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Rails Isn’t Dead: It’s more than alive and perfect for beginners
While Ruby on Rails continues gaining popularity, many developers still ask, “is ruby on rails dead?”
After all, the framework has been around for quite some time. However, Twitter recently moved away from it, and newer, more popular programming languages have emerged.
While this recent news has sparked the timeless debate on whether Rails is dead, the answer remains a resounding “no.”
Ruby on Rails developers enjoy higher salaries due to their niche status, with the average wage in the US reaching $116,000 per year.
As highlighted in Hired’s 2023 State of Software Engineers report, Ruby on Rails has surged to become the most sought-after engineering skill, with engineers proficient in this framework receiving a remarkable 1.64 times more interview requests than the market average.
In this article, we will explore the reasons that make Ruby on Rails an ideal choice for beginners and the valuable skills it offers developers.
Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
Ruby, the language upon which Rails is built, is, at its core, object-oriented. By learning Ruby on Rails, beginners are introduced to core OOP concepts such as classes, objects, inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism, and abstraction. This foundational understanding equips them with transferable skills, enabling them to quickly adapt to other popular OOP languages, such as Java, C++, and Python.
Furthermore, understanding OOP principles aids beginners in designing modular, scalable, and maintainable code. By employing encapsulation, they can create independent components with clearly defined interfaces, simplifying the process of modifying or extending their code. Inheritance allows them to build on existing code and reusable components, promoting efficient development practices. Finally, by leveraging polymorphism, beginners can write flexible and extensible code, accommodating future changes with minimal impact on existing code.
Additionally, mastering OOP concepts instills best practices for code organization, leading to improved readability and easier debugging, allowing beginners to create cleaner, more readable code that is easier for themselves and others to understand.
In summary, learning Ruby on Rails gives beginners a strong foundation in OOP principles, making it easier to expand their skill set and equipping them with the knowledge to create robust, maintainable, and scalable software solutions.
Model-View-Controller (MVC) Architecture
Ruby on Rails employs the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, extensively used in web development across numerous programming languages and frameworks. By learning Rails, beginners become familiar with the MVC architecture, enabling them to understand the separation of concerns between different web application components and create well-structured, organized code.
The MVC architecture comprises three primary components:
- Model: Represents the data and business logic of the application. It manages data retrieval, storage, and manipulation and enforces data-related rules or constraints.
- View: Responsible for displaying the data to the user. The view retrieves information from the model and renders it in a user-friendly format, such as HTML for web applications.
- Controller: Acts as the intermediary between the model and the view. It receives user input from the view, processes it, and updates the model or view accordingly.
By adhering to the MVC architecture, beginners can create modular, maintainable code with a clear separation of responsibilities. This approach facilitates collaboration among team members, as each developer can work on a specific component without disrupting the others. It also simplifies debugging and updating code since each element can be tested and modified independently.
In conclusion, learning the MVC architecture through Ruby on Rails offers beginners invaluable insights into web application design and development, providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to create well-structured, maintainable applications and to transition smoothly to other frameworks and languages.
Rails is renowned for its ability to streamline web application development, enabling beginners to build, test, and iterate on their ideas quickly. By utilizing Rails, beginners can efficiently transform their concepts into functional prototypes, validating their assumptions and refining their projects on time. This rapid prototyping capability fosters confidence in their coding abilities and provides valuable insights into the development lifecycle.
Rails’ support for rapid prototyping stems from several key features:
- Convention over Configuration (CoC): Rails follows the CoC principle, prioritizing established conventions and sensible defaults over extensive configuration. By reducing configuration overhead, beginners can focus on writing code and understanding core concepts, accelerating their development process.
- Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): Rails encourages the DRY principle, which promotes the reuse of code components and the elimination of redundancy. This principle allows beginners to create modular, maintainable code and streamline their development efforts.
- Scaffolding: Rails provides scaffolding tools that generate boilerplate code for standard web application components, such as models, views, and controllers. This feature allows beginners to quickly set up the basic structure of their application and focus on implementing custom functionality.
- Active Record: Rails includes the Active Record ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) library, simplifying database interactions and abstracting complex SQL queries. By leveraging Active Record, beginners can efficiently manage data storage and retrieval without delving into the intricacies of SQL.
- Gems and Plugins: The Ruby on Rails ecosystem offers a wealth of gems (libraries) and plugins that extend the framework’s functionality. By leveraging these resources, beginners can quickly incorporate advanced features into their applications without reinventing the wheel.
By learning how to prototype with Rails rapidly, beginners acquire practical experience in bringing ideas to life and iterating on their projects based on user feedback and real-world constraints. This skill set not only boosts their confidence as developers but also prepares them to adapt and respond effectively to the fast-paced, ever-evolving landscape of the technology industry.
Clean and Readable Code
Ruby on Rails strongly emphasizes writing clean, readable, and maintainable code. By fostering this practice, Rails helps beginners develop good coding habits, understand the significance of clear and organized code, and create a solid foundation for long-term project success. In addition, writing clean and readable code enhances the developer’s productivity and facilitates collaboration and knowledge transfer within teams.
