Why Developers (and Employers!) Love Ruby

By: Adda Birnir

Category: Blog

You know that developers are a geeky set. They LOOOOVE computers and coding and all that stuff, so what can you expect?

But nothing seems to inspire the same outpouring of unadulterated coder love as…the Ruby programming language. Seriously, it’s like a Ruby cult. Just, you know, instead of flowy white dresses there are hoodies, and instead of drums, they beat their siren song on a keyboard.

And look, I am not one to judge! I love Ruby too. It really DOES live up to all the hype.

It’s just so…magical!

Like eating chocolate truffles after subsisting on a diet of on Wasa Rye Crackers. Yes, you were nourished, but now…your brain is flooded with dopamine and all your synapses are doing the two-step.

I have my OWN reasons for loving Ruby, but today I asked four working Ruby developers share why Ruby is their one and only.

Meet the Panel

CTO at Priori Legal

Chuck Blake
CTO at Choozer & Email Insights

Christina Thompson
Freelance Developer

Rachel Ober
Senior Developer at Paperless Post

Poignant Guide to Ruby

Reason #1: Ruby is easy and FUN to read (and learn)

The number one reason that Ruby is awesome, the reason cited by ALL four developers is…Ruby is just fun and easy to read. It practically looks like English!

Rachel says she enjoys writing Ruby “because the syntax flows like a conversation.” Dan agrees, adding that it looks “like natural language. Which makes it really easy to read and type. You don’t have to worry about all those extra syntactical keystrokes in other languages like parentheses, curly braces, and semicolons.”

Christina loves how flexible and intuitive Ruby is. “For example, ‘and’ is synonymous with ‘&&’. In addition, if you can’t remember which method counts the characters or elements in a string or an array #size and #length both get the job done.”

And Chuck adds that “the code you end up producing is very clean and readable,” which is the goal of any good programmer.

Why's Poignant Guide to Ruby

Reason #2: In Ruby, everything is an object

“When I first started writing Ruby, I was surprised to see that I could write something like this:

Ruby code

and have it print something to the screen 3 times,” says Rachel. In other programming languages, such as JavaScript, in order to do something with the number 3 you would have to first store it in a variable.

But in Ruby, everything is an object, so “with the number 3 for instance, I can just start using it to do things. I don’t have to set it up as an object already or declare it as a variable.”

This delightful quirkiness of the Ruby language allows developers to skip a lot of the normal set up they have to do and just dive RIGHT into making awesome things happen.

Reason #3: Rails makes rapid prototyping super easy (it gives you wings!)

Rails is a web framework for the Ruby programming language that makes it possible to quickly build complex web applications “with database access and user management,” says Chuck. In short, Rails takes care of some of the more complex features and functionality that almost all web applications share and let’s you focus on what makes your web application unique.

The important thing, Rachel explains, is that it makes it possible to “to get my ideas out quicker” and not get bogged down building some ancillary features.

Dan says that Rails is also great for beginners because it keeps you motivated. It’s so (relatively) user friendly that “you can rapidly start prototyping real websites even when you first start learning.”

Rails Girls Krakow Workshop

Reason #4: The Ruby community ROCKS

And should you get stuck? Don’t worry! There is a wealth of resources out there to help you!

“The open source community and frameworks is really the best thing about Ruby for me,” says Dan. “As a self-taught developer I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the great community and resources that exist online.”

Chuck agrees, “there are tons of helpful resources available online: frameworks, gems, tutorials,” you name it, you can find it online!

Seriously, Dan believes that “you can find an open source gem [a package of Ruby code] or example for almost anything you need.”

Ready to give Ruby a try? Join the it crowd AND get lifechanging job skills with the Skillcrush Web Developer Blueprint, starting at the end of June. Soon you’ll be a bowing down before Ruby with the rest of them.

Adda Birnir

Adda is the CEO and founder of Skillcrush. She lives in Queens, NY with her husband and young son.

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