By Chris Coleman
Before a contractor starts drilling, he first needs a general understanding of the blueprint. Before a surgeon makes her first cut, she really should know the inner workings of the human body. Only with that knowledge can they decide which drill or blade to use and how best to get the job done. The education of a web developer is much the same.
Before a student can select a programming language with which to build a website, they first need to understand the full-stack. Meaning, what are the basic components of a website, including front end interaction and back end infrastructure and how do they work? From there, they choose the best tools for the job.
Can a contractor learn to use a drill without really knowing how to build a house? Sure. Can a doctor know how to cut with a blade without understanding the human body? Of course. But the project and certainly the patient will fare much better if both professionals have a firm command of the bigger picture.
Rolling out Ruby
That bit of background brings me to Ruby, a widely-adopted language that student developers at Coder Camps now have the chance to use while they learn full-stack web development. We recently rolled out a new, modular curriculum and Ruby is the latest language we have baked in to the full-stack program. Read my last post here for more.
Ruby is an open-source, general-purpose programming language developed in the mid ‘90s by Japanese developer, Yukihiro Matsumoto. It quickly became enormously popular because, unlike other languages, Ruby is well-loved for its ‘human’ language. It’s generally easier for beginners to master and the code is powerful yet flexible. Ruby on Rails is a server-side web application framework that runs on Ruby and provides default structures for databases and web pages. This combination allows for a low barrier to entry and a powerful platform for web development. For these reasons and others, Ruby is listed as #7 in the RedMonk Programming Language Rankings for Q1 2017 which uses both GitHub and Stack Overflow data sources to determine overall popularity.
What can Ruby do for you?
Ruby on Rails is well known as an innovative web development platform and is great for fast prototyping. The community of Ruby developers also has a reputation for being bleeding edge when it comes to web applications which means, generally speaking, tech startups love Ruby users. There are a few tech startup sites you may have heard of that were built on Rails – Hulu, Airbnb and Basecamp.
Rubyists typically have plenty of job opportunity. A quick search for Ruby as part of job qualifications on Linkedin brings up over 16,000 openings and more than 19,000 on Indeed. In 2016, Ruby developers in the U.S., on average, made $102,632 according to the 2017 Dice Tech Salary Survey. The 2017 Stack Overflow Salary Survey estimates annual income at $97,000.
For students who think they would do well working in a startup environment, learning Ruby is a great choice. Other considerations we commonly help students weigh when choosing technology tools is geographic area – are there many startups in your area or would you have to relocate? And, how do you feel about wearing multiple hats in your job? Startup employees typically juggle multiple responsibilities.
Because technology use and preference changes quickly, our graduates have the option to learn all of our supported languages free of any additional charges through our Coder for Life program.