Do you want to learn Ruby but wondering if it’s worth your time? Check out today’s post where I share a few comments from 215+ software developers who chimed in.
YouTube isn’t just for posting videos anymore. Through the Community tab, creators can also post polls, photos, and other musings shown to their subscribers.
Why the heck did I not start using this feature sooner?!
Here’s the thing: I create a lot of “software insight” videos stemming from research, personal experience, and stories passed on by friends and acquaintances in tech — but getting the opinions of hundreds of people who are in the software industry from various backgrounds is an absolutely invaluable additional resource.
I recently asked my subscribers a straightforward question: Is Ruby worth learning? This is a big question for numerous reasons.
Firstly, many bootcamps still teach it — despite its decreasing adoption rates in enterprise development settings.
Secondly, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is one of the earliest backend web frameworks to hit the scene in late 2005, and so has had well over a decade of implementation. Despite its ‘OG’ status, it seems to be falling off the popularity chart.
Does that mean you should avoid it, along with the language that was used to build the framework? Is it a bad investment if you dedicate all your time and money to learn Ruby along with RoR? Let’s see what the developers say.
An interesting note about the results: while the majority of respondents said don’t learn Ruby (47%), the majority of those who provided insightful comments (i.e. more than a few words) were in support of developers learning it in one way or another.
byronleigh80 reminds people to check out the local job market while reminding us that programming fundamentals are the most important thing to learn:
Personally, I do not use Ruby but I do believe it has value. Of course, look up where you live and understand the job market. At the same do not fall for you must know this or that, other than understanding how programming works and fits together. We are all learning and in some respects beginners. At the same time, skills and understanding will always be transferable between languages and stacks.
Jesse Davis agrees with byronleigh80, adding that developers should learn Ruby if their goal is to simply learn code.
I don’t think the language/platform is as important as simply learning the basics of software development. Once you get the door open, additional languages come much easier. If you have a very specific goal from the start that requires a specific language right away, obviously focus on that. But if your goal is simply to learn to code, Ruby is a perfectly good option.
…While Dan Buffington went straight to the job boards while smartly ensuring he didn’t include the chain restaurant in his queries. Bottom line? “Ruby is a good language”:
Did a search on indeed for this search: “Ruby -rails -tuesday” and basically got a number of ads from different companies that say about the same thing… Example from an Amazon software engineer ad: “Proficiency in at least one modern programming language such as Java, C#, C++, Ruby or Python;” They want you to be good at something. Not that I know much about it, but if you’re new, do you think you could become proficient more quickly in Java or Ruby? Seriously. Ruby is a good language. It is modern and still relevant. FWIW.
Soradev keeps in short and sweet:
Don’t matter. It’s based on your needs/interest. Check job listings and see what they are looking for
Kirsten Bayes notes that while Python in her area is tops, the existing and collective Ruby code base can make that language worthwhile:
Wise comments. Round here, Python is number one, far and away: it’s a tech/finance town. But a colleague here earns good money in Ruby, he enjoys it and says there is enough code already out there that he can easily work til retirement. Can’t say anything against that.
And Damoon Imani adds that while he’s learned a lot of languages, Ruby is clean, fun, and job-ready:
Through out my days I have learned different languages. C C# Java a little JS and ruby. I always wondered why people only look at job offers instead of how they’re comfortable learning and using the language when they want to pick one!🤔 Ruby worth it not only because of the jobs available for it, but because its the cleanest language out there. Learn ruby, because you’ll enjoy learning it and using it.
technoSelf provided a short but insightful note about the climate of the Ruby community:
Rails jobs are out there, but it is a very close knit community and they can be particularly harsh with their experience requirements.
Finally, RunOs gives us a reality check, adding that if you’re learning code for the purpose of improving your life, Ruby (specifically RoR) may not be the best path to pursue.
I think it’s necessary to be more specific because people are coming out this from different angles. For example, if you are looking to make a career change because you work cleaning manholes and your second job at the car wash is starting to suck, you should not learn Ruby or Rails. Instead, look for other [in-demand] technologies that will get you hired within a year’s time. For example, front-end plus node.js equals job.
Again, while the majority of respondents said don’t learn Ruby, the majority of descriptive/insightful comments were in support of learning Ruby in one way or another.
If you want to learn Ruby for the purposes of finding employment, just remember to check your local job market (or wherever you desire to relocate) before diving in to this robust, rewarding language. Happy coding!