Is Ruby dead in 2021?

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I know! It is 2021 and we are talking about Ruby! ... but, just bear with me on this one.

If you recall the software development scene from a few years back, then Ruby was THE hip language and most of its popularity was because of the Rails framework. And that they built Twitter using RoR also made it popular. But being a two and a half-decade old language, its popularity has taken a nosedive in the last few years.

So, if you go on YouTube and listen to all the “influencers” then you realize that everybody loves bashing Ruby these days. “Ruby is dead”.

So, I wanted to share my two cents on the topic.

If you are an aspiring coder, should you consider Ruby as your first language in 2021?

Or even if you are a seasoned developer, should you give Ruby another try?

In the initial years of every language or framework, the surrounding hype attracts all kinds of engineers to build cool stuff with it. And now that Ruby has become a more mature language, the hype around it has also died out. But I don’t think it means that it is a bad thing. If anything, it only means that the language is more stable and capable than ever.

So, as an experienced developer who has worked with almost all the major frameworks out there, I would not have any problem working with Ruby if a new project comes up that convinces me that Ruby on Rails will be the right fit for that project.

So, that leads me to my second point, a software engineer should never go with the hype and try to build every project with the hot new framework or language out there. As a problem solver and an engineer, try to stay as a language-agnostic as possible and look at the project in terms of requirements, development time, scalability, future maintainability, and performance.

This leads me to another pro of considering Ruby on Rails for your next project.

Ruby is great for rapid development of an MVP.

If you want to show to potential investors your idea or you want to build a prototype for yourself to flush out your idea, then you need to build a Minimum Viable Product or MVP.

The good thing about MVP is that you don’t have to explain your idea in abstract form. Instead, you will have a prototype of what your final product might look like to show and test your idea.

For building MVP, Ruby on Rails is one of the best technologies to use. This was one of the major reasons RoR became so popular. And because of the scalability of the Ruby on Rails apps, you can continue working on your MVP and create a full-fledged final product that you launch in the market.

On top of all of that, Ruby on Rails is Open Source. So, the source code is free to play around with.

To add new features to Ruby app, Ruby ecosystem has what is called “gems” which lets you add new features without re-inventing the wheel, which leads to saving development time and cost.

This gives startups an advantage to compete with the big companies.

Ruby also has a really large and friendly community which is another reason to consider Ruby.

So, should you use Ruby on Rails on your next project?

It depends... Depends on your requirements. If you are a small team of developers trying to build an MVP in the least amount of time then you can give Ruby a try.

If you are an aspiring coder looking to learn your first programming language, then I would advise you to go for something other than Ruby. The fact that Ruby is so easy to get into and build stuff with, it acts as a double-edged sword. For new coders, it hides away a lot of low-level implementation that you need to understand to be a better engineer. So, I’d recommend someone starting their journey in 2021, to start with something like JavaScript or even C.

But Ruby is not dead at all and it is still a relevant language in 2021 in my opinion.

In fact, here are some of the major companies using Ruby in their tech stack :

apps_built_using_ror.png

That should tell you that Ruby is in no way dead or dying. And I'd been running my blog that used Ruby on the back-end. So, no, Ruby is not dying in 2021.

That’s it for this post. I hope this post was helpful and clears some doubts or even gives someone inspiration to give old Ruby another try.

Please let me know in the comments down below if you agree with my opinion or you think Ruby is dead and one is better off investing his/her time in another technology.

Comments (1)

Andrew Brown's photo

I love Ruby, been using it since 2005 and will continue to do so.

I think there are falsehoods where we saw Rubyist move to over different language due because people were holding a sign saying the End is Night.

Notable language transitions were Exlir, Scala, Go or NodeJS but honestly, I think people's fear was misguided.

Python only holds so much domain today because of Google propping it up.

Ruby 3 is amazing, Strict typing, 3x3 speed, and better concurrency, it will see us into the future for the next 10 years.

I think we just need a new wave of Ruby influencers as all the old ones have left for the Undying Lands