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Node.js/Express.j or Ruby on Rails for an ABSOLUTE beginner [closed]

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment


I had asked a question previously regarding the use of Javascript or Ruby on Rails for the development of web apps and got some very good advice from maerics which basically boiled down to Javascript for Frontend/Smaller apps, RoR for service-side/larger apps (Groupon scope).

After a little digging however, I found out about Node.js and Express.js So my decision is basically back at square one.

I’m looking for a language I can use to take an idea to a functional stage (again, the scope is something like Groupon or Twitter). I am an absolute beginner. I know HTML/CSS and a little jquery, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge on web technologies.

I’ve heard about RoR being very easy to learn, or at least pick up, and has a lot of community/support. But Javascript is everywhere, and can be useful for more than just large scale web apps (and I’d be using it anyway if I used RoR), though is far more complex. Seeing as I have no experience in either, I thought I should pick one now and stick to it for the next ~6 months and see how I go.

But can anyone recommend which one to go for?


When you asked about Javascript and RoR in your previous question, you effectively asked about Node.js and RoR.

If you are building a commercial/enterprise level application, stick with RoR. There are way more resources, bigger communities, relatively stable releases, and you can easily find good developers with RoR experience.

Express.js is like Sinatra for Ruby. Neither is as advanced as Rails, preferring to be more ‘basic’ and providing a minimal feature set rather than try to be an ‘everything at once’ framework that Rails is.

Right now, Node.js is rapidly changing its API, still has not hit version 1 and hard to find developers for(you often get people claiming they know node and have 1 year exp with it, when they actually mean they have 1 year exp with client side javascript). Besides, for 99% of the web’s purposes, RoR will suffice. Most people only use Node for their pet projects, for testing out the next generation of super dynamic interfaces or websocket integration with Socket.io. If you just want to build an application for commercial purposes, use RoR.

As for difficulty, when you start out, Rails will be a bit magical, it does so many things under the hood, you’ll have a little bit of difficulty doing something that doesn’t already have a tutorial. But look through the source code of some popular gems or even rails itself, and you’ll be up to speed in no time. Ruby is an amazingly simple and beautiful language, and you’ll find it simpler and probably more fun than javascript.