March 20, 2020

Learn Ruby: A SwitchUp Guide


If you have recently decided to learn Ruby, you are on the right track. Considered one of the most popular programming languages, Ruby incorporates parts of Python and Perl to generate a truly user-friendly programming experience. There are many jobs that require knowledge of Ruby. Use our guide to access Ruby resources as well as find the right training program for you:

What is Ruby?

The Ruby language was founded in 1995 by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto. Having used both Python and Perl, Matsumoto was determined to create a programming language that was completely object-oriented. According to SitePoint, Matsumoto desired a programming language that included "simple syntax, complete object-orientation, iterators and closures, exception handling, garbage collection and portability." Because he could not find a language that suited his needs, he began creating what is known today as Ruby.

Ruby Programming Language

In an interview with Bill Venners in 2003, Matsumoto discussed his philosophy around the Ruby programming language. His theory: Programming languages either focus on what they can do or how they affect their users. Matsumoto wanted to create a programming language that functioned similarly to the human brain. Though it is logical and usable, there is a complexity to the inner workings of Ruby.

"Ruby inherited the Perl philosophy of having more than one way to do the same thing. I inherited that philosophy from Larry Wall, who is my hero actually. I want to make Ruby users free. I want to give them the freedom to choose. People are different. People choose different criteria. But if there is a better way among many alternatives, I want to encourage that way by making it comfortable."

By focusing on a language that could help programmers to write short, and succinct code, Matsumoto felt programmers could better focus on the problem, instead of how to get the Ruby language to accomplish something. By building a system that encourages different ways of approaching the same problem, Matsumoto created a versatile program that virtually anyone can use. Considered a foundation of the coding field, Ruby can simply get the job done.

What is Ruby Used For?

Ruby is typically used for web development. One of the most famous websites that uses Ruby is Twitter. Because Ruby makes it possible to store information in a central database, it is ideal for social networking sites. Ruby developers help individuals to store information in said databases, and often Ruby developers need to also understand the Ruby on Rails framework to speed-up these coding processes. If you are an individual who is looking to work as a Ruby developer, expect to learn the Ruby on Rails framework as well.

Ruby Programming Jobs

Although Ruby is an older programming language, it is still very popular among startups. If you are just starting out in coding and technology, Ruby is a great foundational skill set desired by many companies. Because Matsumoto focused on the human aspect of programming, Ruby is also considered an enjoyable and user-friendly language, being that it is versatile and allows for simpler communication. In order to land a job using Ruby, you must first learn Ruby code. Some of the top code bootcamps that focus on the Ruby programming language include App Academy, Flatiron School and Epicodus.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Ruby developer is $76,000 a year, with top developers making over $110,000 a year. Unlike other program languages, learning Ruby and the Ruby on Rails framework nearly doubles your job opportunities. Jobs that you can land after learning Ruby include:

  • Back-end Engineer: "The technology and programming that "power" a site—what your end user doesn't see but what makes the site run—is called the back end. Consisting of the server, the database, and the server-side applications, it's the behind-the-scenes functionality—the brain of a site. This is the ecosystem of the database manager and the back-end developer."
  • Software Engineer: "A person who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of the software that make computers or other devices containing software work."
  • Full Stack Developer: "Someone who is familiar with all layers in computer software development. These developers aren't experts at everything; they simply have a functional knowledge and ability to take a concept and turn it into a finished product."

The decision to learn Ruby is a fantastic way to jumpstart your career as a programmer. If you are interested in finding out more about Ruby code bootcamps, check out our comprehensive list of schools.

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