If you’ve spent any time reading about the Ruby programming language, it’s likely you have heard the term ‘Ruby on Rails’ at some point.
You may be asking yourself the question “should I learn Ruby on Rails?” It’s a good one to ask because the language has become an incredibly popular framework for web development over recent years, and is definitely a worthy investment if you’re interested in building websites.
Learning any web framework can add value to your career and programming skills, as frameworks allow you to expand upon your existing knowledge and learn an entire new range of functions you can use in your code.
Ruby on Rails is one of the best frameworks you can learn, if you are interested in working with Ruby. But, you may be wondering: why is there so much interest in Ruby on Rails? In this article, we’re going to answer that question and explore the top seven reasons why.
What is Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails, which was created by David Heinemeier Hansson in 2003, is the most popular open source web application framework.
Rails is built upon the Ruby programming language, so it is not a language, it is a framework. Frameworks are collections of code and tools that give you access to a range of common functions that you can use in your code. Using frameworks in your code can help improve the structure of your work.
The Rails framework allows you to build websites using Ruby. Using Rails, you can build websites with sign-in functions, payments, updating content, and any other dynamic feature.
Now, let’s get to answering the question “why should I learn Ruby on Rails?”
#1: Ruby allows you to build web applications
If you are interested in web development, having a knowledge of how to use the Ruby on Rails framework is very useful.
The Rails framework includes a number of shortcuts that allow you to build websites quickly and effectively using Ruby. This means that you can use your knowledge of Ruby on Rails to create functional web applications for internet users.
Today, sites such as Yammer, Soundcloud, Sendgrid, Gumroad, Kickstarter, GitHub, Shopify, and Airbnb use Ruby on Rails in their web applications.
#2: Ruby is easy to understand
The Ruby programming language itself, which should not be confused with Rails, is an easy language to work with.
When you’re learning how to code, it can feel intimidating as there are lines of code everywhere, and you may still be figuring out what they all mean. That’s why it is best to start with learning a language or a framework that is easy to use.
Ruby’s syntax is simple, easy to read, and similar to the English language. As a result, it’s a great language for beginners. Because the language is written using Ruby, this means that it is also easy to work with the Rails framework.
#3: Ruby on Rails is full-stack
#4: Rails has a strong developer community
The Rails framework has one of the most active communities of any programming framework.
This is important because frameworks with active communities are more likely to have a high level of documentation and a group of followers who are willing and able to maintain the framework over time.
As a result of Ruby on Rails’ popularity, there is no shortage of online tutorials and coding boot camps for Rails. In addition, when you have a question, it’s easy to find another Rails developer online who can help.
The Rails framework has been in development for over a decade and has received contributions from thousands of developers. That’s not all, the creator David Heinemeier Hansson actively works on the framework, which has been crucial in maintaining an active community around Rails.
According to Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey, which studied nearly 90,000 developers on their programming stacks and habits, Rails is the eleventh most-popular web framework favored by developers. Moreover, 57.1% of respondents who reported that they used Rails described it as their “most loved” web framework in the study.
#5: Rails skills are in demand
The Ruby programming language is one of the most popular out there, which makes it a useful skill to learn.
According to the TIOBE Index, which tracks the popularity of top programming languages based on their search volume, Ruby is currently ranked as the fifteenth most-popular programming language in the world.
As if that was not enough, according to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Ruby on Rails developer is $91,542. Even the salary for a Ruby developer is strong as the average Ruby developer earns $76,526.
As we mentioned earlier, top companies such as Airbnb, Twitter, Etsy, Basecamp, and Kickstarters use Rails, which demonstrates how popular this technology is.
If you learn Ruby on Rails, it’s almost certain that you will be able to use it as leverage to help you level up in your career. Not only is Rails widely used by top tech companies, but many others are willing to pay people well who know it.
#6: Rails is forgiving for beginners
Describing a framework as “forgiving for beginners” may seem odd, but it is the perfect description of how beginner-friendly the Rails framework is.
In addition, Ruby on Rails has in-built protections designed to force you to implement features in a certain way. While this can be seen as restrictive, these make it easy to master best practices in the framework. So, when you’re just starting, it is easy to discover points where you have made an error, which gives you the information you need to improve your skills.
#7: Rails is easy to set up
The Rails framework is easy to set up, unlike many other frameworks. All you have to do is install Rails and do some initial configuration, then you’ll be ready to get started. There is no need to write massive configuration files or to copy code from a boilerplate to get started. You just need to install Rails then you’ll be ready to start coding.
The bottom line
With all this in mind, one thing is clear: Ruby on Rails is a valuable skill to have.
Skills in Ruby on Rails are in high demand, companies are willing to pay high amounts for people with the right skills.
That’s not all. Because Rails is so forgiving to beginners and easy to use, it is a great first framework to learn if you’re interested in web development. It is also definitely a contender for one of the easiest frameworks to learn, if you’re new to web development frameworks.
Rails is also full-stack, which means that you can use it with languages like HTML and CSS to build really powerful web applications.
If you’re looking to level up your web development skills, you should definitely consider learning to code using Ruby on Rails!