Hop on the Ruby on Rails Rollercoaster

Mariel Lettier

Table of Content

What is Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails Pros and Cons
Ruby on Rails FAQs

Comparing Ruby on Rails
RoR vs. Python
RoR vs. Django
RoR vs. JavaScript
RoR vs. React

Learning Ruby on Rails
Ruby Programming Language

Node.JS and Angular are some of the most popular web development frameworks. But, when it comes to the best tools for beginners, Ruby on Rails is at the top of the list. This article will explore Ruby on Rails and review some questions and resources about it. Further, we'll cover the basics of Ruby, its programming language. Are you ready to dive in?

What is Ruby on Rails?

Released in 2004 by David Heinemeier Hansson, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a full-stack framework. It was initially created to build web and desktop apps. Further, it's written in Ruby programming language and favors convention over configuration. The framework also emphasizes RESTful application design.

Ruby on Rails Pros and Cons

Now that we know what we're talking about, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of using RoR.

Ruby on Rails Pros

Faster Programming

Not only is it easy to learn the basics of this framework. There are also countless tools available to help speed up the development process. The Ruby on Rails community offers a lot of open-source code that makes coding easier and faster.

Large Community

RoR has a very active community behind it. There, developers are always improving the code base and creating new functionalities. Moreover, you are also likely to find solutions to any issues that may arise. You can find some community resources here and here.

Plenty of Tools and Libraries

There are countless Ruby on Rails tools, gems, and libraries to develop and test your software.

Ruby on Rails Cons

Not Very Flexible

Customizing Ruby on Rails can prove a bit tricky. Also, the framework leaves little room for creativity.

Slow Performance Time

RoR has a slow runtime performance and speed compared to frameworks like Django. Yet, developers argue that this should not be an issue if you use proper optimization.

Mistakes Can Be Costly

Mistakes when developing an app with Ruby on Rails can hurt performance and functionality. Moreover, these mistakes can prove difficult and expensive to fix.

Ruby on Rails Pros and Cons

Ruby on Rails FAQs

We've gone over Ruby on Rails and its pros and cons. Now, look at this web development framework's most frequently asked questions.

Is Ruby on Rails a Programming Language?

No, Ruby on Rails is a web development framework. But, the framework is written in Ruby, a dynamic and open-source programming language. We'll learn more about this language later on.

Is Ruby on Rails Front-End or Back-End?

Ruby on Rails is a full-stack framework that covers both the front and back-end.

Is Ruby on Rails Still Used?

Yes, Ruby on Rails is still pretty alive in the development community. Being open-source and promoting convention over configuration is appealing to many developers. The framework might not be as popular as React or Node.JS, but it is still a contender for web frameworks.

What is Ruby on Rails Used For?

As mentioned above, Ruby on Rails is used to develop web apps. Some examples include eCommerce (Shopify and Etsy) and SaaS (Basecamp and Zendesk). Also, it includes trading and data analytics platforms (Bloomberg) and live-streaming apps (Twitch).

Which Companies use Ruby on Rails?

We'll mention some others later in this article. But, ventures include Crunchbase, GitHub, and Airbnb.

Is Ruby on Rails for beginners?

Yes, Ruby on Rails is beginner friendly! Especially due to Ruby, its programming language. Some things make Ruby easy to learn, especially since it is very readable. For instance, indenting and whitespaces don't matter, and semicolons are not needed to end a line.

Comparing Ruby on Rails

Is Ruby on Rails like Python?

Well, Ruby on Rails is a framework that uses the Ruby language. Meanwhile, Python is a programming language that uses the Django framework. We'll focus on the languages in this section and look at the development frameworks below.

These two languages are visually similar but approach problem-solving differently. Ruby and Python are both cross-platform, scripting, and server-side. Also, they're general-purpose languages available under open-source licenses. Moreover, they're both high-level and dynamically typed.

What sets these languages apart, then? Ruby is flexible and elegant, while Python is more direct and efficient. The latter emphasizes code readability. You can find more information about its differences and similarities in this article.

Ruby on Rails vs. Django

Both RoR and Django create web apps and include traditional MVC framework concepts. Their main difference lies in how they install the various features.

As we've mentioned, these frameworks work with different programming languages. Regarding architecture, RoR opts for MVT, while Django uses MVC. Django is the most popular of the two, while Ruby on Rails is the fastest. RoR is also more scalable than Django, which has a steeper learning curve.

