What Languages Are Replacing Ruby On Rails

3 Mins read

Ruby was invented 23 years ago. This high-level programming language managed to increase its relevance only after the release of a web app framework known as Ruby on Rails, which combines the elegance of Ruby with a high level of productivity during the pipeline. It is known for being a pure MVC-based solution meaning the app work is separated into three subsystems – model, view and controller. 

Besides, all about Rails facilitates the time and cost efficiency which makes the framework uber highly sought by startups and newbie engineers. The evidence of high demand in the technology is numerous big names using it for their products – GitHub, Dribbble, Clarity, etc. Besides, many companies like Railsware base their activities on working with RoR and delivering relevant services and products. 
At the same time, there is nothing permanent except change. In 2010, Twitter, the company which was one of the pioneers in using Ruby’s framework, announced a replacement for their Rails-based front-end servers with Apache Lucene. This news about Twitter’s shift from Ruby to Java led off numerous forecasts about an impending sunset of Rails in the industry. It survived and stood up to many skeptics and detractors. 
More than eight years have passed ever since, but this topic remains relevant. Some experts believe that RoR’s dominance will die out and give way to more advanced technologies based on other languages. We’re not going to make predictions, but we can analyze what technologies do have chances to take the market share from companies providing Ruby on Rails development services. And here are those we would place a bet on. 


This technology named after a British comedy group Monty Python rather than a family of non-venomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia, is a bit older than Ruby – 28 to 23 years old. According to TIOBE, Python occupied the third position meaning it’s the most used technology after Java and C.

The language allows engineers to create web and server apps, desktop GUI apps, as well as deal with common programming tasks. Now, it’s mostly known for its wide use in developing machine learning algorithms and versatile data science projects. As for web app building and capabilities to replace Rails, we should mention Django – an open source framework built atop Python. It is a batteries-included technology stuffed with a bunch of useful-for-engineers tools like libraries, plugins, etc. 

The demand in the Django can be explained through the web apps built with it – Pinterest, Instagram, Udemy and so on. In terms of RoR replaceability, Django can boast a decreased timeframe for development, concise coding, a large set of features, high traffic handling capacity, and a big supportive community. As for drawbacks, the solution is known for its monolithic nature and is not a good choice for memory intensive tasks.


This language is called a king or emperor of programming due to its wide area of implementation. Those businesses or products built with RoR opt for Java if a performance upgrade is sought. It’s hard to find Ruby use cases somewhere beyond web app building, while Java is all around in IoT, banking software, Big Data solutions, and Android apps, of course.

The TIOBE index says it is the most popular technology as for December 2018. As for web development, Java offers several dozens of dedicated frameworks including JSF, Spring, GWT, etc. Spring is our focus because it’s based on the MVC design pattern. It allows for writing very clean and accessible code and is supported by excellent documentation. 

At the same time, its learning curve is rather steep and requires users to be experts in building web apps with Java. Frankly, this solution has little chances to force out RoR on the market because of the low demand of Java in this focus area. Meanwhile, the following technology on our list is a well-promising option.


You must have thought that we’re nuts to place this front-end technology in line with Ruby, Python, and Java. However, the emphasis is made not on JS itself but its advanced run-time environment that is gradually conquering the market of web applications – Node.js. This technology allowed JS to broaden its capabilities and go beyond the borders of front-end development. Now, it’s strengthening its position on the back-end.

Indeed, a large portion of the market is now becoming Node.js focused. The technology offers a powerful I/O performance, ample ecosystem, cross-platform support and is a great solution for the microservice architecture pattern. Having Node.js coupled with one of the ample JS frameworks like Meteor, Express, Koa and so on, you get a decent competitor to RoR.

It’s not like RoR has a risk to be replaced in the coming years, but developers and startup founders are more interested in newly blooming solutions. Rails are good, but Node.js surpasses it as for performance. Python is attractive for complex things requiring machine learning features. Anyway, Ruby is still alive being one of the most attractive programming languages for startups.

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