Ruby on Rails vs Python – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons)

Ruby on Rails vs Python – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons). Python and Ruby are two very useful and mature programming languages in the industry. Both meant for general purpose and and high level languages allowing developers to write clear and readable code to achieve high quality results with building web apps.

What is Ruby on Rails

Ruby is an open source, object oriented programming language that is quite similar to Perl language. It supports multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, and other UNIX environments. Ruby on Rails is a Ruby based development framework for web applications.

Many famous companies with a massive user base, such as Twitter, Airbnb and Shopify use Ruby on Rails.

Ruby on Rails architecture is based on the MVC architecture (Model, View, Controller) . The diagram below will show how the components of Ruby on Rails architecture are connected.

Ruby Features

  • Ruby on Rails server  is an object oriented programming language.
  • It is a server side scripting language.
  • Can be used to write Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts.
  • Profoundly scalable and large programs written in Ruby can be supervised efficiently.
  • Various built in functions, which can be employed straight into Ruby scripts.

Pros of Ruby on Rails

  • Time saving 
    • Since it is an open source framework, there are many dedicated tools and support developers, simplifying the efforts of developers and saving time. It will simplify your code and help you maintain a better software design architecture.
  • Huge community support
    • Ruby on Rails has a large community of developers who actively collaborate and support to improve the productivity and the features of Ruby on Rails. This community support is available when issues occur in development.
    • There are many resources and documentation for Ruby on Rails, making it developer-friendly ex: Ruby Docs, Ruby flow, Ruby Central Rails Guides and Ruby Toolbox.
  • Can be used in content management systems
    • Ruby on Rails uses MVC architecture. Therefore it suits well with content creation applications because of the support it gives in uploading, publishing and other content management tasks. Development of such applications is also easier with Ruby on Rails.
  •  Adherence to the coding standard
    • Developers need to follow a particular software design architecture and a set of rules for every application they develop using Ruby on Rails. The reason for having them is to maintain proper web standards in each part of the application, from the user interface layer to the data management layer. These rules are as listed below:
      • don’t repeat yourself –  this is to avoid duplication for an abstract codebase,
      • coding by convention – developers specify unconventional application features,
      • active record patterns –  dedicated methods for accessing databases for manipulation.

Cons of Ruby on Rails

  • Less flexible
    • While Ruby on Rails can handle basic tasks efficiently, it is quite challenging to manage complex tasks involving lots of objects, details, etc. Therefore, it will be a bit difficult to develop customized and complex applications with Ruby on Rails.
  • Continuous development 
    • You can see the rapid and continuous enrollment of features since Ruby on Rails is an open-source and community driven framework. It can be an overhead to a company as they need to make continuous enhancements for the applications written in Ruby on Rails. On the other hand, you need to stay up to date with Ruby on Rails community developments if you need to grab the complete picture and full feature lists.
  • Performance time
    • Ruby on rails has a considerably higher boot time than other web development frameworks. Especially it can be overhead when you are handling large projects. However, it is not something to be taken seriously for small-scale projects.
  • Price of errors
    • Developers should be extra cautious when developing with Ruby on Rails and attentive to every small detail during the development. One wrong decision will escalate your entire application to have multiple issues such as performance issues and unexpected consequences. The performance time is the price you have to pay for them.
  • Ruby on Rails currently has decreasing popularity within the community of developers.

Follow this article Ruby on Rails vs Python – What’s the Difference to learn next about Python!

What is Python

Python is another open source, interpreted and object-oriented language. It has quite exciting data structures and features that can be used for many applications. Python offers support for packages and standalone modules. It enables modularity in the codebase due to its object oriented basis while improving the readability and understandability of the code. The learning process is also very easy and convenient as Python is a high level programming language that uses Django for framework for full stack web application.

Python uses an interpreter to convert the source code into a byte code.