It all comes down to the specific project at play if you want to know which framework is better. Django is perfect for highly-detailed apps. Instead, RoR is the better choice if you are looking for a quick launch or after a web app. You can take a deeper look at the two frameworks in this article.

Ruby on Rails vs. JavaScript

Ruby on Rails is a development framework, and JavaScript (JS) is a programming language. Because of this, in this section, we'll focus on Ruby and JS.

Both Ruby and JavaScript are object-oriented, dynamic, general-purpose scripting languages. Ruby applies for back-end development, while JS is usable for both the front and back-end. Ruby offers slower performance and is not very scalable in comparison to JavaScript. Meanwhile, JS is not as efficient as Ruby for CPU-intensive tasks.

On RoR vs. JavaScript, the choice will depend on the specific project and your team's skills. You can find more information comparing these two languages in this article.

Ruby on Rails vs. React

When it comes to React, we are talking about a JavaScript library. Hence our first two differences: one is a library, the other a framework. While RoR works with the Ruby language, React uses JS.

Moreover, while Ruby on Rails is a full-stack framework for web apps, React focuses on the front-end. Its main use is to create user interfaces for the web (though there is also the React Native tool for mobile apps).

Again, you need to check the project specs to choose one framework over the other. Ruby on Rails is great for MVPs and data-driven apps. But, if you are looking to develop a high-traffic app or a dynamic website, React is the way to go. You can check more information on the differences between RoR and React here. Further, you can learn more about the React library in this article.

Comparing Ruby on Rails

Learning Ruby on Rails

If you're interested in working with Ruby on Rails, we'll give you some tips and resources below. But first, let's focus on why you should learn RoR.

Why you should learn Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails has a great developer community behind it. This space is very welcoming to beginners and provides general technical support. You will also find quite a few meetups and hackathons around RoR worldwide.

Further, RoR covers both the front and back end. If you learn this framework, you can consider yourself a full-stack dev from the get-go. You will also learn some popular web development languages, such as HTML and JS.

Finally, RoR developers are in high demand, so you are sure to find a good job! Some companies using Ruby on Rails include Scribd, Groupon, Hulu, and Kickstarter.

Free Resources

If you like learning by yourself, here are some free online resources around Ruby on Rails:

● Dive into Ruby Koans.
● You can take a look at this Rails Tutorial.
● Codecademy offers this Learn Ruby course.
Try Ruby provides interactive ways to learn the RoR language.

Online Courses

If you are after more structured courses and don't mind investing some money, here are some lessons for you:

● Pluralsight offers a Building Web Apps with Ruby on Rails course.
● There's also a Rails for Zombies course by Pluralsight.
● You can dive into Learn Ruby on Rails from Scratch by Udemy.
General Assembly has a great Ruby on Rails Bootcamp.
● The Flatiron School offers a software engineering bootcamp that includes Ruby training.

Offline Courses

If you prefer on-site learning, here are a couple of options for you.

● Actualize Chicago offers an on-site coding bootcamp that includes work on RoR.
● If you're based in California, Coding Dojo has a coding bootcamp on Ruby on Rails.

Ruby Programming Language

We've already mentioned the Ruby programming language quite a few times. Thus, we thought it deserved its section. Let's go over the Ruby basics below.

What is Ruby?

Yukihiro Matsumoto created Ruby in 1993. It's an interpreted, robust, and dynamic-typed programming language. It is also open-source, high-level, general-purpose, and object-oriented. Isn't that quite the mouthful?

Other Ruby features include a dynamic loading of object files and exception handling. Moreover, it has operator overloading and an extensive standard library.

Why use Ruby?

Ruby is an expressive language, which means it is easy to read and understand. Also, it has a great plugin ecosystem that solves everyday problems.

Moreover, like RoR, Ruby has a fantastic community of developers behind it. They'll be happy to help you with any issues that might pop up! If you want to learn more about the Ruby programming language, you can look at its documentation here.


Ruby on Rails is an excellent web development framework. It's beneficial for programmers that are starting. Its supportive community and countless resources make it easy to learn. The framework has its pros and cons but should be considered case-by-case, like any other tool. Are you ready to give Ruby on Rails a chance?

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