Ruby on Rails is one of the hottest web frameworks out there right now. Because it’s so hot, a lot of people want to dive in immediately, even if they don’t know Ruby. If you find yourself in that position, you probably want to know if you need to know Ruby before you build applications. The answer is yes … and no. In reality, you can build Rails applications without learning Ruby, but you will be limited in what you can do. However, if you take the time to learn Ruby and Rails, you will be able to get everything you want out of this framework.
If you want to build a basic application that you will not scale up, you can move forward without learning the Ruby programming language. You can build apps that are clones of what is already out there. You are not going to break the mold when you don’t know the Ruby programming language, but you can build some basic applications that can handle simple tasks.
As you build your Rails applications, you will start to learn Ruby, since it is such a big part of the Rails platform. You will learn through osmosis, and that will help you build slightly more complex applications, but unless you study the programming language, you won’t be able to build complex applications.
If you take the time to learn Ruby, you will unlock the true power of Ruby on Rails. You will understand things like class inheritance, the difference between instance and class methods, modules, and more. This information will help you scale up your existing applications and make bigger and better apps with Ruby code that looks like Ruby code, which is essential if you are going to be taken seriously.
In other words, if you want to build powerful applications, it is essential that you learn Ruby. That way, you can unlock features that you didn’t even know existed.
Along with building bigger and better apps, knowing Ruby is helpful when you have to troubleshoot and debug your programs. If you don’t know Ruby, you will stumble through this process and might even have to call in outside help. That can be avoided by simply taking the time to learn the programming language.
You can get started with Rails without learning Ruby, but expect to learn Ruby in the process, especially if you want to scale up. You simply cannot grow with this web development platform without having a solid understanding of both Ruby and Rails, so you might as well immerse yourself in the two in order to get the best results.
If you take the time to learn Ruby and Rails, you can build exciting web applications. These professional-grade applications will have the power to do anything you want them to do, as long as you use the language and tools properly.
I've been a software engineer for the past decade and have traveled the world building applications and training individuals on a wide variety of topics.