Some essential aspects of clean and readable code that Ruby on Rails encourages include:
- Self-explanatory naming conventions: Rails promotes using descriptive names for variables, methods, and classes, enabling developers to grasp the purpose and function of each code element quickly. This practice minimizes ambiguity and makes the code readable and understandable for the author and their peers.
- Consistent code formatting: Rails encourages developers to adopt consistent code formattings, such as indentation and whitespace usage, which contributes to the overall readability and aesthetics of the code. By adhering to a uniform formatting style, developers can easily navigate the codebase and locate specific elements.
- Modularity: Rails emphasizes the importance of modularity, which involves breaking down complex code structures into smaller, more manageable components. By creating modular code, beginners can isolate functionality, improve reusability, and enhance the maintainability of their projects.
- Single Responsibility Principle (SRP): Rails promotes the Single Responsibility Principle, which asserts that each class or module should have a single, clearly-defined responsibility. By adhering to this principle, beginners can write more focused, maintainable code that is easier to understand and modify.
- Comments and documentation: Rails advocates for using comments and documentation to explain complex code sections, provide context, and outline intended functionality. By incorporating well-written comments and documentation, beginners can improve the clarity of their code and make it easier for others to comprehend and maintain.
By learning and applying these principles, beginners can develop clean and readable code that is more likely to stand the test of time. In addition, writing clean code benefits the individual developer. It contributes to the overall success of the team and the project. It enables efficient collaboration, reduces the likelihood of errors, and simplifies long-term maintenance.
Ultimately, Ruby on Rails is an excellent platform for beginners to cultivate good coding habits and understand the importance of clean and readable code in web development. As they progress in their careers, the skills and practices acquired through Rails will prove invaluable in tackling increasingly complex projects and collaborating effectively with diverse teams.
Community and Collaboration
The Ruby on Rails community is extensive, diverse, and supportive, encompassing developers of all skill levels and backgrounds. This thriving ecosystem offers a wealth of resources, tutorials, and guidance from experienced developers, making it an ideal environment for beginners to learn and grow.
By engaging with the Ruby on Rails community, beginners can benefit from several key aspects of collaboration and knowledge-sharing:
- Peer learning: Interacting with other developers, whether through forums, chat platforms, or in-person events, allows beginners to exchange ideas, seek advice, and learn from the experiences of their peers. This collaborative learning process helps reinforce concepts and exposes beginners to alternative perspectives and problem-solving approaches.
- Open source contributions: The Ruby on Rails community is renowned for its extensive collection of open-source projects, libraries, and tools. By contributing to available source projects, beginners can gain practical, hands-on experience in real-world development scenarios, learn best practices, and enhance their understanding of the Rails ecosystem.
- Mentorship: Many experienced Rails developers are keen to share their knowledge and mentor newcomers to the community. By seeking mentorship opportunities, beginners can receive personalized guidance, feedback, and advice to accelerate their learning and help them overcome challenges.
- Networking: The Rails community hosts numerous conferences, meetups, and workshops, providing opportunities for beginners to network with other developers, expand their professional connections, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in the Rails ecosystem.
- Continuous improvement: As part of the Rails community, beginners are encouraged to adopt a growth mindset and continually strive to improve their skills and knowledge. This mindset fosters a culture of ongoing learning, experimentation, and adaptation, helping developers stay current and relevant in the ever-evolving world of technology.
By immersing themselves in the Ruby on Rails community and embracing the values of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, beginners can accelerate their learning and development, forming a solid foundation upon which to build their careers. In addition, the skills, experiences, and connections gained through active engagement in the Rails community enhance individual growth and contribute to the overall success and vitality of the broader development ecosystem.
In conclusion, Ruby on Rails is an exceptional choice for beginners. However, it’s the perfect language and framework for individuals aiming to excel as web developers. By learning Ruby on Rails, you will acquire valuable skills such as MVC architecture, OOP concepts, rapid deployment, and community and collaboration, all of which contribute to your growth as a well-rounded developer.
At LEARN academy, we are devoted to providing our students with the crucial tools they need to thrive in the ever-evolving technology landscape. Our curriculum incorporates Ruby and Ruby on Rails, ensuring students are fully prepared for internships and job opportunities. If you’re eager to elevate your career and become a skilled web developer, don’t hesitate to join our Four-Month Intensive Program. Our comprehensive full-stack curriculum teaches Ruby on Rails, React, JavaScrtipt, and more. Allowing you to invest in your future and unlock your career path in web development.
Moreover, our live remote program is designed to accommodate students from various locations. Whether near the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation in Phoenix, Arizona’s burgeoning tech neighborhood of Garfield or amidst the high-tech companies in Silicon Hills, Austin, Texas, we’re here to facilitate your career transition into the tech industry. While our headquarters are based in San Diego, our coding bootcamp can effectively support individuals across the United States. To further assist you on your coding journey, we even provide a laptop for the duration of the course. So don’t hesitate to invest in your future and unlock your potential by enrolling in our comprehensive 4-month Intensive Bootcamp at LEARN academy today.