The availability of a plethora of programming languages makes it a tough call for developers to use on a particular project.
Professionals and programmers often go through the dilemmatic question, “Which programming language is the best for me?”.
Besides, you will find a lot of tutorials that provide a comparison of different programming languages. As a result, it becomes easier to choose which programming language will suit the best for your development project.
In this post, we will compare two such languages namely Ruby and Python. The main purpose of this comparison is to give a clear idea to the Professional Python Developers regarding the concepts and features.
Let us dive in the differences of these languages to know what they offer to the programming professionals.
Ruby Vs Python Differences
Whenever we talk about Ruby, we always call it, ‘Ruby with Rails’. Yes, it is nearly impossible to talk about the programming language without its prominent framework. The popularity of Rails has increased so much that you can find any Ruby developer mostly working with Rails.
Rails, primarily, prefers convention over configuration, which means it allows you to build applications at a rapid pace. Moreover, it also enables quick prototyping. As a result, you can rapidly implement new features with this Rails.
On the other hand, Python has a popular framework in its court called Django. Unlike Rails, which allows incorporating features and new ideas directly and quickly to your app, Django does not perform tasks directly. It means that you need to take the help of the framework in creating the routes manually. Django is a rigid framework, which makes it difficult for beginners to use it.
Moreover, Python has a higher user base than Ruby, which means that there are chances that people using Python may not use Django. While Ruby and Rails go hand-in-hand due to its smaller base, therefore people using Ruby surely use Rails.
- Use Cases
A majority of the business enterprises that create web applications commonly use Ruby. When you use Ruby on Rails for your projects, it allows rapid development without coding from scratch and lets you focus on business processes. Moreover, it offers an MVC (Model-View-Controller) structure to separate your data, user interface and business processes. The best example is the configuration management software Chef that is written in Ruby.
Django is Python’s famous framework that also works on MVC structure. However, it is beyond the sphere of web applications. The best example is the Pandas library that helps in data munging together with math libraries like NumPy and stats-model. Apart from these libraries, Matplotlib offers data visualization and TensorFlow assists in machine learning processes.
Both Python and Ruby have significant communities that contribute to their development, updates, and much more. Python has a larger user base than Ruby, which means that there are tons of academic use cases of Python in science and maths. Additionally, it is pre-installed on every Linux desktop that proves that Python is ideal for Linux servers.
On the other hand, Ruby became prominent with the emergence of Rails in 2005. However, this framework focuses more on web development.
- Availability of Reusable Code
Developers always aim to build web and mobile applications within the defined time limit as they have to accomplish other tasks apart from development. Therefore, they always try their best to save development time. Python offers a plethora of ready-to-use modules that you can access via PyPI.
Ruby also offers reusable code known as Gems but it does not offer the filtering factor, unlike Python. Python allows developers to sort in categories such as development status and more.
- Learn & Understand the Language
Any day, Python is quicker to learn compared to Ruby. It has an easy-to-understand syntax that is more readable to the beginner.
On the other hand, it may take time to understand and get used to Ruby. However, it comes with in-built features such as Active Record and scaffolding that quicken the development process. Once you know them, you will be able to develop a CRUD app that has API access without any hassle.
- Testing & Troubleshooting
We know that developers work on deadlines and therefore, they have limited time allotted to each task in the development process. One such task is testing, and it is essential to accomplish testing the code as early as possible. Python offers PyTest and Unittest for this purpose. However, Rspec in Ruby provides the utmost efficiency in this direction.
Both languages offer skilled toolsets when it comes to troubleshooting and tracing.
- Language Approach
The Ruby on Rails is the framework of the Ruby language and Django is of the Python language. These frameworks may look similar but primarily they have huge differences in their approach to solving issues.
Ruby offers an enormous amount of flexibility to programmers with various little tricks that help developers accomplish certain tasks. However, it is not much useful in tracking down bugs, which takes hours of work to accomplish the purpose.
On the other hand, Python makes everything visible to developers, especially when it comes to learning to code and debugging problems efficiently.
When it comes to the popularity of the languages, Python has the upper hand over Ruby. If we consider the Stack Overflow Developer Survey of 2019, it shows that Python ranked 4th while Ruby was 12th. Likewise, a few other surveys and reports state that Python has been ahead of Ruby when it comes to the popularity ranking.
Now, if we talk about the job offering criteria on the best platforms such as Stack Overflow and LinkedIn, Python is again ahead of Ruby. According to Stack Overflow stats, the website offers more job offers for Python as compared to Ruby. The stats and surveys indicate that Python is more in demand than Ruby in the current job market.
Python prefers simplicity over complexity, which means that it offers a single method or approach to perform a specific task. As a result, the flexibility is reduced with this programming language. However, due to this drawback, it increases the readability of the code as well, which in turn is beneficial to programmers.
Ruby offers the Perl approach when it comes to flexibility, which means that it provides more than one way to perform any task. Due to this benefit, programmers get several different methods to approach a specific task. However, as there are too many approaches for a particular task, it also increases confusion for developers who intend to use another programmer’s code in Ruby.
Dealing with Strings
When it comes to dealing with strings, Python distinguishes between code-points and byte-strings collectively known as Unicode strings. These are traditional bags of bytes that can be transformed into a Unicode string with the help of encoding.
However, Ruby does not discriminate among strings and treats them all as byte-strings. For this purpose, it uses a semi-hidden flag that shows the encoding method with which they are stored.
You can perform similar tasks in both Ruby on Rails and Python with Django. However, both of these are equally capable of providing different functionalities and features. The only question is which programming language is better suitable for your project and team?
However, if you plan to stick on developing web applications only then you can consider using Ruby on Rails. While if you plan to implement something that is capable of managing data analytics, then Python can be a suitable choice.
Senior Data Scientist and Alumnus of IIM- C (Indian Institute of Management – Kolkata) with over 25 years of professional experience Specialized in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.
ITIL Expert certified APMG, PEOPLECERT and EXIN Accredited Trainer for all modules of ITIL till Expert Trained over 3000+ professionals across the globe Currently authoring a book on ITIL “ITIL MADE EASY”.
Conducted myriad Project management and ITIL Process consulting engagements in various organizations. Performed maturity assessment, gap analysis and Project management process definition and end to end implementation of Project management best practices