First of all, let’s figure out what is hidden behind the name “Ruby on Rails”. Its first part – Ruby – is a dynamic programming language designed to facilitate programmer’s productivity and make programming easy and enjoyable. Ruby on Rails, commonly referred to as Rails, is a web application framework written in Ruby programming language.
Many applications (GitHub, Zendesk, Shopify) have been built with Rails. The framework is popular with the beginners because it’s pretty easy to learn and program in Ruby (in comparison with other programming languages). Rails is powerful and easy to use at the same time. You may not be aware of all its ins and outs but you can use it at full capacity due to its simplicity. Sometimes the beginners skip the basics getting ahead of themselves that’s why it’s important to learn Rails from scratch and get some experience of using Ruby.
Another reason why so many startups choose Rails is the speed of prototyping it offers. You can build your product prototype within several hours. Very few frameworks are capable of creating a prototype so quickly.
Should you be a Ruby expert to work with Rails? This is a reasonable question. Since Rails is written in Ruby, you need to have a general idea of coding in Ruby. The key idea is that you don’t have to know everything about it and code like a pro but being comfortable with Ruby before getting started with Rails is essential.
What’s the buzz about Rails? If you want the programming language that will do all the technical stuff for you allowing you to focus on the specific tasks, Ruby on Rails can offer it. But this is not the only perk you can get using Rails. One of its main advantages over other frameworks is that it allows you to write the quality code effortlessly. As a result, you get a highly scalable and easy-to-maintain application. A lot of leading companies using Ruby on Rails can prove its productivity.
If you want to know how an app built with Rails will look, just check out some popular applications such as Airbnb or Basecamp.
Is it possible to build a mobile app using Rails? Ruby on Rails is meant for building web applications but you can make your web app serve as the backend for a mobile application. Using the tool RubyMotion you can write native cross-platform apps for iOS and Android. But that is the implementation of the Ruby programming language, not Rails. To sum up, you can’t build a mobile app using Rails and sell it in the Apple Store but you can use Rails as a part of your mobile project.
Is Rails in demand today? Due to the variety of advantages Rails have, it’s definitely a good idea to learn and develop in Rails. A lot of companies prefer this very framework to many others, so you as a Rails developer won’t have trouble finding an employer. Since Rails is the framework of choice for many tech startups, you can join the team of a young company. You can also become a freelance Rails developer and work on many short-term projects or bigger ones.
If you’re interested in learning how to build with Ruby on Rails, just get started. Your progress will largely depend on your programming experience but it’s possible to master it even if you’ve never coded.
Article is written by Ruby On Rails engineers from railsware.com.