Ruby has been our main programming language at Storm since 2011. We loved it from the start and our affection for it has only grown over the years. We sat down with our developers to find out just why they love it so much. Here’s what they had to say:
Ben: “Created for developer happiness and productivity”
Ruby was created by Matz to have developer happiness and productivity at its core. Ruby requires less attention to syntax and really allows you to focus on the intended logic of your code. It’s clean, reads much like natural language, and isn’t as scattered with punctuation.
On top of that, Ruby comes with a massive number of super useful methods which handle a lot of common basic operations. This means that Ruby code is often leaner, and more elegant to read as it isn’t bloated with code dedicated to these kinds of things. The code is so intuitive, non-Ruby developers can often understand the logic – not something you say about all languages!
A big advantage of this simplicity and readability is that the time taken to get new (not just junior) developers off the ground, is shorter than most other languages.
Adam: “Used by some of the Internet’s biggest names”
Ruby (and Rails) is used by some of the Internet’s biggest names. This including Shopify, GitHub, AirBnB, Stripe and Basecamp, to name a few. These companies have teams of developers dedicated to improving Ruby, Rails and the ecosystem around it.
Their investment of time and money is pushing the language forwards at a tremendous pace; with the traditional annual Christmas Day release expected to include significant performance improvements and new features to increase developer productivity even more. They also release loads of their internal tools as helpful open source projects we can all benefit from, as well as running and sponsoring countless events and allowing their skilled developers to share intimate knowledge and insights through blog posts and social media.
Barry: “Ruby on Rails is a dream for developers and clients alike”
Any Ruby dev worth their salt will tell you “Rails isn’t Ruby!”, meaning Ruby does so much more than “just” run web applications, but they also wouldn’t deny that the Ruby on Rails web framework is one of the best known uses of Ruby.
All the best bits of Ruby (being “human”-readable, clean code, no excessive boilerplate or punctuation, etc) combined with the “convention over configuration” mantra (a philosophy of defining sensible yet overridable defaults that define The Rails Way) make Rails a dream for developers and clients alike. New applications can be quickly and efficiently built as prototypes and can seamlessly transition into production deployments. The language’s flexibility also allows mature applications to be easily re-architected to match changing business needs. Despite being 20 years old, major versions are still being regularly released with great new features, supporting complementary advances in the wider ecosystem, such as native mobile apps.
Caleb: “Excels at enabling us to elegantly represent business logic”
Ruby is a multi-paradigm programming language, which allows you to write code in procedural, object-oriented, and functional styles. Rather than sticking to just one, we are able to use a blend of all three to create systems which are easy to understand and easy to change in order to match future design requirements. In particular, Ruby excels at providing many pure functions which enable us to elegantly represent business logic in a way that is repeatable, and easily testable.
David: “A lively and inventive community”
Ruby has a lively and inventive community that is constantly creating and sharing new tools, code libraries and tutorials. They share talks online from conferences around the world, including the established events like RubyConf, euruko and Ruby Kaigi, and new ones like RailsWorld and friendly.rb. We enjoy their quality books, frequent newsletters and numerous podcasts. We particularly recommend a new weekly newsletter, Short Ruby News.
The friendliness of the community is an added bonus. We enjoy catching up with old and new friends at the annual Brighton Ruby conference and the regular South West Ruby meetup. The creator of Ruby, Matz, came to Bath Ruby a few years ago to guide local developers in contributing code to the Ruby language itself and he wonderfully reinforced the Ruby community slogan – MINSWAN – “Matz is nice, so we are nice”.
Jordan: “Rapidly build powerful apps with little time wasted”
Ruby’s developer community is its superpower. It’s a growing community of developers who want to write good code, optimised for happiness, and who support each other with knowledge sharing and the creation of open source code. Together we elevate our collective potential and enable each other to rapidly build powerful apps with little time wasted on the minutiae that slows down development in other languages.
Working with a community-made framework such as Ruby on Rails, we benefit from the wisdom of the crowd and the shared effort of thousands of contributors working to enhance, optimise and secure the underpinnings of our applications. We can follow our fellow developers’ well-established opinions on design and structure in order to focus on what truly matters: getting apps built quickly and to a high standard.
Alex: “WebAssembly opens up a world of opportunities”
Ruby is far more than Rails. Ruby is a cross-platform language that can be used for a wide range of tasks, for example automating processes, systems configuration and deployment, game development, Internet of Things tooling, mobile app development and more! Recently Ruby has found a new home inside web browsers via WebAssembly.
So why do we love Ruby so much?
Let us summarise:
- It was created for developer happiness and productivity
- It’s clean, expressive, and allows us to capture complex logic is beautiful code
- It’s used by some of the biggest companies on the internet and they are pushing the language forward
- Rails is an incredible toolkit for small teams to develop big ideas quickly
- It has a vibrant community running great events and sharing amazing content
- The open-source scene is huge and offers solutions for many common problems
- It’s still rapidly evolving, finding new use cases, getting faster every year and delighting programmers, 30 years after it was created.
Thank you Matz!
Want to know more about Ruby on Rails?
Whether you’re looking to start fresh, and want to learn more about Rails, or you’re looking for an agency to take on your existing Rails app, we’re here to help.