Monday, May 28, 2007

Why bother to learn Ruby on Rails?

Quick context: 1995 - 2001 were the olden days of static HTML. I first started using server side programming with ASP back in 2001. In 2002 I started using PHP. In 2005 I started using Ruby.

So why is Ruby worth learning if you already have PHP or another server side scripting language under your belt?

First of all I would argue it is useful to learn other languages simply for exposure to different ways of solving problems. After all, programming is all about solving problems.

However learning the RoR (Ruby on Rails) framework offers some unique benefits. RoR is built around a number of programming best practices (DRY, MVC, etc..) and design patterns (Active Record, etc..)

I had tried to incorporate some of these in my PHP coding in the past with limited results. Not that it is impossible, just that it was easy to let the code drift away from those coding ideals. It can be a challenge to develop good coding habits.

After working almost exclusively with Ruby on Rails for the past year I have been working on a few PHP sites from my pre-Ruby on Rails days. What have I found?

My personal experience has been that after living in Ruby on Rails land where everything has a place and a somewhat enforced way of doing things, my PHP coding has improved. The RoR indoctrination, if you will, has made applying good coding practices easier. Instead of having to think about what would be the cleanest way to do something in PHP, it's a bit more obvious how to implement a nice clean design.

So even if you are a die-hard PHP coder, taking a little time to familiarize yourself with the Ruby on Rails framework will likely prove to be a good knowledge investment.

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2 comments:

  1. Hey buddy i do not now much since i have been with ror for nt over a month.I have found it easier to code with as compared to any other language Any estimates how's ROR future is ??

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  2. Hello "Friends",

    Glad to hear you are having a good experience.

    To answer your question, from what I see the future of Ruby and of Ruby on Rails continues to look bright.

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