Dec 26, 2023

about 5 min read

What Is Ruby Programming Language Used For?

What is Ruby programming language used for? This article will answer this question and also show you some of its benefits and features.


Ruby—created by Yukihiro Matsumoto (Matz) in 1995—is a dynamic programming language that is general-purpose and interpreted. It is widely known for its expressive, elegant syntax and support for multiple programming paradigms. 


However, what is the Ruby programming language used for? With a large and active community of developers, it is no doubt that Ruby has various applications. Therefore,  in this article, we will delve into some of the primary uses of Ruby and why it is an excellent choice for various types of projects.


Read more: Web Development With Different Languages: Which Ones Are Better?


Web Development: Ruby on Rails and Beyond


ruby programming language


Web development is what the Ruby programming language is used primarily for. It powers popular applications like Twitter, Airbnb, Shopify, GitHub, and Basecamp.


It is the foundation of Ruby on Rails. This robust and well-regarded web framework provides a set of tools and conventions for building web applications quickly and easily. Ruby on Rails follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern. Therefore, you can maintain and extend applications by separating the data, logic, and presentation layers. 


Additionally, it offers many features, such as scaffolding, migrations, validations, associations, routing, testing, and security. This makes web development more productive and enjoyable.

The Ruby programming language is an excellent choice for web development because of its expressiveness, conciseness, and readability. By writing less code, you can focus more on user experience and business logic. Ruby is also dynamic, which gives you more flexibility and creativity by allowing changes to its behavior during runtime. 


Finally, Ruby is highly compatible with other languages and technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, and NoSQL. Therefore, it is easy to integrate it with different web services and databases.


Read more: Ruby on Rails vs. Django: Which Framework is Right for You?


Data Analysis and Science: Unraveling Insights from Data


ruby programming language


Ruby is an excellent language for data scientists who collect, process, analyze, and visualize data to gain insights and inform decisions. That is because Ruby offers a wide range of libraries and tools that can work with data, making it easy for data scientists to do their jobs. Below are just some of the popular ones:

  • RubyGems is a package manager that allows you to install and use thousands of Ruby libraries (gems) for various purposes.
  • Nokogiri is a gem that lets you parse and manipulate XML and HTML documents.
  • CSV and JSON are standard libraries that allow you to read and write comma-separated values (CSV) and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) files, respectively.
  • Rake is a gem that enables you to automate tasks like data cleaning, preprocessing, and testing.
  • SciRuby is a project that aims to provide scientific computing tools for Ruby. One of them is Numo, a gem that offers fast and flexible numerical arrays.


Ruby is also compatible with other languages and tools widely used for data analysis and science, including Python, R, MATLAB, and TensorFlow. Therefore, you can leverage the best of both worlds.


Scripting and Automation: Enhancing Productivity and Efficiency


ruby programming language


Scripting and automation is what the Ruby programming language is used for. These tasks involve creating small programs that perform specific functions such as file manipulation, text processing, web scraping, and system administration. 

Ruby is an excellent choice because it is user-friendly, easy to learn, and run. Due to its cross-platform functionality, Ruby can operate seamlessly on different operating systems—including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X—without requiring any modifications. 


Additionally, Ruby is an interactive language that allows you to use the interactive Ruby shell (IRB) to run commands and observe the results immediately. 


Furthermore, Ruby has numerous libraries and tools that make scripting and automation more convenient and powerful:

  • Standard Library is a collection of built-in modules that provide common functionality, such as file handling, network programming, date and time manipulation, and encryption.
  • FileUtils is a module that offers file and directory operations methods, including copying, moving, deleting, and changing permissions.
  • OpenURI is a module that allows you to open and read web pages as if they were files.
  • Mechanize is a gem that enables you to automate web browsing, such as filling out forms, clicking links, and submitting requests.
  • Watir is a gem that lets you automate web testing, including finding elements, interacting with them, and verifying results.
  • Capistrano is a gem that allows you to automate the deployment of web applications to remote servers.


DevOps and Infrastructure Management: Orchestrating the IT Ecosystem


ruby programming language


Another use of Ruby is DevOps and infrastructure management. This involves using tools and practices that enable collaboration and integration between development and operations teams, as well as automating and monitoring software delivery and infrastructure. 


Ruby is a wise choice for DevOps and infrastructure management because it is flexible, scalable, and reliable. It can conform to different environments, handle complex systems, and ensure high performance and availability. Besides, Ruby is modular. In other words, it is easily customized with plugins and gems.


In addition, Ruby boasts numerous libraries and tools that can significantly streamline DevOps and infrastructure management. Among these gems are Chef and Puppet, which facilitate the automation of server and application provisioning and management via code. 


Additionally, Ansible can automate the deployment and configuration of servers and applications using YAML files. Vagrant is another tool that enables creating and managing virtual machines using Ruby files. Docker allows for making and running isolated, portable containers containing applications and their dependencies. Lastly, Kubernetes is a tool that empowers you to manage and scale clusters of containers across multiple servers.


Read more: Ruby vs Python: What are the Differences?


What Is the Ruby Programming Language Used for? 5 Other Applications


Besides the uses mentioned above, Ruby can also be utilized for other applications, such as:

  • Game Development. Ruby can be used to create games with various tools. For example, RPG Maker allows you to develop role-playing games using Ruby scripts.
  • Mobile Development. Many tools can be utilized with Ruby to create mobile applications. One such tool is RubyMotion, which enables the creation of native iOS and Android applications using Ruby code.
  • Desktop Development. It is possible to create desktop applications using the Ruby programming language. For instance, you can use Shoes, which uses Ruby to build graphical user interfaces for multiple platforms.
  • Web Scraping. You can use Ruby to extract data from web pages. Scrapy—a tool that allows one to create web crawlers and scrapers using Ruby code—is an example.
  • Natural Language Processing. Natural language can be analyzed and manipulated with the help of Ruby. For example, Treat offers a wide range of natural language processing tools, including but not limited to tokenization, stemming, lemmatization, part-of-speech tagging, named entity recognition, and sentiment analysis.


What Is the Ruby Programming Language Used for? A Verdict 


In conclusion, Ruby is a fantastic, versatile, powerful programming language. Web development, data analysis, scripting, and even infrastructure management are what the Ruby programming language is used mainly for. Not only that, but it is also easy to learn, write, and run. Therefore, it is perfect for both beginners and experienced developers. 


Ruby is also expressive, concise, and readable, making it a fun language to use. Plus, it is dynamic, flexible, and compatible. As a result, you can get very creative with it. 


Finally, suppose you ever need help or want to collaborate. In that case, there is a huge and active community of Ruby developers that can help you. Ruby is indeed the language that can do anything you want and more.

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