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Ruby vs Java: What makes a perfect fit for your custom software?

Let's pay attention to the choice between Java and Ruby performance and the long-term prospects for choosing either one.

This article is a tribute to the opposition that is quite often found on the development market. And it is for you if:


  • You are a developer interested in participating in a perceptive and commercially sought-after project, but you are not sure which programming language to use


We have already considered Ruby and its most famous framework Ruby-on-Rails from a technical point of view. Let’s recall the main features of this language:


  • Open-source

  • Interpreted language

  • Multi-platform

  • Dynamic typing

  • Smart garbage collector

  • Everything including methods, numbers and variables is an object

  • Possibility to embed Ruby in HTML

  • High scalability

  • Applicable for writing CGIs, building web and intranet apps


Ruby has its own army of fans, as it allows programmers to enjoy what they do and be productive right away, following the principle of least surprise.

It’s Java time!


An interesting fact is that the release dates of both languages ​​- Ruby and Java - are in the same year. They were presented to the world in 1995.

 Java was originally a multi-billion dollar company that invested a lot of money in  popular created frameworks, and stimulated the developer community to create a feeling of simplicity in development and reliability of support. Most of all, it was for those who ordered Enterprise software. That's why in the world there are an insane number of projects ordered by large companies using Java.

If one analyzes the last 10 years, Java holds a stable leading position and a high rating in a number of popular programming languages. 

It should be said that the Java tools support is really great. It offers an excellent development environment, refactoring tools, static analysis tools... You probably won't find so many tools of this quality in any other language.


Let’s take a closer look at Java key features:


  • Open-source

  • Object-oriented

  • Compile / Interpretability

  • Neutral architecture

  • Static typing

  • Built-in security

  • Dynamic compilation and classes loading

  • Automatic garbage collection

  • Simple memory management model

  • Multithreading capabilities

  • Platform independence

 

The main arguments for those developers who prefer this technology are its reliability proven over the years, platform independence and ease of use.


We have identified criteria with which you can dig deeper into the essence of Java and Ruby programming languages ​​and decide on the application / study of one or another.

Scope of use


Both Java and Ruby are general purpose technologies, which means you can use them for a number of different projects.

It would be wrong to say that the spheres of application of these two languages ​​are radically opposite. Rather, they differ.


Ruby is considered to be the language of startups. Its excellent structure and clarity at all stages of coding, plus a huge selection of ready-made solutions and libraries allow you to create successful projects.

Although Ruby is often perceived as inseparable from its RoR framework, nevertheless this elegant language has also been used independently. Great development examples are:


  • CSS language extension (Sass)

  • penetration testing environment (Metasploit)

  • tool for creating and distributing development environments (Vagrant) and a number of others


One of the advantages of Java is the JVM virtual machine. It processes the bytecode and passes instructions to the hardware as an interpreter. The advantage of this program execution method is the complete independence of the bytecode from the operating system and equipment, which allows Java applications to run on any device for which the corresponding virtual machine exists.

Thus, Java simplifies the development and deployment of applications on different operating systems. That is why large companies use Java more often. In addition native Android applications are written in Java.

All this greatly expands the use of Java. It includes:


  • native Android apps (FastHub)

  • server applications for the banking and financial industry (Standard Chartered)

  • software and development tools (Netbeans IDE)

  • trade applications (Murex)

  • technology for working with large amounts of data (ElasticSearch) etc.

Performance and development speed 


The difference in areas of application and in goals which Ruby or Java are used  determines the performance of these technologies.

Code written in Ruby is simpler and more flexible. Often it helps to reduce development speed. Some developers claim that development time can be reduced 10 times.

But this is only partly true and mainly within small tasks. When the question concerns broad computational abilities and multiple tasks, Java goes to the performance level. The scrupulous work of writing a multi-line Java code is complex - it will take much more time to work.

Field of talents and their salaries

Java popularity has been proven over the years and numerous ratings. The Java specialists market is traditionally crowded with beginners, experienced and super-professional developers.

Ruby, in turn, is not even among the top ten programming languages. (Ruby and Ruby-on-rails supporters will say again that this is unfair). The flip side of the coin is a clear lack of specialists with skills in this language.

According to the latest PayScale data (as of May 2019) in the USA, the per year salaries of specialists of different skill levels in the field of both technologies vary within the following limits:


Ruby and &  RoR developers $61,2K - $126,9K


Java developers $70,8K - $137,4K



So if Ruby’s philosophy is closer to you as to a developer, then rest assured that you won’t lose much  money. There will be much less competitors.

Of course, one should also keep in mind the simple truth - beginners get little money, professionals always get more.

In case you are looking for experts to implement your project, just keep in mind the cost part.

So is it Ruby or Java?


Elegance against the undoubted leader, effectiveness against multitasking. This is what the Ruby vs Java looks like.

Let's summarize, so that you can finally determine the choice of the technology that is right for you.


Use Ruby (and its powerful framework Ruby-on-Rails) when:


  • This is a web application

  • Product value for the customer comes first

  • Product concept may change

  • Need faster handling

  • Frequent changes in functionality are assumed

  • Fast prototyping needed

  • Project size from small to medium

Use Java when:


  • Project has a complex architecture

  • No time and resource limitations

  • Interaction with a number of related systems is necessary (server parts of mainframes, databases, etc.)

  • Large traffic and user base required

  • You work (or plan to work) on your own server. Otherwise, be prepared to pay for hosting

  • The size of the project is large and requires a high security level


So Ruby leads the web application market. Java verbosity and its static typing often become a stumbling block in startups.

On the other hand, if you have plans to work on a complex project that should be easily scalable and has a minimum of errors, consider the Java option.

The question of choosing a programming language is always a matter of priorities and personal preferences. We hope our article will reach its goal and help you decide on your preferred technology.


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