. The COBOL argument is that it is too risky and expensive to replace it.

This could be at most "The Java argument" - there is a lot of java out there and that code ain't gonna disappear in the next 20 years. I'd say Ruby is not yet at that level.. but might come to that.

It's the COBOL argument from the standpoint of "why should I learn ? Because there's going to be money to be made babysitting old code for the next decades."

 

I coded web apps using php/laravel and some todo and blog apps using django . Now using ruby and rails from last three months and i can say that ruby itself very elegant and really make a programmer happy ,#ruby care about the #human #factor in #coding which other languages lack.

Rails is awesome, when it come to #productivity no other framework can beat it .That's why startups and enterprises used it for MVP development .

Github , gitlab ,shopify, airbnb are the example that rails apps can be scalable.

Students studying in universities not had a clue about what ruby and rails can bring to them .

There is lot of negative reports over internet about ruby and rails but i want to add that ruby and rails is loved among startups and web development comapnies .

 

Rails is awesome, when it come to #productivity no other framework can beat it.

I'd throw in ColdFusion as a challenger! :D

 

But I am sure Andrian coldFusion doesn't have active records . I read about coldFusion its really fast and really impress how it work with java .Its rapid but still I think ruby (and rails) is more readable and elegant :). You work with coldFusion?

 

I got my first Ruby/RoR job in the fall of 2018. It's certainly possible to find good work with Ruby today. If you want to talk longer term, that's harder to predict. Who could have imagined ten years ago the number to js developers today?

 

I guess Ruby will have second wave of popularity after type checker will be added. A lot of things that Ruby did in the past was copied by other languages, because Ruby community tends to invent elegant solutions (Bundler, RoR, ActiveRecord, Sass, etc.)

Ruby is on the demand, but less popular because other languages drive away popularity from it, for example Elixir, JS+React+GraphQL, etc.

 

I'd say definitely yes, Ruby/Rails are a joy to work with and still one of the best tools to build web apps. For a new project I had a discussion with my client recently, and we ended up with PHP/Laravel rather than Rails because he's more familiar with PHP - but even then I benefit from my Rails knowledge because Laravel was so heavily inspired by it. Anyway, I believe it's good for any (senior) web dev to have more than one tool within their arsenal and for me Ruby/Rails should absolutely be there!

 

Is Ruby worth learning in 2019?

Nope. If you know, that's great, but its popularity goes down. RoR thing is still popular, but mostly in US and not as before.
Python beats it.
Who knows it will continue to do some things, but mostly it'll join PHP in the journey to the next world, where they join Pascal, Cobol and other ancestors.
Worth learning Python (if you by some reason still don't know it), Node.js, Go.

 
 

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: YEEEEEESSSSSSS

 

Ruby if anything else is major fun to play with. I never had so much satisfation writing code with such expressiveness. The ideas flow from your mind to your IDE really fast...
Also when you learn Ruby you become pretty much ready to jump to Elixir world.
And finally if you know Ruby you are very near to enjoy the amazing Crystal language ecosystem. Your ruby code (after some changes) will be just blazing fast!...
IMO Crystal will be a big thing in the future, so i think it's not a waste of time to learn Ruby today...

 

This is where I am...I discovered two really amazing blogs that convinced me to experiment with Elixir and Rust. Unfortunately it looks like Raindrop.io is having an outage right now so I can't post the links. One of the bloggers was part of the Agile Manifesto writers and his experiences with how Agile was commercialized matched my viewpoint. He is a huge Elixir advocate now it reminds me of F#, which is always a good thing in my mind!

 

Ruby is a great language to learn and Ruby on Rails is a great asset for startups looking for fast prototyping and even bigger companies like the ones recurrently mentioned on the post (ie- Github, Apple.com, Shopify, etc). Also- as a reminder, Airbnb & Twitter both were originally built on RoR until fairly recently, which only validates the point that it's a great asset to start your company until you scale THAAT big. No need to build an overly complex app when you have no users and don't get their needs yet..

Also, as a programmer-friendly language, I think it's extremely valuable to use Ruby to understand the basic programming concepts to greater depth, and then, if desired, to change stack, which is then a lot easier.

-- Just to point out the 'if desired'.. There are a lot of Ruby/RoR good paying jobs out there as well and with the new release of Rails 6.0 things are about to get even funner 😛🔥

 

I have come from ASP and PHP and have since shifted to primarily working with Ruby in the last 8 years. I think the most important reason to learn a programming language is if it pays.

