With the variety of programming languages today, it’s easy to get lost on the path of choosing the one for your goals. Talking about back-end development, which lays the foundation for web or app functionality and interaction with databases, today our article unveils a bunch of reasons why Ruby on Rails may be a good choice.
Ruby on Rails: brief definition
As a programming language, Ruby is defined to be elegant and uncluttered which makes it appealing to many professionals choosing between a variety of programming languages nowadays. Its potential is fully uncovered in Rails which is a web development tool. Rails provides programmers with a framework structuring the code they write. What makes it really helpful is the simplification of constantly required and repetitive tasks.
The principle that brightly describes the philosophy of Ruby on Rails development sounds like “convention over configuration” (CoC). It aims at decreasing the number of decisions on configuration without losing flexibility. Generally, it means that it is necessary for a developer to specify only unconventional aspects, as Rails already includes conventions making development process faster.
Ruby on Rails uses Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture for the relations of the client and the server. It makes the app logical and allows for producing intuitive and functional code.
One more important feature to mention is RubyGems, a package manager enabling to create and share software libraries (“gems”). Developers can upload gems to the RubyGems website and make them available for installation.
Benefits of Ruby on Rails
With a practice of Ruby on Rails programming for diverse projects and goals, today we would like to define a list of its benefits. The points present the reasons to choose Rails as a solid ground for your website or application.
Intuitiveness and conventions
One problem can be solved in different ways. However, in case of Rails, the framework directs a developer to the most convenient and effortless solution. Object-oriented nature of Ruby also plays a big role in the intuitiveness of coding. In addition, Rails conventions simplify the process of moving between various Rails projects as they all tend to be based on the identical structure and practices of coding. This factor has a positive impact on developer’s productivity.
Community and open source
Ruby on Rails has built a great and friendly community of developers around itself. At the moment it presents a huge collection of open source code available to all who need it. Moreover, the community offers great help for developers, providing feedback and directing to the most intuitive and efficient solutions.
Convenience of coding and editing
Rails has set good conditions for rapid application development (RAD): the framework is favorable for making changes simply and quickly. Therefore, it is easy to organize the productive flow as well as edit code. Also, developers know the problem when the project or its part has to be delegated to the other programmer — it is usually solved easier for projects on Rails due to clear structure and conventions of the framework. Scalability and extensibility set the fruitful soil for effective project growth with the maximum of efficiency in terms of programming.
Readability that enhances productivity
One of the crucial factors of productivity in development is readability of code, especially regarding team projects and tight deadlines. Code in Ruby is mostly self-documenting and can be characterized as highly readable. It means there’s no need for writing separate documentation and again simplifies the process of picking up a project or its part by other developers.
Rails and most its libraries, being open-source, don’t require additional costs on licensing. Overall, that means fewer development hours, faster process, and a lower total cost.
Trust and popularity
Evolving all the time, Ruby on Rails gained popularity and became a foundation for a variety of websites and apps, both small and famous. Among well-known players with platforms based on Rails, we may mention:
- the community of photographers 500x
- organization tool for teamwork Basecamp
- NASA Langley Research Center that applies Ruby to perform simulations
- lodging service Airbnb
- design and development blog A List Apart
- Showcase platform for designers Dribbble
- Software development platform GitHub
- Music platform SoundCloud
- E-commerce platform Shopify
- Customer service software company Zendesk
And many others. As for many services, tools, and software, this factor says much: if big players checked Rails in the field and found it applicable for their complex products, it is at least worth considering and trying.
Possible pitfalls to keep in mind
Not to sound to perfect — as nothing perfect exists around! — we will also mention some pitfalls which may arise with the discussed issue:
Hosting — not all the website hosting services support Ruby
Documentation — finding proper documentation still tends to be a problem especially regarding particular gems
Number of developers — although the community of professionals is growing and many developers are switching to it, it is still smaller than the ones for more popular languages like PHP or Java.
Anyway, each individual project needs a thoughtful approach to the choice of programming languages, software, and technologies. Users don’t see the code, tools and techniques — they see the products, so choose what works best for providing them with products that solve their pains effectively. Ideas we shared above have already proved themselves on real projects accomplished here in Tubik — and hopefully will breathe in life in many useful and beautiful websites and apps around the web.
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