You don’t have to spend much time researching programming languages to hear about Ruby programming and its popular web framework, Ruby on Rails. Huge swathes of the Internet are built with Ruby programming language, as are many other applications. But what is the Ruby programming language, and what is Ruby programming used for?
What Is the Ruby Programming Language?
Ruby is a scripting language built from the ground up for use in front end and back end web development and similar applications. It is a robust, dynamically typed, and object-oriented language. What’s more, its syntax is so high-level and easy to understand that it’s considered as close as you can get to coding in English.
More than one person has commented that they could basically understand Ruby code even without knowing how to program!
Released in the 1990s, Ruby is an open-sourced language created by the Japanese programmer Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto. He has stated that the language is designed to be both fun and productive. Ruby is scripted, meaning that it’s an interpreted language rather than a compiled one.
How Does Ruby Compare to Other Coding Languages?
It helps to compare Ruby to other languages, to see how it’s similar and different.
Python is a programming language that focuses on having a single, unambiguous solution to every problem. Ruby projects, by contrast, want to have many valid approaches to problem-solving.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Some other differences include how strings are mutable in Ruby but not in Python, and Ruby only has one kind of list container. However, they are both heavily object-oriented–in both Python and Ruby everything is an object.
Compared to C/C++, Ruby tends to hide a lot from programmers to make their jobs easier. This can indeed make it much easier to ship code, but means finding deep bugs might require a lot more digging.
What Is Ruby Programming Used For?
Ruby is most used for building web applications. However, it is a general-purpose language similar to Python, so it has many other applications like data analysis, prototyping, and proof of concepts.
Probably the most obvious implementation of Ruby is Rails web, the development framework built with Ruby. Homebrew, an extremely popular tool for installing software packages on macOS, is also written in Ruby. So is the security software Metasploit, which allows you to test websites and applications for how easy they are to break into.
There are a number of highly visible applications created by Ruby developers with Rails. These include the popular booking site AirBnB and the TV streaming service Hulu. Other applications include Github, Goodreads, and the calorie-tracking application MyFitnessPal.
Ruby and Ruby on Rails can help you build and secure a website, find a great show while vacationing in your Airbnb, and meet your daily calorie goal. Not bad for such a simple programming language!
Where Can I Learn Ruby Programming?
There are many free, online resources available that can teach you the basics of Ruby and Ruby on Rails. One of the most useful for those seeking a job in development would be App Academy Open. This course covers Ruby as well as job search tactics and several other technologies vital to developers.
Ruby can also be learned via a coding bootcamp or other online services like Try Ruby.
Ruby is a strong language to add to your developer profile, resume, and portfolio. If you’re just starting your tech career, it’s also an easy introduction into the world of programming. Either way, given the above, there are few reasons not to pick up Ruby when you get the chance.