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Cool Stuff in Ruby Language


Vlad V.

Chief Executive Officer

I hope to see Ruby help every programmer in the world to be productive, and to enjoy programming, and to be happy. That is the primary purpose of Ruby language.

Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, the creator of Ruby

The first stable version of Ruby was released back in 1996. This makes Ruby a pretty mature programming language, and it remains one of the most popular and widely used languages in the world. The reason is simple − Ruby was designed to satisfy the needs of people, not of machines.

In this article, we illustrate how Ruby satisfies people’s needs and briefly go over the major reasons why Ruby is so great for both developers and product owners.

#1 Created for developers

First of all, let’s talk about the advantages of Ruby for software developers:

  • Ruby supports metaprogramming

    Basically, metaprogramming is a technique that allows developers to write code in Ruby that writes other code. Applied with various tricks and tools such as ghost methods, introspection, and class macros, metaprogramming not only gives developers flexibility but also helps them save time and write less code (though testing this code may eventually be more difficult).

  • Ruby is fast to write

    Although Ruby may not be the fastest language in terms of running and processing requests, statistics show that the speed of writing code and, therefore, of developing software products with Ruby is 30 to 40 percent faster than with other programming languages. Our team can confirm these numbers based on our own ample experience.

  • Everything is an object

    When you create an object from a class, it can get its own class known as a singleton. For this reason, each object in Ruby can indeed be individual and can have its own methods and properties. Other programming languages often have unnecessary and annoying constraints in this respect.

#2 Focused on code quality

Code quality is crucial for any application − nobody wants to use laggy software riddled with bugs. Ruby allows developers to ensure the highest code quality standards. What makes Ruby so special? It’s all about syntax − Ruby code is intuitive, so it takes less effort to write, read, and maintain.

Also, Ruby’s ecosystem is perfectly tailored to testing, which is an integral part of producing clean code. The Ruby community has created plenty of testing and test automation frameworks and tools that allow developers to easily write tests and run them against their code base to ensure impeccable quality. Here are some of the testing tools we use at RubyGarage:

  • Minitest − Ruby’s standard library that provides a complete suite of testing tools
  • RSpec − a behavior-driven development framework for validating the development of applications
  • Capybara − simulates a browser and users’ interactions with an application

Ruby’s focus on quality brings a lot of benefits for both businesses and developers. Let’s name some of them.

  • Maintainability. Ruby’s intuitiveness makes it easy for developers to understand how an application works so they can quickly pick up an existing project.
  • Simple debugging. Since Ruby code is easy to understand, developers can track down and fix bugs and errors quickly.
  • Great application performance. Clean code ensures smooth and trouble-free performance, delivering a pleasant customer experience.

#3 Maintained by the community

People tend to unite around great things, so no wonder Ruby has a huge, active, and motivated community.

In fact, the community is a centerpiece of Ruby’s success and popularity: not only does it lend a helping hand to new developers through numerous courses, books, and discussion platforms, it also maintains Ruby and moves it forward by continuously creating new frameworks, tools, and libraries for the benefit of developers and, ultimately, end users.

The best example is Ruby on Rails − the most popular and well-known framework for Ruby that has helped scores of projects get off the ground and achieve success. Ruby on Rails relies on conventions aimed at writing less code and avoiding repetition. Moreover, this framework is open source (read: free), which means using it costs nothing at all.

The Ruby community has crafted lots of helpful open source tools that help developers easily create fully functional, secure, and cost-effective applications from scratch. Do you need to build an online store? Easy as pie: Ruby on Rails offers open source ecommerce platforms. How about a CMS for managing content on your website? No problem: there are lots of open source content management systems for Ruby on Rails. Think of a function you need to implement in a web application, and the Ruby community is likely to provide a tool to help you. This is an awesome advantage of Ruby as a programming language and Rails as a framework.

Also, it’s impossible to speak about the Ruby language without mentioning gems − libraries that handle a variety of typical development tasks. For example, gems help Ruby programmers implement authentication, detect vulnerabilities, root out bugs, manage payments, and do many more things. The Ruby community has developed over 140,000 gems that facilitate programming and help create amazing applications with Ruby.

If you want to know how our team benefits from open source libraries, take a look at this list of the most popular gems we use at RubyGarage.

Rubyists keep contributing to the Ruby ecosystem around the clock, old tools and gems getting updated while new ones are released. The community does a terrific job keeping Ruby fit for building applications of different complexities and for various business purposes.

Ruby Programming Language Popularity Infographic

#4 Vibrant culture

Ruby’s active community has created a unique, vibrant culture around this programming language − a culture of fun that results in delivering quality software products; a culture that motivates developers to share their experiences with each other and keep learning new things all the time.

Rubyists strongly believe that success lies in cooperation and joint efforts, so they organize and participate in a variety of conferences, events, meetups, and webinars. Here are just some of the annual international Ruby conferences:

  • RailsConf − the world’s largest gathering of Ruby on Rails developers, enthusiasts, and businesses
  • RubyKaigi − a major conference that takes places in Japan, Ruby’s native land
  • RubyC − a European conference devoted to the Ruby programming language, the Rails framework, and related technologies
  • RubyConf − a conference that brings together the leading minds and enthusiasts in the world of Ruby

The Ruby culture is inclusive − it’s always open to new people who want to become a part of the community. No matter your location or gender, you’ll find a place in the world of Ruby. Rails Girls, for example, promotes the values of Ruby among women and incentivizes them to learn this technology to build awesome projects.

For Ruby developers and enthusiasts like us, Ruby isn’t just a tool; it’s a lifestyle. No wonder Rubyists are so devoted to their language. Despite all the rumors about the so-called “death” of Ruby, it was, is, and (hopefully) will remain one of the top-tier programming languages in the world.

Ready to benefit from the advantages of Ruby?

We’ve briefly mentioned why we love Ruby as software developers, but Ruby brings lots of advantages to businesses as well. Ruby has revolutionized the IT industry, allowing companies to get their projects up and running quickly and cost-effectively.

A combination of the Ruby programming language and the Ruby on Rails framework is an optimal choice for startups. No wonder they power some of the world’s most successful applications including Airbnb, Hulu, GitHub, and Shopify.

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