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App Development
7 minutes read

Ruby on Rails Vs. JavaScript

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
7 minutes read

In the web development sector, developers are always comparing and contrasting technologies, and Ruby on Rails vs. JavaScript is a popular debate amongst professionals in the field. The fact that these two technologies are often used in the same projects to complement one another makes the comparisons and the debates all the more interesting and enjoyable. 

Let’s explore Ruby on Rails vs. JavaScript in more detail. We’ll look at ways in which these two are similar, different, and when the best times to use each one are. We’ll also learn a little more about Ruby and NodeJS and where they fit in this comparison too.

Ruby on Rails and JavaScript: The Basics 

Before we get into this comparison too deeply, we need to first understand the basics of Ruby on Rails and JavaScript. There is a lot to know about both of these technologies, but we’re only going to look at a quick overview for the purposes of this comparison. If you are interested in learning more about JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, or other technology topics, check out our blog

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is a web application development framework that prioritizes convention over configuration. Rails is built on the programming language Ruby and was released in 2004. This development framework got very popular with developers because it sped up the web development process. Typically, Ruby on Rails is used for back-end development.

Ruby on Rails also has some great features such as scaffolding of views, seamless database table creations, and migrations that quickly endeared it to the web development community. There are many popular Ruby on Rails use cases that you can point to in order to illustrate the capabilities and popularity of this web development framework. 

Major tech companies such as Hulu, Twitch, Airbnb, Shopify, and Github use Ruby on Rails in their tech stacks. 

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language that is one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web. Pretty much every single website in the world uses JavaScript to bring HTML and CSS code to life. Without JavaScript, the Internet as we know it today would not exist. Typically, JavaScript is used for front-end development. 

However, JavaScript can be used for back-end development as well, using NodeJS. NodeJS is a cross-platform runtime environment that was created to execute JavaScript code outside of web browsers. 

This is valuable in app development because it allows developers to use a single language for front-end and back-end development. Just like analyzing Ruby on Rails vs. JavaScript, comparing NodeJS and Ruby on Rails is also very intriguing. If you’d like to learn more about how these two stack up against one another, check out our Ruby on Rails vs. NodeJS blog. 

Ruby on Rails Vs. JavaScript: The Comparison 

As we have already mentioned previously, Ruby on Rails and JavaScript complement one another. It is likely that you will be using Ruby on Rails for back-end development and JavaScript for front-end development. It is best not to think of these two technologies as competitors but rather as teammates. 

Let’s compare a few key facets of both, including:

  • Development speed 
  • Difficulty 
  • Security 
  • Community 
  • Popularity 

Development Speed

One of the many reasons why Ruby on Rails is so popular is that code can be written and executed very quickly when compared to other frameworks and programming languages. Rails prioritizes conventions over configuration and follows the “don’t repeat yourself” philosophy. All of this, in addition to the rich libraries Rails features, speeds up the development process considerably. 

JavaScript can be a more laborious coding process for developers when compared to Ruby on Rails. There are several JavaScript functions that can cause issues and slow down the development process, including HTTP requests, syntax, operators, and event queues. JavaScript has a lot of functionality, but this can slow things down. 

Oftentimes, there may not be a straightforward way for a programmer to solve an issue that arises when writing JavaScript. On the other hand, when using Ruby on Rails, programmers can solve problems in the way that they think is the best fit, and there are multiple ways to solve problems. 

Difficulty 

Many people are interested in how difficult it is to learn Rails vs. JavaScript. This comparison point is related to the speed of development, so it should come as no surprise that Ruby on Rails is more beginner-friendly and easier to learn than JavaScript

Ruby on Rails can be used to complete highly complex tasks, but it is also usable for programmers who are new to the framework too. In order to use JavaScript effectively, a programmer needs to have a deeper understanding of the language and a decent amount of technical skills and knowledge.

Security 

Security should be one of the main concerns of any web development project. As we have mentioned before, Rails and JavaScript will likely be used on the same projects, but it is important to understand how these two fare on the security front. 

Ruby on Rails is inherently more secure than JavaScript because Rails is a framework with built-in security features and tools. JavaScript is most susceptible to cyberattacks on the client-side, but security should be a priority you take into account no matter what tools or languages you are using. 

Just because Ruby on Rails has built-in security tools and features does not mean you don’t have to actively consider security risks and take all precautions against attacks. 

Community 

JavaScript and Ruby on Rails both have very large online communities. This is important because these communities can help you troubleshoot issues, share ideas, news, and more to help you get the most out of the framework or language you are using. 

Both Ruby on Rails and JavaScript are open-source, which is the new standard for development technologies. As such, they both enjoy large, active online communities that help extend the capabilities of what is possible with each framework or language. 

Popularity

While JavaScript and Ruby on Rails are both very popular in the development world, JavaScript is the most popular programming language by far. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since JavaScript is one of the three core technologies of the World Wide Web. Almost every website on the Internet uses JavaScript. 

For its part, Ruby on Rails is also very popular, but it is far less ubiquitous than JavaScript, so it is only natural that JavaScript is more popular. 

Final Thoughts 

While comparing Ruby on Rails vs. JavaScript is fun, the comparison is not exactly even, and by making a comparison, it could be inferred that the two are in competition with each other. JavaScript and Ruby on Rails are not in competition with one another. In fact, it is likely that your Ruby on Rails development project will be using JavaScript on the front-end.

If you need help determining which technology is best for your development project, reach out to an app development partner. A partner can help you find the right solutions for your project, give you valuable technical expertise, and offer insightful industry experience. While Ruby on Rails vs. JavaScript might only be a fun comparison, there are sure to be other tough choices you need to make for your project that a partner can help you with.

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