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Learn Ruby with online courses and programs

If you want to build web applications, learning Ruby can be an important step in the process. Take online Ruby courses on edX to build the skills to advance your career.

What is the Ruby programming language?

Ruby is a free, open-source, general-purpose programming language used to build and deploy web applications. Some of its alternate uses include data analysis, automation, web scraping, and data processing.

Ruby founder Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto wanted to combine characteristics of his favorite languages. In doing so, he created a new language that offered practicality and ease of use.Footnote 1 With a dedicated developer community, Ruby has been updated multiple times since its inception to meet developers’ evolving needs.

As an object-oriented language, Ruby relies on objects that contain data and code instead of using functions or a logic-based system. This allows developers to quickly tend to self-contained software issues and work effectively with pre-written code. Because they don’t have to start from scratch, it helps to streamline development and maximize productivity.Footnote 2

Ruby on Rails is a well-known framework built within Ruby. It provides extensive coding predictions and suggestions to developers as they code, speeding up the process and reducing overall development time. If you plan to use Ruby in your programming projects, you’ll likely encounter Ruby on Rails as well.

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What can you learn in a Ruby tutorial?

In order to learn Ruby programming, it can help to first develop foundational coding skills. edX offers a range of options for learners interested in starting their coding education or experienced coders who want to grow their skills. 

Coding boot camps and tutorials may include basic programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, before moving onto more complex topics such as Ruby. Because Ruby uses syntax similar to English, it is relatively beginner-friendly. A Ruby-specific course will likely provide an in-depth overview of the programming language and its uses.

After learning Ruby and building up experience, you may also want to dive into the Ruby on Rails full-stack framework. This will allow you to learn both front- and back-end web application development. As with most web development topics, practice is the best way to solidify your knowledge and demonstrate your skills.

Ruby developer jobs

Once you have a firm grasp on Ruby and how it works with other programming languages and tools, you may be ready to start searching for relevant roles. Ruby developer jobs will likely require a combination of skills, which will vary depending on the role and organization. A quick search through job postings will give you an idea of any skills gaps you may need to fill before you start applying.

Roles that can use Ruby include:

  • Back-end web developer: Back-end web developers use a variety of tools and coding languages in their work. They may rely on the Ruby programming language and Ruby on Rails as their chosen framework since it allows for ease of use and scalability.

  • Application developer: App developers may be responsible for a variety of tasks, including the user interface, data management, and coding.Footnote 3 They may choose to use Ruby to quickly prototype and iterate applications for use across a variety of devices.

  • Data scientist: Data scientists perform various duties around the collection, sorting, and analysis of data.Footnote 4 They may opt to leverage Ruby’s web scraping capabilities to pull data from various sources across the internet.

How to become a Ruby developer online

Before you can call yourself a Ruby developer, it’s important to master other essential coding skills. You may choose to pursue a Ruby certification or enroll in a boot camp program, such as a web developer boot camp. If you’re just starting out in your career, you may prefer to earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Fields of study include computer science and data science as well as related topics.

Despite being a relatively simple and efficient coding language, Ruby may still take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to learn. However, it’s important that you commit to expanding your knowledge and honing your application development skills. Whether you want to become a web developer or software engineer, positions in this field require refined coding abilities and a strong portfolio to present to potential employers. Like a muscle, programming is a skill that must be used consistently.

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