Ruby is dead — Rails is dead — But is it?

Ruby was invented and released (Ruby 0.95) in 1995 by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto in Japan. Afterwards, several stable builds were released: Ruby 1.0 (December 25, 1996), Ruby 1.2 (December 1998), Ruby 1.4 (August 1999), Ruby 1.6 (September 2000). It continues to be worked on and new builds are constantly released, in fact, the latest version, Ruby 2.4, was released on Christmas Day in 2016.

Rails was created in 2003 by David Heinemeier Hansson, while working on the code base for Basecamp, a project management tool, by 37signals. David extracted Ruby on Rails (RoR) and officially released it as open source code in July of 2004. RoR is not its own language and is a library of ruby gems. RoR continues to be worked on and and improvements are made quite frequently. Similar to Ruby, the latest build is RoR 5.0.1 which was released on December 21, 2016.

So… Why am I bringing this up?

I don’t know about you but some people I’ve talked to in the past would tell me, “Ruby is dead. Don’t pursue it, it’s confusing and nobody relies on it anymore” or “Rails is all magic, you can’t figure anything out and people who use it don’t *really* know how to use it”.

In fact, there are articles like this one (written in 2014) that talk about how ruby is a dying language or this one (written in 2015) about how other languages are taking over. Some people even attack it without really any proper research and are so confident about it that they would post it on LinkedIn (written in 2016).

According to, it certainly doesn’t seem right. Here is a chart that provides us with website data and the trend of using the Ruby on Rails framework.

Although the data starts from April 2016 and ends at present month, notice the trend of it. It isn’t a downward spiral, in fact, it’s trending upwards. Another statistic that is shown is the following:

Despite the numbers not looking so good, look at how many websites are deployed using RoR — 1,173,712 websites.

Now compared to other languages, it may not be the dominant language nor is it the most popular… BUT look at the websites that were made with RoR! Here are a few websites that were built and continue to be used today. The frameworks of the following sites were verified using builtwith.

Github — Founded in 2008 and continues to be a central hub for a majority of developers. Since the launch of the site, users continue to create projects and share their works with others. As of 2015, there are at least 10 million users and 49 million projects.

AirBnB — Founded in 2008 and continues to rise in popularity and user-base. The company is getting so big that cities such as NYC have to make and pass laws to prevent it from taking over the hotel industry. Here is one of many articles that give some insight to the situation. There are 100 million users and 2.3 million listings available (as of July 2016).

Kickstarter — Founded in 2009 and continues to fund people’s dreams and assists in making them a reality. Since the beginning of the company, $2,974,552,440 have been raised and have funded 122,836 projects. There are 15 project categories and the amount of projects that are being funded continue to grow everyday.

Couchsurfing — Founded in 2004 and continues to be a safe community for those that are looking for unique experiences with locals in countries that users visit. There are 14 million total users that are listed and every year, there are 4 million surfers and 400,000 hosts.

Hulu — Founded in 2007 and continues to be an alternative to cable television. As of November 2016, there are 12 million users and their extensive database is no joke. They have over 3,000 tv series and since launch, over 700 million hours of streaming was provided.

Bleacher Report — Founded in 2007 and continues to provide news related to sports. 
Edit: As a fellow member pointed out, Bleacher Report has moved to Elixir. — Last but not least, our most favorite of all is our very own learn program! It was built with the intention of teaching how to program and code since 2012. There are many success stories affiliated with alumni who graduated from Flatiron School. Learn co is built off Ruby/RoR.

These are only but a few websites that flourish in modern day and they were built with Ruby/RoR! So…

Even though Ruby and Rails isn’t the “go-to” language for programming, it is a powerful tool to create websites and applications. It allows ideas and dreams to become something real. There are many different program languages out there and yes, some are better than others but like Matz said, Ruby was made to make programmers happy. Regardless of what language you decide to study and/or use, the fact that all these options are out there for us to utilize should make us itching for more! So stop attacking programming languages, they didn’t do anything bad to you. They exist to help us and who cares if the next big site was made through Python or Ruby. We should celebrate for the future and what it beholds.