JavaScript vs. Ruby: What’s the difference?

  • 11 mins read

JavaScript vs. Ruby: What’s the difference?

When we talk about web development, two languages always come into our minds, Ruby and JavaScript. Both of them are well-known and lucrative programming languages. 

Fun fact: before JavaScript, there was only HTML and CSS for determining how a web page should operate and appear. The introduction of JavaScript brought life to web pages with elements that made the web pages more dynamic. The introduction of JS made websites dynamic and revolutionized their functioning forever.

While JavaScript was designed to satisfy technology demands, Ruby was designed to fulfill the developer’s requirements. Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto intended to create a pleasant language that promoted creativity while being a proper object-oriented programming language.

But how do the two languages compare? And which should you opt for as a beginner in web development? Let’s dive in a dig up the juicy details.

JavaScript vs. Ruby: which one to learn?

Both play a pivotal role in web development, so deciding which one to learn can be confusing. But, if you are serious about web development, it is advised that you take the third option. That is, learn both JS and Ruby. 

However, learning both Ruby and JS introduces many other problems. Specifically, which one should you learn first? What are their particular implementations? Is Java just another term for Javascript, or is it something completely different? Is there any similarity between JavaScript and Ruby?

Don’t worry; we got you covered. In this blog, we will be looking at the differences between Javascript and Ruby. And how learning both may provide you with unrivaled software development employment options.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a text-based programming language used on both the client and server sides to make web pages responsive. JS is used along with HTML and CSS in web development. HTML and CSS are in charge of appearance, how your website should look and what styling it should have. At the same time, Javascript is concerned with the responsivity of your site. 

In short, JS enables your site to be dynamic rather than just sitting still and displaying static information.

One good thing about JS is that it is not just limited to Front end development. It has a comprehensive set of applications, some of which include:

Web and Mobile App Development

JavaScript has a long list of libraries and frameworks to help you develop apps. JavaScript frameworks are sets of JavaScript code modules that give you pre-written code for routine development functions and tasks, a literal scaffolding upon which to construct websites or web apps.

Some famous frameworks and libraries are Angular, Vue, Jquery, React and React Native.

A word of caution.
Because frameworks are essential tools developed using the JavaScript language, it is recommended that you learn about the language itself first to be aware of precisely what is occurring behind the scenes.

Web Servers

Beyond websites and applications, you can also use JavaScript to create primary web servers and Node.js to design the back-end infrastructure.

Game Development

Beginning with pure JavaScript is the most effective method to build a strong foundation in online game development. After that, you can choose whatever framework best suits your needs and use it inside your projects. 

Artificial Intelligence

JavaScript has shown its usefulness in AI applications in recent years. Javascript frameworks such as TensorFlow have enabled you to utilize Javascript for machine learning. It allows you to create models that can predict future events’ outcomes based on the classification of data from the past.

What is Ruby?

Ruby is typically described as a “balanced language.” Yukihiro Matsumoto created it in 1995. It is a dynamic open-source, object-oriented programming language. Ruby was developed using the C programming language and is cross-platform. 

Ruby was designed with simplicity in mind. The ultimate objective of Yukihiro Matsumoto with the Ruby programming language was to provide a logical buffer between human programmers and the computers they used.

Ruby is a popular option among specialists in application development, data science, and memory management, but it is also used in many additional applications.

Web development

Web development is one of the primary applications of Ruby. Thanks to the Ruby on Rails framework, you can use Ruby for front-end development in much the same way you would use JavaScript.

Ruby on Rails is a web development framework built on the model view controller (MVC) architectural pattern. MVC architecture helps isolates data structures from user interface design and provides several data views. 

The core principles of Rails are convention over configuration and avoiding repetition. The purpose of these notions is to eliminate waste and increase efficiency. Developers must frequently write the same lines of code for their projects to function correctly. 

DevOps and Automated Processes

Ruby is commonly used for DevOps, website deployment, and automation. Heroku is a well-known web app deployment tool that makes app launches simple, especially for users inexperienced with DevOps.

Web servers

You can use Ruby to create web servers. Passenger, Unicorn, and Puma are Ruby-based web servers. They receive incoming HTTP requests in their raw form, forward them to the appropriate backend web applications, and then manage the application’s HTTP response. Ruby web application servers operate in tandem with their respective web development frameworks.

Scraping and crawling the Web

Ruby provides many utilities to simplify data extraction from web pages. You can use Ruby libraries like Vessel to crawl and retrieve web pages. You can also use Nokogiri, another famous Ruby package, to parse the HTML of the sites that have been crawled to extract structured portions of the page that you want to be utilized for data analysis.

What is the difference between Ruby and JavaScript?

The following code snippets return the product of two parameters. As we can see, both languages are strikingly similar for basic functions like this.

function calculateProduct(a, b) {
  return a * b;
def calculateProduct(a, b)   
        return a * b;

JavaScript and Ruby seem deceptively similar when broken down into essential aspects like programming style and code execution; however, there are significant constitutional distinctions between them. Some of these differences are:


JavaScript is a front-end programming language primarily used for client-side applications, server-side applications, browser-level interaction, and modifications. Still, we can also use it in the backend. However, in the case of RoR (Ruby on Rails), it is used for server-side backend programming and can interact with the database.


