A Glimpse into The Future of Ruby Development

Vyom Srivastava, Software Engineer
Vyom Srivastava, Software Engineer
Published: 19.03.2021

With the introduction of new technologies, the requirements of applications are changing. HTML and CSS used to be our main tools for developing websites, but now we have options like Ruby on Rails, PHP, and NodeJS among others. Most of the time developers choose the trending technologies for their projects to try to stay current and in-demand to land larger clients.

The future of any technology depends a lot on the community around said technology as well as its application potential. Ruby is a very strong player when it comes to scripting and web development. It has become one of the top 10 programming languages and it has only grown in popularity since then. We previously covered the Do’s & Don’ts of Managing an Outsourced Ruby on Rails Development Team, so in this article, we will be looking into the future of the language itself.

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Prototyping

Prototyping is a part of the development process where experimental versions of the final software are created. Every prototype of the same application tries to implement a different solution. The objective being to find the best solution for each desired function after a hands on, functional comparison, before developing the final product.

This process helps companies validate their idea before spending all their resources on the final project. Although prototyping might slow down the initial speed of the project, after verifying and confirming the best solutions, a development team can work more efficiently in the right direction towards the finished product. Some other advantages of prototyping include cost saving, faster requirement gathering, and delivering a more polished product.

How Can Ruby Help

Prototyping is a time-consuming process and anything that can increase your output, shorten your production times, and allow you to explore more solutions, will quickly become an indispensable tool of any development team. As we covered in our article on Pros and Cons of Ruby Development, this tool facilitates some of the shortest possible development times for applications. This is thanks to Ruby being packaged with a lot of skeleton code base and gems that provide shortcuts so the development team can create multiple prototypes in very short timeframes.

Web Development Projects

Ruby on Rails is a framework that is primarily used for web development. Right now, the market share of Ruby in web development is about 5% and when compared to languages like PHP, its market penetration is still very low.

Nevertheless, Ruby comes with many functionalities that are simply missing on PHP. Ruby also follows a structured way to create web applications and provides a lot of skeleton code through its Rails framework.

These features along with the active community contributing to its development make Ruby one of the languages with the quickest pace in innovation. The language’s thriving ecosystem can be attested by its appearance on the list of top 10 repository contributing languages on GitHub.

Other features that may signal Ruby’s bright future in web development include:

  • Configuration Paradigms: Ruby on Rails framework is tailored to a web developer’s tasks and consistently offers the best possible method for them to arrive at their objective .
  • MVC Architecture: Simply keeping the business logic away from the view part helps a lot in terms of code management.
  • Active Records: These are the Object-Oriented methods of using the database such as MySQL which introduces functionalities like inheritance and abstraction while interacting with the database.

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Package Manager

This is something unique to Ruby. A package manager is a collection of software that is used to automate the process of upgrading, installing, removing, and configuring a computer program. These computer programs contain the metadata like version, developer details, dependencies, and checksum in the form of a hashed value.

The Package Manager is also responsible for the installation of the dependencies which are required to run the computer program. Ruby is used for developing one of the most famous package managers: Homebrew. This package manager is very compatible with macOS, allowing you to install almost any program compatible with this operating system.

MacOS and Ubuntu are heavily dependent on Homebrew and other package managers developed using Ruby. Given that even Homebrew comes with a lot of bugs that need to be resolved, it is safe to say that Ruby is a futureproof language when it comes to package manager development.

Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing is a type of application testing which is used to penetrate through the security of an application. In other words, it is used to find the security loopholes in a web application using different cyber attacks.

This testing is very important because it prevents data leakage. The testing should include attacks like JWT attacks, SQL injections, and brute-force attacks.

Ruby handles and automates many of the testing parts. SQL injection and Brute-Force are some common methods that can be scripted very easily in Ruby, this ensures the language will have permanence in penetration testing.

This language is very effective in static binary analysis. Ruby can easily penetrate binary using inbuilt functions, it can also modify and intercept network traffic which is very helpful for penetration testing.

Static Site Generator

This is a bit different from complete web development. Static site generation is a kind of hybrid approach in web development that allows you to develop server-based websites locally on your system and deploy the static part of the website on a web host.

This means you develop a complete website saved locally without needing a server (like Nginx or Apache). The website just needs to be deployed on a server host so the client can see the static pages.

Many websites like blogs or service websites only need to display static data once they are published. This is where static site generators come into play. They take the input from the user in the form of Markdown, CSS, HTML, or any other formatting components with the server-side logic and generate the static pages which can be hosted anywhere.

Ruby can play a crucial role in the future of static site generators because the concept of static site generators is relatively new and still developing. Several languages including Ruby are still being tested out in this new field.

DevOps and Automation

Every software project needs a pipeline with a backup of trial versions to enable backtracking and reverting to previous iterations when required. Each developer should submit their code and commit to a code management system on their assigned tasks. This is where Git comes into play.

Git checks for errors, styling, and other requirements set up by the DevOps team to ensure the code meets the criteria and to allow it to be tracked when a failure in the system occurs.

Ruby is used for automating all the processes. It is the best language for a beginner to understand how the DevOps works and how things are automated. As long as there’s a need for Git, Ruby will play a crucial role in the automation of these things and will set up the benchmarks for the projects.

In the field of DevOps, even with the existing Git system, Ruby is the most popular language.

Final Words

Ruby is a very strong language with a very strong community. It might not be the sharpest tool in the box but still delivers excellent results and has a strong future. As long as the developer community continues to improve this language and it continues to produce successful products, its position in the market will continue to grow.

Many companies and developers are still haunted by Ruby performance issues. It is a difficult language to scale up. Some modern technologies like NodeJS, Python, etc are performing better in this regard which has made them popular alternatives to Ruby.

Another drawback of Ruby is that for beginners it is harder to learn when compared to PHP development or Python development due to its very rigid programming paradigms. These issues could affect this language’s position in the market and push companies and developers towards alternatives. We also have covered Hiring Ruby on Rails Developers - Best Practices and Job Description Template which can help you to decide which language will work best for your project.

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