Thursday, December 22, 2011

Alternate Paths: Ruby

As mentioned previously, Ruby is a popular web-programming language.  There are many on-line resources for learning Ruby and its associated framework, Rails.

I think Ruby works well for a beginning programmer's first language.  It fills a niche similar to Python and shares many of the same strengths.  I agree with Luke Maciak at Terminally Incoherent that either of these two languages avoid the initial complexity of a strongly structured and typed language like C++ or Java.

So, sure.  Learning Ruby and then Rails is a perfectly valid path into programming.

You might Google some of the "Ruby versus Python" arguments before you begin, but as a first language it might not matter that much.  Both are great.

(I put Ruby and Python as both more "advanced" than PHP, but whether that means you should skip PHP, or learn it first, is up to you.  In my sidebar I assume the PHP path, as part of the traditional LAMP stack.)

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