Ruby is designed to be easy to use. So, not only does Ruby have a basic and easy-to-learn syntax. There are no variable definitions or semicolons, just plain, easy-to-read code. You can employ method chaining, which allows a large amount of code to be reduced to a small amount. As for JS, it isn’t bad for the eyes, and it’s not as difficult to write as C or C++, but it doesn’t appear as polished as Ruby.


Ruby is a high-level language that sometimes makes debugging a pain. Because Ruby is so abstract, determining which line of code is bugging the interpreter may be challenging. It’s not as simple as missing a semicolon, and it’s typically tied to a hidden interaction that occurs behind the hood or is equally buried under an enormous stack call. JS is relatively easier to debug than Ruby.


Ruby on Rails supports multithreading, although complicated apps may degrade performance. Javascript does not allow multithreading since its interpreter is single-threaded.

JavaScript vs. Ruby Comparison


When it comes to JavaScript vs. Ruby in performance, JS takes an easy win. Programming language performance follows the rule: The closer to the machine code, the quicker. Higher-level programming languages are slower. Ruby and JavaScript follow this. Compared to C++, JavaScript is slow. JavaScript outperforms Ruby by a large margin. Ruby is 50% to 200% slower than JavaScript (running with node.js). Some things that take under 30 seconds in JavaScript can take Ruby around eight minutes to finish.


JavaScript is the most widely used programming language. It is prevalent on the internet. It significantly outperforms all other modules and packages. npm, for node. JS has over 800,000 modules, most of which are open-source and free for commercial use. Ruby and Rails have several thousand developers.

The Ruby community is more user-friendly. Due to the language’s active community, it has rich documentation. Rails’ Gem library is smaller than that of JavaScript for node.js, but its modules are well-designed.

Career Opportunities

JavaScript dominates the internet, and although Rails is simple to use, it lacks JavaScript’s speed and market dominance. Ruby is still a worthy investment for anyone seeking to learn a new programming language. 

JavaScript has become indispensable in web development, accounting for more than 97% of all websites. Because of this, JavaScript developers will always be in demand.

JavaScript vs. Ruby: Which is Better for Web Development

It’s fascinating to work in web development because things are constantly changing, and now users want a personalized online experience. Both Ruby and JavaScript can take you there, though they might take a different approach.

Ruby is used as a backend programming language. Garbage collection streamlines server-side memory management. Ruby detects unneeded objects because everything is an object. Ruby’s development also follows DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself).

While this makes Ruby a more manageable language for web development, it is impossible to overlook JavaScript’s vital importance in the sector.

Originally intended primarily for the front end, JavaScript introduced dynamic web pages and novel degrees of interaction to websites. This is because JavaScript is designed to perform specific tasks in a runtime context.

We now have Node.js, a robust backend runtime environment powered by the V8 engine, establishing JavaScript as both a backend and frontend language. JavaScript not only provides more adaptability, but it is also the field’s language.

Is Ruby Better than JavaScript?

When comparing Ruby and Javascript, it is important to consider the application they are used for. 

Ruby outperforms Javascript for back-end web development because of its flexibility and scalability. It is suitable for complicated, easy-to-maintain applications and offers many frameworks and libraries for rapid development.

Developers can quickly build full-stack web apps using Ruby on Rails’ simple interface. For front-end web applications, Javascript is ideal. It creates interactive websites and apps and is known for its speed. Javascript can construct mobile games and apps. Ruby or Javascript depends on the application. Ruby is superior for complicated back-end programming. Javascript is superior for interactive front-end development.


Should I learn Ruby on Rails or Javascript First?

Ultimately, it depends on your goals. Ruby on Rails is a full-stack framework for web development, while JavaScript is largely used for front-end development. If you want to become a full-stack developer, it would be advantageous to have both skills. Nonetheless, if you choose to concentrate on one topic, you should base your decision on your goals.

Is Ruby similar to JavaScript?

No, Ruby and JavaScript are not similar. Ruby is a programming language used for general-purpose programming and web development. JavaScript is a scripting language used for programming webpages and web applications.

Is Ruby easier than JavaScript?

Individual interests and experience determine this. Ruby is easy to understand since its syntax and code are simpler. You can learn JavaScript fast, provided you employ the right learning methods, but Ruby also makes it easy for a beginner. Try both and see which one you like.

Where can I learn Ruby and JavaScript for free?

Finding free resources online is easy. My personal favorite free resource for Ruby is LearnRubyOnline.Org.

As for JavaScript, there are more resources than I can count. That being said, W3Schools and MDN Docs always come in clutch.

The Odin Project also caters to web development students with an extensive track for learning Ruby and JavaScript.


So which one ultimately wins? While Ruby is ideal for back-end applications, the Ruby on Rails framework gives the language plenty of front-end capabilities. The same can be said for JavaScript; while JS is primarily front-end, the addition of Node.JS gives the language a powerful back-end component.

As a beginner, you shouldn’t get hung up on deciding which programming language to learn. Instead, you should pick something and start building—sort out the details of your favorite language later. If you can’t leave without a definitive answer, then pick JavaScript. Thanks to the extensive community and more promising job market, you’ll have an easier time. Additionally, thanks to technologies like Typescript and Node, JavaScript is capable of just about anything.