Should I learn PHP or Ruby?

Should I learn PHP or Ruby? by Sergei Smit

Answer by Sergei Smit:

PHP or Ruby? My advice is Ruby.

1. Ruby is very easy to learn. In fact, I can't name any easier language to study. Such a low entry barrier can be explained by a simple and intuitive syntax, easy access to some of the best learning resources, online courses and tests, and very friendly community.

2. There is a high demand for Ruby, mostly thanks to Ruby on Rails, of course. It would be more accurate to say that there is a high demand for developers who use this framework. Moreover, the average salary for a Ruby programmer is higher than, for example, that for PHP-programmers.
One of the possible reasons is that the number of Ruby developers is kind of limited and the number of really cool developers using this language is even fewer. However the percentage of good programmers using Ruby is higher than that of good programmers using PHP.

3. Ruby is a full-fledged language. It is supported by a vast, well-developed and sustainable ecosystem with a number of libraries using which you can solve any problem. In some programming languages, for some tasks you will have to reinvent the wheel. But because in Ruby we have a very friendly and helpful open source community, Ruby guys hardly ever experience problems like that. I'm not even talking about the fact that, with the standard means of language available, one often has no need to consult any extra libraries.

4. Writing your code in Ruby is always fun and exciting experience. It is difficult to substantiate such a claim, but you will know what I mean when you first try it yourself.

Some getting started resources:

PHP: a fractal of bad design – an article for those who are confused about choosing between Rails and PHP. After reading this article the choice will be obvious

GitHub Ruby Styleguide – if there is someone who knows how to write a pretty awesome code, these are the guys from GitHub;

Ruby – the official website that serves as an excellent introductory course to Ruby programming;

TryRuby – a free online course on some Ruby basics (very cool design). A must for all newbies to Ruby;

Ruby Koans – a set of exercises where you have to write code that passes the


Confident Ruby – a relatively new book about writing an awesome clear code in


Codemy – Screencasts about Ruby and Rails;

RubyTapas – Screencasts about Ruby, some episodes come free of charge;

CodeSchool – online courses that teach Ruby and a number of other technologies. Free of charge to follow but after a certain stage you would certainly have to pay;

Get Started In Programminga list of resources for learning programming.

Should I learn PHP or Ruby?


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