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What is Ruby? The Shining Gem of Modern Programming

What is Ruby

Do you want to pick up a new programming language? Preferably one extremely user-friendly and easy to learn with a lot of applications? If that is the case, Ruby, one of the most popular modern programming languages, is the perfect choice for you.

In this article, we will be discussing Ruby, its features, applications, and whether or not you should use it. This will help you land the best Ruby developer jobs. So, let us dive in, to learn more about this shining gem of modern programming, Ruby.

What is Ruby?

The credit for developing Ruby, an open-source object-oriented programming language, goes to Yukihiro Matsumoto. Yukihiro intended to build a scripting language that took the use of object-oriented programming and allowed for more code reuse in order to speed up development.

A scripting language, unlike C and C++, does not communicate directly with the hardware. It's written to a text file, then an interpreter processes it and converts it to code. The majority of these programs are procedural in nature, which means they are read from top to bottom.

Object-oriented programming languages, on the other hand, separate code into objects that may be generated and used as needed. These objects can be reused in other areas of the program or even in different apps.

Why should you use Ruby?

Ruby is a programming language that is intended to increase programmer efficiency while still being enjoyable. Ruby is popular among programmers because it is high-level and has straightforward syntax. Due to Ruby's high level and abstract nature, it is a simple language to learn and apply.

While many low-level languages need hundreds of lines of code to do even the simplest task, Ruby allows you to create your first cloud application in only a few hours. It's also an excellent alternative for swiftly developing apps, and it outperforms Python when it comes to web development.

Therefore using Ruby, you'll be able to focus on finding a solution to your problem since you'll be writing less code.

features of Ruby

5 features of Ruby

Naming conventions

Ruby has different naming standards for variables, methods, constants, and classes.

  • Constant: Constants start off with a capital letter
  • Global variable: To define a variable as a global variable, it needs to start with the $ symbol
  • Instance variable: To define a variable as an instance variable, it needs to start with the @ symbol
  • Class variable: To define a variable as a class variable, it needs to start with the @@ symbol
  • Method: You are allowed to begin the name of a method with a capital letter


Ruby is a completely pure object-oriented programming language. Every value is a distinct object. A class is assigned to each object, and each class has a superclass. Each code has its own set of characteristics and actions. Ruby has been influenced by the Smalltalk programming language. The rules that apply to objects apply to all of Ruby.


There are about 42 keywords in Ruby that can't be used for anything else this also includes the naming of classes and variables. Therefore, keywords are also known as reserved words.

Some of the keywords include:

  • __ ENCODING__
  • __ LINE__
  • class
  • break
  • and
  • alias
  • while

Case sensitive

Ruby is very particular when it comes to cases, i.e, uppercase and lowercase letters are treated as entirely different from one another. Therefore, Ruby is a case-sensitive language.

Variable constants

In Ruby, a constant is similar to a variable, except that its value is expected to remain constant throughout the program. The Ruby interpreter does not enforce constant consistency, although it does send a warning if a program modifies a constant's value. Constants have the same lexical structure as local variables, with the exception that they start with a capital letter.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is an open-source framework for writing web applications that are built on top of Ruby by providing Ruby developers with a faster, more efficient way to write code. It is essentially a collection of code libraries that provide a ready-to-use solution for common website chores like creating tables, forms, and menus. It is technically described as a RubyGem package library that can be installed using the operating system's command-line interface.

In order to create web programs that run on a web server, it integrates Ruby with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Since Ruby on Rails operates directly on the web server, it is considered a back-end or server-side web application development platform.

In the next section, let me walk you through a comparison between Ruby and Ruby on Rails. This will help you crack Ruby on Rails developer job interviews.

Ruby vs Ruby on Rails Differences

Ruby vs Ruby on Rails

Ruby is an object-oriented general-purpose programming language that is free to use, and Ruby on Rails is a free web development framework.

