Ruby - 3 mins read

Ruby is not dying — It’s Aging like fine wine.


Lead Technical Consultant

A few years ago, I noticed the growing popularity of JavaScript and felt that sticking solely to Ruby might not be sufficient. I decided to deepen my knowledge by exploring JavaScript, Node, React, Next.js, etc. I worked on a few projects and taught a lot of people through workshops.

Fast forward to now, it’s been about five years, I haven’t written much Ruby code, and I’ve almost forgotten how simple it can be to write a piece of code. I’ve missed Ruby so much after seeing what the other side looks like, and now, I’m thinking of returning to the Ruby world (screw popularity and trends)

Meanwhile, people have been asking if Ruby/Rails is dead, so here’s the reality:

Ruby isn’t dead, it’s mature. And like a seasoned professional, maturity brings its own set of strengths and values. Rails continues to be the outstanding prototyping framework it was 20 years ago with the release of new features like Hotwire which lets you accomplish more on the front-end without writing any Javascript code. That’s Rails magic.

Ruby is not trending anymore but that doesn’t mean the language is about to die. If anything, it is aging like fine wine. Developers might jump ship based on changing trends but Ruby will live because of its powerful community and people like us who continue to use it.

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Enough talk, Let’s look at some key data points from the Stack Overflow 2023 Developer Survey that showcase Ruby’s continued relevance and potential:

Popularity and Usage:

- Overall Usage: While slightly down to 6.23% compared to 6.05% in 2022, Ruby holds the 16th position among the most used technologies (it’s above Dart, Scala, Swift, and Elixir in ranking). This indicates its continued presence in the developer landscape.

- Professional Usage: Among professional developers, Ruby usage is 6.94% in 2023, compared to 6.72% in 2022, showing a slight upward trend. This suggests continued adoption and demand for Ruby skills in the professional job market.

- Learning: 2.55% of respondents are interested in learning Ruby, similar to the previous year (2.52%). This suggests a steady interest in the language, particularly among new developers even though it is low compared to other languages like Python and Javascript. Attracting new talent to the Ruby ecosystem might require some focused efforts.

Developer Satisfaction and Experience:

- Satisfaction: 47.69% of developers who use Ruby admire it, indicating a positive sentiment towards the language and its capabilities.

- Years of Experience: Ruby developers have an average of nearly 12 years of experience, highlighting a mature and experienced user base. This often translates to greater skills and expertise within the community.

Other Interesting Points:

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- Pay: Interestingly, professional Ruby developers report a higher median salary than Python, Go, Scala, or Java developers (That is a surprise). According to the survey, the median salary for professional Ruby developers is $98,522 which has increased compared to the previous year ($93,000). This suggests that Ruby skills can be financially rewarding for experienced developers.

- Web Development Usage: While Ruby on Rails, the popular web framework built on Ruby, saw a slight dip to 5.49% usage in 2023 from 5.83% in 2022, it still ranks among the top web frameworks. This indicates its continued relevance in web development, even if it is not experiencing explosive growth.

In conclusion, the Stack Overflow Developer Survey data paints a nuanced picture of Ruby. While it may not be the most popular language, it still holds relevance and value for developers, particularly those seeking a stable, mature, and rewarding career path.

Its strong community, rich ecosystem, and potential for higher compensation make it a language worth considering for both seasoned developers and those embarking on their development careers.

Maturity and stability: Ruby and Rails have been around for over 25 years, giving them a strong foundation and a proven stability and reliability track record. This can be attractive for projects requiring long-term maintenance and scalability.

Flexibility and adaptability: Ruby’s dynamic nature and extensive library of gems allow developers to build a wide range of applications without getting bogged down in complex frameworks or configurations.

Remember, while trends may shift, the value of a language often lies in its ability to solve problems effectively and efficiently. Ruby, with its unique strengths and dedicated community, continues to be a valuable tool in the developer’s toolbox.

There are always exciting developments in Ruby and Rails every once in a while. I’m eagerly waiting to see more interesting features and can’t wait to start my next project in Rails with Hotwire. I also want to explore Turbo Native and Strada. See? Many new things.

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To sum it all up, the evening will feature a variety of cocktails, beers, and even tequila shots, but wine enthusiasts will remain steadfast. Do you catch my drift?


Written by Magesh

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