How important is it to pick the right programming language when learning to code for the first time?
Python is followed as the second most used object-orientated programming (OOP) language and Ruby is far below on the list at less than 10% usage.
Does this mean that Ruby is a useless or outdated language? We will explore the advantages and disadvantages of each coding language below.
Many various factors may motivate an individual to learn a specific programming language. Four factors to be discussed below include:
- Factor 3: Difficulty to learn (JS, Python, Ruby). High-level scripting languages are easier to learn as more resources are readily available and more dedicated coding katas built around real-world application and production.
- Time efficiency: Ruby on Rails is commonly associated with achieving the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in less time than other languages in the process of software development
- Well-Developed Community: The community of Ruby developers on Github has been growing where snippets created known as “gems” can be used to save time on projects
- Convention over Configuration: Ready-made models are provided so that the initial necessary configurations will be minimized
- Promotes the use of web standards, better engineering practices, and design patterns that can be easily integrated with front-end frameworks
- High Level of Security Standards: Ruby on Rails has built in securities and functionalities that allow the application to protect against some of the most common web application attacks (XSS, CSRF, and SQL injection attacks)
- The lack of flexibility towards building non-web applications: If the goal is to create non-standard features that are not related to building web applications, the entire development process will be more difficult to configure the routes, database migrations, and other important tasks at hand
- Easy to Learn and Use: The core syntax style is similar to the English language, allowing ease of use and readability towards the code. Python syntax will relatively require fewer lines of code to perform the same operations done in other programming languages
- Vast Amount of Available Libraries: Python’s standard library is wide allowing the user to find the packages they need to complete any given task at hand. This makes Python independent of external libraries where the core library may be enough to satisfy production needs.
- Integration with Other Programming Languages: Python has the unique feature that allows it to integrate with other programming languages that include Java, C, and C++ for cross-platform development.
- Issues with Low Speed: Python is a dynamically-typed and interpreted language. This means that the code will be executed on a line-by-line basis which is great for debugging and learning purposes, but bad for the actual execution speed of large production-ready programs.
- Lack of performance on mobile devices: Python is primarily used by developers for server-side programming and not mobile or client-sided programming. Due to Python having slow processing speeds and memory efficiency, it is very lackluster when it comes to rendering applications on the mobile platform.
- Database Layer Difficulties: Python has an underdeveloped and primitive database layer compared to more popular technologies including Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC). This makes it hard for developers to use Python to interact with complex data in an easy and accessible manner.
Most used web frameworks
Some of the most used web frameworks today include jQuery, ReactJS, Angular, and Express. If you are an aspiring developer in 2021, one of the best tools to learn early on is how to utilize ReactJS by using state hooks and conditional rendering to create dynamic front-end web applications.
Ruby is often used for cost-effective solutions when it comes to the fast development of a projects’ minimum viable product (MVP), a minimum viable state that can be presented to potential investors and shareholders. Ruby is also used for prototyping and mocking, introducing updates, and testing different versions of products before deploying a fully functional app into production.
Java and PHP are popular in the corporate world where they are still used in many backend frameworks to date. R and MATLAB are used mainly in the Data analytics field. If you are looking to get into data analytics or data science, these would be good languages to learn.