Ruby on Rails vs JavaScript – Decoding Web Development

Zoltan Fehervari

November 3, 2023

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From back-end stability to front-end flexibility, our article breaks down Ruby on Rails and JavaScript's features, helping you select the right language for your web development project.


Web development has evolved significantly over the years, with numerous programming languages and frameworks emerging to cater to diverse requirements.

Two popular options in this space are Ruby on Rails (RoR) and JavaScript. Both have gained attention for their ability to simplify and streamline the web development process. 

Let's look into the details!

Ruby on Rails (RoR)


Core Use

Back-end development

Both front-end and back-end


Convention over Configuration (CoC)

Versatility and flexibility


Efficient for rapid development, slower runtime

Fast execution, suitable for high-performance applications


Rich with gems for added functionality

Extensive libraries and frameworks

Learning Curve

Modest, with well-documented resources

Moderate, with comprehensive resources available

Understanding Ruby on Rails (RoR)

Ruby and Rails logo - Bluebird

Ruby on Rails, often simply referred to as RoR, is a powerful web development framework primarily used for back-end development. It is built on Ruby, a dynamically-typed, object-oriented programming language. RoR follows the Convention over Configuration (CoC) principle, which means it provides a set of conventions to guide developers, reducing the need for manual configurations and minimizing risks and vulnerabilities. This approach enables developers to focus more on writing code rather than configuring settings.

Advantages of Ruby on Rails

One of the key advantages of RoR is its ability to facilitate rapid and efficient web development. The framework incorporates the Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) principle, which encourages code reuse and minimizes redundancy. This leads to cleaner, more maintainable code and reduces the chances of errors.

RoR also embraces the concept of "convention over configuration," which allows developers to quickly build applications without getting bogged down in trivial decisions. This approach simplifies the development process and helps create consistent, high-quality code.

Another advantage of RoR is its extensive ecosystem of plug-and-play gems. These gems are pre-written code libraries that can be easily integrated into RoR projects, providing ready-made solutions for common web development tasks. This saves time and effort for developers and allows them to focus on the core functionality of their applications.

Disadvantages of Ruby on Rails

While Ruby on Rails offers numerous advantages, it also has some limitations. One of the main drawbacks is its hard dependencies for project setup. RoR requires a specific set of tools and configurations, which can be challenging for developers who are not familiar with the framework.

Another limitation of RoR is its lack of flexibility in developing unique web applications. While the framework provides a solid foundation for building web applications, it may not be the best choice for highly customized or specialized projects that require extensive customization and unique functionalities.

Furthermore, RoR can suffer from slow runtime performance, especially when compared to other frameworks. The performance constraints are often triggered by the skill level of the programmers and limitations within the server and database setup. However, with proper optimization techniques, it is possible to mitigate these performance issues.

Understanding JavaScript

Javascript - Bluebird

JavaScript, on the other hand, is a versatile programming language commonly used for both front-end and back-end development. It was created by Brendan Eich in 1995 and is the foundational framework for the World Wide Web. JavaScript is natively supported by modern web browsers and allows developers to add interactivity and dynamic features to web pages.

Advantages of JavaScript

JavaScript offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for web development. One of its key strengths is its simplicity and flexibility. The language has a readable syntax and provides developers with numerous built-in features that facilitate fast and efficient coding.

JavaScript's runtime performance is also commendable, making it suitable for high-performance web applications. Additionally, JavaScript has excellent support for full-stack development, allowing developers to use the same language for both front-end and back-end development. This helps streamline the development process and eliminates thfe need for context switching between different languages and frameworks.

Moreover, JavaScript's support for asynchronous coding enables instant code execution, resulting in better low-latency application performance. It also allows for effective data validation without the need to reload the entire page for component updates, enhancing the overall user experience.

Disadvantages of JavaScript

Despite its many advantages, JavaScript does have a few shortcomings. One of the potential risks with JavaScript is the running security risks due to its easily accessible codebase. If not properly secured, this can lead to potential data leaks and vulnerabilities.

Another challenge developers face when working with JavaScript is the potential for callback hell or pyramid. This refers to the situation where nested callbacks within callbacks make the code hard to interpret and error-prone. However, this issue can be mitigated by using modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries that provide better code organization and management.

Additionally, JavaScript's type coercion rules can sometimes make it difficult for developers to conveniently apply values from one data type to another. This can lead to errors and inconsistencies if not handled properly.

Comparing Ruby on Rails and JavaScript

Now that we have a better understanding of Ruby on Rails and JavaScript, let's compare these two technologies based on various factors.


