What’s So Unique About Ruby and Rails?

7 min readJan 7, 2021
Ruby and Rails

Some people are just amazed why so many programmers love Ruby and Rails. Many programmers really do because it is suitable for both state-of-the-art public websites and core system applications. Ruby is the simplest programming language easy to master. Before we turn to some unique functions of Ruby and Rails, let’s see what’s Ruby and what’s Ruby on Rails and how they are interconnected.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is an open-source software to build fantastic web applications easily and in a fun way. It’s easy to use and abstracts and streamlines common repetitive tasks aiding developers in building websites and applications. Many world-known applications are Rail apps, including Hulu, Zendesk, Airbnb, and Shopify.

As a beginner, you may wonder what’s the difference between Ruby and Ruby on Rails. The two are interconnected. However, Ruby is a programming language. Ruby on Rails is a web framework. In fact, Ruby on Rails is written in Ruby.

Rails is absolutely user-friendly. Rather than having to write every single line of code, developers refer to a framework and find codes for common functions. They can plug into the websites or Rails apps they are building.

Developers also keep the work cleaner and less prone to bugs or ineffective codes. They can also detect problems easier when they occur.

Is Rails Okay For Beginners?

The great thing about Rails is that it’s easier to learn than any other programming language. Perhaps, it’s one of the most beginner-friendly software, if not THE ONE. It’s very hard to develop bad coding habits with Rails as it teaches you coding practices that have been tested over time. Moreover, with Rails, you will make fewer mistakes because this programming language is developed on the principle of ‘’less code is the best code’’.

Rails is also convenient for beginners because of the huge community it has developed around it. Not only can you find online books and Ruby guides, but you can ask questions in forums and other Rails communities, like Stack Overflow which is an open community for coders. Here you can get answers to your questions and even find your dream job!

Here are some reasons why beginners should choose Ruby on Rails as a programming language:

  • Most popular businesses use Ruby on Rails to build their websites;
  • There is a huge learning community about Rails;
  • Chances of getting hired are higher;
  • Rails is both a front-end and back-end framework;
  • Rails is readable and easy to master and run;
  • Rails framework is beginner-friendly. So is the Ruby language.

We should mention that Rails does have some drawbacks as well. In fact, more complicated programming languages offer more options for control but Rails is just perfect for most applications.

Do Developers Use Ruby on Rails to Create a Mobile App?

Ruby and Rails offers a competitive edge to Android and iOS app solutions. It is used to create mobile apps by developers across various businesses. Developers love using this coding language because of its brief, uncluttered syntax. It’s easy to read and write. Most Rails codes are pre-written which eliminates unproductive labor. It’s intended for writing fewer codes and, therefore, aids developers in their work.

It also eliminates errors easily following the Agile development principles. This means the framework divides the project into sprints testing and refining each sprint at a time before turning to another. That is why it has fewer bugs and errors.

Ruby on Rails runs on Linux. It functions under the MIT license. The pretty helpful thing about this framework is that the ‘gems’ aid developers in saving their time and effort.

How is Ruby and Rails Different From Other Coding Languages and Frameworks?

Here is a summary of differences between Ruby and Rails and some other coding languages:

  • Faithful to its principle of ‘fewer codes’, Ruby on Rails has fewer lines of coding as compared to the same application written in PHP. However, PHP applications are faster since they require less memory.
  • There are more third-party libraries for Ruby than Perl.
  • The support base for Perl is multiple variable types whereas Ruby has only one variable-type.
  • Perl supports auto conversion of data types. In the case of Ruby, the programmer has to convert data types.
  • Compared to Perl, Ruby is less supportive while Perl supports more Unicode properties, full case mapping, and Grapheme. In the case of Ruby, encoding is more explicit.
  • Ruby code does not need compilation for interpreting whereas Java code needs compilation.
  • Java follows a strict C syntax while with Ruby you can omit a few codes.
  • The flexibility and readability is higher with Ruby while Java offers better application performance.
  • You can assign a name to a variable when working with Ruby whereas in the case of Java every variable belongs to a class. This means that when working with Java you have to declare the type of the variable and its name when using it in a code.
  • Java and Ruby can go together. JRuby is a programming language used in Java Virtual Machine.

It’s worth mentioning Ruby on Rails gems that drastically reduce the time taken to code. In fact, these are libraries allowing adding functionalities without writing code. In other words, gems are plug-ins for adding features. You can find RubyGems for almost everything, including payment gateway processing to authentication. Developers build custom Rails apps with features installed using a gem for Ruby on Rails.

How to Learn Ruby on Rails and How Long Will to Take?

Ruby on Rails is absolutely easy to master. Rails developers are very much in demand in the web development market today. Rails apps are popular in the business world, and they have developed some of the most active communities in the programming world. The learning process becomes easy and a lot more fun. You can also find libraries like YASL which is good for cross-Ruby apps in Glimmer. Rails is easy to learn partly because of its default database, web page, and web service structures.

Many people think it will take years to learn coding. This is not true at all in the case of Ruby and Rails! Today even complete beginners can shift to a job after learning at a full-time programming Bootcamp for a few months. Experts say that even 1–2 months are enough to learn Rails. If you want to learn HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL, OO, you will need an additional 6 months. So, all in all, 6–8 months are enough to have a firm foot in programming.

  • Before choosing a Bootcamp, make sure it has the following:
  • A one-month internship at a popular company;
  • State-of-the-art equipment;
  • Teaching more than one programming language;
  • Includes web developer tools such as Git, GitHub, etc.;
  • The course covers both practice and theory.

Best Ruby on Rails Courses

Here are some top courses where you can learn Ruby on Rails. You can find both paid and free courses to learn Ruby and Rails.

· Udemy

The course starts with the basics and goes on teaching the ways for creating own applications, including Ruby blocks, built-in and custom helpers, fully-functioning user authentication, and login application.

· Pluralsight

Here you can choose among several options from Ruby language fundamentals to developing and running applications. Top experts in the field with real-world experience teach the courses. Here are top courses offered by Pluralsight:

- Ruby on Rails 4: Getting Started

- Creating an API with Rails

- Integrating Payment with Ruby on Rails

- Ruby Language Fundamentals

- Developing and Running Applications on Heroku

- Ruby: The Big Picture

· Coursera

You will learn core concepts behind Ruby on Rails as well as learn about JSON API, HTTParty, and Ruby gem. The organizer is Hopkins University and the tutor is Kalman Hazins, Adjunct Professor, Graduate Computer Science.

· LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers several courses in Ruby and Rails to teach the installation of Ruby, Ruby gems, Rails Model-View-Controller (MVC), and deployment of your site. Here are some of the courses offered:

- Ruby on Rails 6 Essential Training

- Code Clinic: Ruby

- Create a new Ruby on Rails project

· RubyTapas

Avdi Grimm, a Ruby developer with over ten years of experience developed the program. It’s good for a newbie, junior and experienced developers. The subscription costs $18 or $35 per month depending on the curriculum.

Wrapping up

If you want to master a programming language easily and fast, Ruby and Rails is a way to go. Rails apps are common in many businesses. A programmer that masters this coding language will find a job with less effort. There are free Ruby and Rails courses and Ruby guides online so you may want to start with that. There are also a lot of forums, libraries, and online communities about this programming language and a web framework making learning even more fun. Ask questions to top experts or consult Ruby guides before you decide to take on a course.




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