You can't continue to code in a hot programming language if there aren't any jobs that pay you satisfactorily.

 

Learning a language (and framework) well takes a long time, so it comes down to where you want to invest yours. RoR is good for some types of problems (building backends tightly coupled to a database), so that's what you can expect to find in terms of jobs. It used to be used for server side rendered MVC frontends as well, but most frontend folks would consider that architecture outdated nowadays.

If you're optimizing for the long term, Python has similar expressiveness to Ruby, with the benefit of rapid growth. You get your batteries included frameworks (Django), but also unlock access to a ton of devops and data science jobs. Python is a great long term investment, Ruby is much riskier.

Lastly, JavaScript is probably still the safest long term bet. Node is not what I would call "pleasant" to work with, but the ecosystem is exceptional. Getting proficient in JS keeps your options open, and allows you to contribute across the stack.

 

Should you learn Ruby this year?

Since the question is related to Ruby, not RoR, my answer also relates to Ruby only.
So, should you learn ruby this year? Well, it depends. The language is just a tool. If you're beginner - yes, learn Ruby. It's a scripting language, it's expressive, easy to read, enjoyable to write, with rich standard library, it has very nice package manager, capable of doing most of the tasks.
If you're more senior - well, you need at least one scripting language anyway. So python, perl or ruby? Depends on the preferences that you have.
If we speak about a project - well, for MVP or prototyping, ruby is great. For more enterprise goals - again, it depends. Most of the time the prototypes are the ones that live in production systems anyway.

And to summarize: the language is a tool, give it a try, if you enjoy working with, there will always be a job for it. Don't think too much if it's worth learning or not. The experience that you'll get with it gonna pay afterwards in one way or another.

 

Absolutely :)

It's not the cool fancy thing anymore - but it WORKS, and is used by thousands of businesses. Also - there is still really neat stuff going on with it! You can use React on top of it; you can use graphql with it even... if you're chasing fancy stuff, then you can still do it with Rails.

Mostly though: some of the most productive programming I've ever done has been in Rails... it lets you do so much (and does so much for you). I recommend it!

 

I’d take the contrarian approach here. Yes, ruby’s popularity is fading away but many big tech companies(github, airbnb) still use ruby. There may be less ruby jobs or ruby programmers out there now but all that means is that, if you’re a ruby developer, you’re valued much higher. Supply/demand

 

Short answer: yes.

I'm just gonna justify my answer by saying that the company I currently work for specifically recruited me because of my Ruby (on Rails) experience and two years later, I'm still their number one choice when they get clients asking for RoR... because where I live (France), RoR is not really commonly used but still quite popular. So there aren't a lot of openings for Ruby (on Rails) devs, but when there's one, that's a really precious thing to have in your skill set.

And that's only my professional opinion. My personal opinion would be even simpler: Ruby is an awesome language and even though the Ruby hype has passed, it's still a great back-end language for the web, and more. And as many have said in the other comments: a lot of big players (GitHub, Apple, etc...) use Ruby (on Rails), which says a lot.

 

My personal opinion is maybe, unless you plan to work with Ruby on Rails or get hired at a place that works with it. It has a lot of good libraries though, so you might choose to learn it depending on that as well.

But the more general answer is YES: all languages are worth it, they are designed by people, most of them have been around a very long time so they embody constraints and decisions related to the industry, they have faults and quirks and pros and cons. They all teach you something new :)

Disclaimer: I work with Ruby every day but my "programming heart" still belongs to Python ahhaha

 

For several years in a row, a lot of articles hinting that Ruby is dead have been published, but there are still many reports saying that the frequency of use of Ruby only grows from year to year. So it’s definitely worth learning and using.

 

Hey @realtoughcandy ,
I am curious to know the result of your survey. Can you please share it with us if possible.

 

It is still my choice for new projects—haven’t found a web framework as flexible and complete as Rails in any language.

 
 

Ruby almost the only language that combines classic OOP, FP, another styles of programming and ideas (like closures) in best way.
It's pretty good reason to start learning programming with Ruby.

 

Yup, definitely. Rails has so many benefits both for developers and customers. Plus, Rails has one of the highest salaries among other technologies.

Here' a blog post why developers choose to learn Ruby on Rails - medium.com/@alinapoperechnaya/lear...