Ruby on Rails is primarily used for back-end development and is often favored for building content management systems, e-commerce platforms, and complex software. On the other hand, JavaScript can be used for both front-end and back-end development, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including web applications, games, and mobile applications.

Programming Style

Ruby on Rails follows the Convention over Configuration principle, which promotes a standardized structure for web development. JavaScript, on the other hand, can be used in procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming paradigms, offering developers more flexibility in their coding approach.

Speed and Performance

In terms of speed and performance, JavaScript has an advantage over Ruby on Rails. JavaScript's highly optimized engine allows it to execute code approximately 20 times faster than Ruby on Rails. However, it's worth noting that the asynchronous nature of Ruby on Rails code can make it suitable for certain use cases, such as long-term projects where stability and ease of making changes to the data model are important.

Community and Support

Both Ruby on Rails and JavaScript have large developer communities. Ruby on Rails has a vibrant community on platforms like GitHub, promoting Convention over Configuration and standardized web development practices. JavaScript, on the other hand, has a rich ecosystem of libraries, tools, resources, tutorials, and a highly energetic online developer community. The widespread use of JavaScript contributes to its extensive support network.

Learning Curve

Ruby on Rails has a modest learning curve and is often considered one of the easiest programming languages to learn. It provides clear conventions and well-documented resources that make it accessible to beginners. JavaScript, on the other hand, has a moderate learning curve. While it has excellent documentation and online forums for learning, beginners might find it slightly harder to understand compared to Ruby on Rails.

Job Market

Both Ruby on Rails and JavaScript developers are in demand in the job market. However, JavaScript developers generally command higher salaries due to its widespread use and versatility. According to recent statistics, the average salary for developers with Ruby on Rails skills is around $95,617 per year, while JavaScript developers earn an average of around $116,435 per year.

Ruby on Rails (RoR)


Application Scope

Content management, e-commerce, complex software

Web, games, mobile applications

Programming Style

CoC, standardized structure

Procedural, OOP, functional


Slower execution but stable

20 times faster execution


Vibrant, focuses on standardized practices

Wide-ranging with extensive resources

Learning Curve

Easier for beginners

Slightly more challenging

Job Market Salary

Average of $95,617/year

Average of $116,435/year

Choosing Between Ruby on Rails and JavaScript

When it comes to choosing between Ruby on Rails and JavaScript, it ultimately depends on your specific project goals and requirements. Ruby on Rails is well-suited for working with databases and developing content management systems, e-commerce websites, and complex software. On the other hand, JavaScript is a versatile language suitable for web applications, games, and mobile applications.

For seamless web application development, you can also consider using Ruby on Rails for the backend and JavaScript for the frontend. This allows you to leverage the strengths of both technologies and create a well-rounded and efficient web application.

Fintech and Personal Finance: Ruby on Rails and JavaScript in Free Budget Apps

The integration of technology into personal finance management has become increasingly prevalent, with free budget apps emerging as essential tools for consumers looking to manage their finances effectively. Ruby on Rails and JavaScript stand out as two pivotal technologies enabling this fintech revolution.

Ruby on Rails provides a robust backend framework that is ideal for handling the complex data models inherent in financial applications. Its 'Convention over Configuration' ethos ensures that the development of a free budget app is streamlined, allowing for rapid feature rollout and high standards of data integrity and security, which are crucial in the management of sensitive financial information.

On the frontend, JavaScript's adaptability shines, offering a seamless user experience. Interactive elements, such as expense trackers and budget calculators, are made fluid and responsive with JavaScript, encouraging user engagement and retention. The language's ability to facilitate real-time updates and instant feedback on budgeting decisions makes it indispensable in the creation of dynamic personal finance tools.

Ruby on Rails (RoR)


Backend Suitability

Ideal for complex data models

Versatile for server-side scripting

Frontend Dynamics


Real-time updates, dynamic user experiences


High standards of data integrity and security

Requires careful security implementation

User Experience

Streamlined feature rollout

Interactive and responsive elements

Ultimately the decision to employ Ruby on Rails developers or JavaScript developers hinges on the project’s unique requirements. Essential considerations include the application's nature, the desired degree of customization, and your team's proficiency. An exploratory phase, where both technologies are tested, could illuminate the path to the right technological choice for your endeavor.

To stay abreast of the swiftly advancing web development field, it's wise to engage with seasoned IT staff augmentation services. For those looking to refine or kick-start their financial application development, a partnership with firms like Bluebird can inject your projects with top-tier expertise and resources. 

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