RubyRuby on Rails
Ruby has its own syntax, or language, as well as its own set of rules for use and application as a programming language. Programming languages are used to instruct a computer on what to do and how to accomplish it.Ruby on Rails, on the other hand, is a web application development framework rather than a programming language. Rails uses Ruby and the scripts created by a large community of developers. Open-source frameworks don't have their own syntax or language, instead, they use scripts developed by a large community of developers.
Ruby is ideal if you want to create desktop apps, which Rails isn't designed for because it relies on server-side scripting that runs mostly on a web server.While Ruby on Rails cannot be used without a solid understanding of Ruby, there are some projects where using Ruby on Rails on top of Ruby would be useful, including web app development projects, where Rails can assist by simplifying code and speeding up the development process.
Ruby was created with the intention of being intuitive for its users, making it both easier and more powerful than other object-oriented scripting languages.Ruby on Rails development is considerably faster. Because the bulk of an app's development does not necessitate unique configuration files, it's clear to see how Rails saves time over Ruby, and the usage of default conventions makes maintenance easier.

What are the applications of Ruby?

  • Ruby is most commonly used to create web apps, as we've already established. However, because it is a general-purpose language, it may be used for a wide range of applications.

  • Popular websites such as Airbnb, Hulu, and MyFitness Pal have all used Ruby to propel themselves. This one fact alone demonstrates Ruby's versatility and strength.

  • Ruby is also used to create static websites. All web pages on a static website are loaded at the same time. This increases webpage loading times and makes website setup quick and simple.

  • Another obvious use for Ruby is web servers. Puma, Unicorn, and Passenger are examples of existing Ruby-based web servers.

Ruby vs Python

People frequently compare Ruby's characteristics to those of other programming languages when deciding which programming language to learn or adopt for a project. But arguably the most frequently compared language to Ruby is Python, as both of them can be used for many of the same purposes. Due to Python and Ruby being so similar, it can be difficult for new programmers to determine which language to learn.

Similarities between Ruby and Python

  • Both are high-level server-side scripting languages’
  • Both may be used for web apps and are cross-platform compatible
  • Both Ruby and Python may be used in GNU Debugger (gdb) styles and are supported by Emacs modes
  • Both employ IRB, an interactive prompt, and both languages' objects are robustly and dynamically typed
  • Both Python and Ruby feature simple, easy-to-read syntax

Differences between Ruby and Python

Ruby is a general-purpose languagePython is a high-level programming language
Ruby uses Ruby on Rails as an extensionPython solely uses Django as an extension
Ruby only has EclipseIDEPython has a variety of IDEs
Ruby is very compatible with MixinsPython is not at all compatible with Mixins
Ruby’s library selection is smallerPython offers larger and broader library selection
Ruby community is primarily concerned with web developmentPython community is mostly concerned with Linux and academics

Wrapping up

What is Ruby? An open-source programming language that has been major strides in the coding space since its inception about three decades ago. Ruby is still popular among programmers because it is high-level and has straightforward syntax. While many low-level languages need hundreds of lines of code to do even the simplest task, Ruby allows you to create your first cloud application in only a few hours.

Now, you know what exactly Ruby is and how versatile and useful it is for your web development career. A shining gem, among the giants of modern programming languages, Ruby is something exceptional. A simple scripting language that originated almost three decades ago, is still going strong and stronger than ever, with its applications ranging far and wide.

Should you learn to use Ruby? Probably, yes. Should you use Ruby? Definitely, yes. Click here to get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

Since its inception, Ruby has had 14 released versions:

  • Ruby 1.2
  • Ruby 1.4
  • Ruby 1.6
  • Ruby 1.8
  • Ruby 1.9
  • Ruby 2.0
  • Ruby 2.1
  • Ruby 2.2
  • Ruby 2.3
  • Ruby 2.4
  • Ruby 2.5
  • Ruby 2.6
  • Ruby 2.7
  • Ruby 3.0

Absolutely. Ruby is still a Top 20 language on all ranking indices. Ruby was chosen by 8.4% of respondents at StackOverflow Developer Survey for “Most Popular” technology.

Ruby JIT allows an interpreted language such as Ruby to optimize frequently run methods so they run faster for future calls.

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