Why Learn Ruby?

Because of its flexibility, versatility and ease of use, Ruby is the favourite language of many a start-up and web developer. In fact, Ruby developers are the 2nd highest paid kind of developers according to Angel List – so if you think about it, it’s a language that benefits everyone!

So, How Difficult is Ruby?

Ruby on Rails, the web framework that made Ruby so popular, is the first choice of many start-ups and coding beginners – so needless to say it’s not difficult at all. In fact the words ‘fun’ and ‘ruby’ are often mentioned in the same sentence, which isn’t all that surprising considering it originated in Japan and was initially used to make games. Beginners will find it easy to stay motivated when learning Ruby for the first time.

As a very high level language, Ruby reads closely to English and abstracts away most of the complex detail. That means it’s not only easy to pick up, but building things from scratch is quick, easy and requires less coding too. No need to get bogged down in the technical stuff and lose focus.

It’s also dynamically typed, so there is great flexibility, multiple approaches to a problem, and no hard and fast rules of building features. Ruby is also very forgiving of errors, making it even more ideal for the beginning coder. Just bear in mind that this flexibility means there’ll be a certain amount of trial and error in the early stages.

What About Community Support?

All programming languages have a developer community that has grown up around them as the language has gained popularity, so there’s always plenty of ways to give and receive advice. The larger a community, the more exciting and interesting ways you’ll see the language being used and developed, so it’s a vital component. With its huge start-up following, there’s no other language where this is more true than with Ruby.

  • StackOverflow:

    Ruby has a not too shabby 27,000 followers (and counting) on the programming Q&A site StackOverflow. Ruby questions are the 2nd most likely to be answered, and it’s the 9th most followed language overall. Many members note that the Ruby community in particular is very welcoming to newcomers.

  • Meetup:

    Meetup offers fantastic opportunities to network and learn from fellow developers, find a mentor, and generally discuss a topic with like-minded people. There are over 840 Ruby groups on Meetup, with a total of 430,000 members worldwide. Since Ruby on Rails is by far the most popular web framework around at present, there is a much more extensive support network than other languages or frameworks may have.

  • GitHub:

    Ruby on Rails is known for the many handy tools and tricks it can offer developers, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are over 970 Ruby projects on GitHub with more than 500 stars. In other words, no matter what you’re trying to build, you won’t have to search very far to find some useful information and solutions.

How Will Ruby Benefit My Career?

Start-ups are booming all over the world, so Ruby developers are in high demand at present. Ruby ranks 4th on the list of in-demand programming skills on Angel List, and it’s used by forward thinking and highly successful companies such as AirBnB, Hulu, Twitch, and even GitHub and Angel List themselves! Salaries for a Ruby developer range from $40 – 119,000 per annum.

Where is Ruby Headed?

As long as there are start-ups, Ruby will remain relevant. It has arguably met a dangerous rival in the form of Node.js recently, but thanks to its ease of prototyping and established popularity, there is no imminent threat.

Ruby is the 10th most popular language on the TIOBE index and is actively worked on constantly. It has a relatively fast update cycle (Ruby on Rails version 5 was released in beta in late 2015), so it’s ability to stay technically relevant can’t be argued with. It’s popularity is going nowhere either; interest in learning Ruby grey 22% and the number of new developers joining the world is steadily rising.

So in short, Ruby is going everywhere!