Python Features

  • Python is convenient to read, interpret and maintain.
  • Available on varied hardware platforms employing the very interface.
  • Python has unique composition and assistance for extensive utilization.
  • It has an interactive technique of testing and debugging.
  • It delivers high level dynamic data types .

Pros of Python

  • Advanced object oriented programming language
  • More readable, easy to learn and maintain.
  • Uses Django to write web apps. 
  • Higher performance.
  • Simple syntax.
  • Less compilation time and complexity.
  • Supports multiple operating systems such as  Windows, Unix, Linux, and Mac OS.
  • Includes an interactive built shell.
  • Internal memory management capabilities such as garbage collection.
  • Provides database interfaces for most commonly used database management systems.
  • Can be executed on multiple hardware platforms.
  • The use of an interpreter makes it easy to manage low level modules.
  • Can be integrated with other languages like C, C ++, and Java.
  • Has various pre built and add on libraries that can be used for use cases covering many areas in computing.
  • The interactive method of debugging and testing procedures.
  • There are more resources and documentation for Python. Hence it is developer friendly ex: PySlackers, Python Forum, PyDocs, r/learnpython, PyLadies, etc.

Cons of Python

  • Lack of support for app development
    • Python does not offer native support for mobile development and mobile computing. Hence it is not a good choice for mobile app development.
  • Memory consumption
    • Memory consumption of Python is way higher than other languages like Ruby. Therefore Python is not an excellent option for memory critical applications.
  • Not designed for multi-threading
    • Python is not made for threading due to its GIL (Global Interpreter Lock), a mutex that allows access and executes a single thread at a time. Hence multi-threaded tasks in Python will be slower than single threaded tasks.
  • Can cause more run time errors as Python is a dynamic and  compile time programming language.
  • Does not have commercial / enterprise support.
  • Python is slower than other famous programming languages as it is an interpreted language.

Ruby on Rails vs Python – What’s the Difference

Ruby on Rails or Python

Both Ruby on Rails and Python similarities are high level, server side scripting language scripting and cross platform tools that are well established. Let’s compare certain features:


According to the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey on the popularity and usage of programming languages, Python has ranked 4th while Ruby has ranked 12th. Below chart shows the popularity of each in developer community.

Web Frameworks

Ruby on Rails is a web development framework, while Python is a programming language. Django is the development framework related to Python.
Python is more elegant and easier to read and understand, while Ruby is a bit difficult to debug and decode.

Ruby’s web framework uses a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. Python’s web framework is Django server and uses an MVC architecture, but with a Model View Template (MVT) architecture.


Python has broader community than Ruby. Python comes pre installed on almost every Linux computer making it the perfect language for use on Linux servers.


Python is more biased to the applications in the scientific domain or academic research. So Python is mainly used for web development, machine learning, science and
the Internet of Things. Ruby on rails on the other hand is more focused on functional web application development.


Python support multiple inheritance while Ruby support single inheritance.


Python has a very easy earning curve, while Ruby is more difficult and complex learning curve.


Python is great for heavy computing applications but Ruby is also ideal for traffic heavy applications.

Web Apps

Ruby is very flexible as it provides alternatives for finishing the same task. Python also has large ecosystem but general viewpoint is that Python is quicker than Ruby.

That is great. We have learned about Ruby on Rails vs Python – What’s the Difference.

Ruby on Rails vs Python – What’s the Difference Conclusion

There in not a clear best choice for choosing Ruby vs Python as it solely depends on the preferences of the developer and the architectural design of the application. If you have a machine learning based task list in your application then Python should be the definite choice as it offers immense support through various libraries.

If you plan on sticking with building web applications, then consider choosing Ruby on Rails as the community is good. On the other hand if you are interested in building web applications and would like to learn a language that’s more widely applicable with handing data analytics than the recommendation is Python.

Avatar for Shanika Wickramasinghe
Shanika Wickramasinghe

Senior Software Engineer at WSO2 which is the 6th largest Open Source Software Company in the World. My main skills are machine learning and software development. I have 5+ years of experience as a Software engineer.

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