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Groovy vs Ruby: What are the differences?

What is Groovy? A dynamic language for the Java platform. Groovy builds upon the strengths of Java but has additional power features inspired by languages like Python, Ruby and Smalltalk. It makes modern programming features available to Java developers with almost-zero learning curve.

What is Ruby? A dynamic, interpreted, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.

Groovy and Ruby can be categorized as "Languages" tools.

"Java platform" is the primary reason why developers consider Groovy over the competitors, whereas "Programme friendly" was stated as the key factor in picking Ruby.

Groovy and Ruby are both open source tools. Ruby with 15.9K GitHub stars and 4.23K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Groovy with 1.49K GitHub stars and 414 GitHub forks.

Instacart, StackShare, and Shopify are some of the popular companies that use Ruby, whereas Groovy is used by Starbucks, PedidosYa, and Cask. Ruby has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2527 company stacks & 1114 developers stacks; compared to Groovy, which is listed in 78 company stacks and 73 developer stacks.

Advice on Groovy and Ruby
Caue Carvalho
Needs advice


I'm a developer for over 9 years, and most of this time I've been working with C# and it is paying my bills until nowadays. But I'm seeking to learn other languages and expand the possibilities for the next years.

Now the question... I know Ruby is far from dead but is it still worth investing time in learning it? Or would be better to take Python, Golang, or even Rust? Or maybe another language.

Thanks in advance.

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Replies (8)
Angel Ramirez

Hi Caue, I don't think any language is dead in 2022, and we still see a lot of Cobol and Fortran out there, so Ruby is not going to die for sure. However, based on the market, you'll be better off learning Goland and Python. For example, for data science, machine learning, and similar areas, Python is the default language while backend API, services, and other general purpose Goland is becoming the preferred.

I hope this helps.

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I feel most productive using go. It has all the features I need and doesn't throw road blocks in your way as you learn. Rust is the most difficult to learn as borrow checking and other features can puzzle a newcomer for days. Python is a logical next step as it has a huge following, many great libraries, and one can find a gig using python in a heartbeat. Ruby isn't awful, it's just not that popular as the others.

Another reason to use python is that it is not compiled. You can muck around in the interpreter until you figure things out. OTOH, that makes it less performant. You really need to think about your use cases, your interest in lower-lever versus high-level coding, and so on.

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Roman Glushko
Machine Learning, Software Engineering and Life · | 4 upvotes · 14.4K views

I enjoy coding in Python. I think it's minimalistic and readable syntax and lang features are just unparalleled. They are perfect for prototyping and for the software engineering in general. If I'm not wrong Gitlab marked Python as #2 popular language after JavaScript. Beyond that, Python ecosystem and areas of usage are enormous. In areas like ML/DL, it's important to know Python to leverage variety of existing tools and frameworks.

Then, I have learned and worked with Golang. I use it where I think I would need a slightly better performance than in Python. Plus, relatively small and self-contained executable is a great thing to have. If you plan to write distributed systems, extend Kubernetes or do similar things I think Golang is a great choice. It's also simple and straightforward, especially when you want to do effective multithreading. Although I don't like that Golang is more low-level than Python. Sometimes I feel like I need to implement myself too much things.

Now, about Rust. It's my second try to learn Rust. First time I decided to learn Golang as I understood it in 30mins or so while I was struggling to compile/do anything meaningful there for quite a bit. So I personally don't think Rust is super easy. I have got back to learning Rust as it's going to fill one of gaps in my problem solving toolkit - let me write low-level system programs (e.g. linux kernel modules). I don't want to learn "obsolete" C/C++ (my reasons are similar to why Google has recently introduced Carbon - a replacement for C/C++ codebases). If you are not going to tight your life with system-like programming, Rust may be an overkill for you.

Finally, I have never coded in Ruby, so are not going to comment it.

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Because it opens endless possibilities you can do anything and everything you want to. from ai to app development to web development.

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Since you are very experienced, picking up a language will not take you more than a week. Rust is a very new language. Many startups are still experimenting with it. Golang is very popular nowadays. You can see a lot of golang jobs in the market. The best part is, compiled code is single binary and has a minimal footprint. Rails is a compelling framework; believe me, many websites like Shopify, GitHub, GitLab, etc., are powered by the rails framework. You can also leverage the power of metaprogramming in Ruby. Python is memory and CPU intensive. It is not as performant as the other three. If you want to go into Data Science, Python is the language. Good luck, buddy. Feel free to connect with me:

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I'm almost same position as you. 8 years same company with c#. I tried both Python and Golang. I like working with Golang. Check this litte go doc. After reading this document and following its examples, I decided to work with "go"

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A Nielsen
Fullstack Dev at ADTELA · | 1 upvotes · 10.9K views

Either Python or Golang, for all the enlightened reasons already mentionned in all advices/comments :) Enjoy!

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it is highly recommended to take a look at that survey

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Needs advice

I'm new to development, and I've been studying JavaScript and Ruby concurrently, but I'm to a point now where I should really be focusing my effort into learning one language. I'd like a solid foundation and understanding, so that I can move forward with confidence. Everywhere I go, I keep hearing that RoR is a dying breed. However, I really have enjoyed Ruby and Rails...a LOT. Its approachable, fun, and readability is great. I just don't want to set myself up for failure by saddling myself in with a stack that will take me nowhere. What is your opinion on the future of RoR and would it be foolish for me to invest too much time in learning it over others?

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Replies (6)
Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 8 upvotes · 74.7K views

Ruby on Rails is far from being dead. In fact, this is a very popular choice in early-stage startups, given how fast and easily it allows them to launch their product and iterate on it.

Even at more mature companies, you'll still find a ton of opportunities. Not for internal tools or legacy codebases, but for actual production workloads: web apps, APIs, etc...

Some may tell you that Ruby doesn't scale, but is it really Ruby that doesn't scale, or the code they wrote?

Languages have trends. Sometimes, recruiters will try to take you one way or another to meet their own agenda. Don't always listen to what you hear. Long live Ruby! Long live Rails!

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You can’t directly compare RnR and Javascript, since the first is a framework (Ruby would be the language), and Javascript is a language. RnR even uses quite an amount of Javascript. I think that Ruby, and Rails, are design by improving on previous languages, and shifting the perspective from speed to readability and general developer friendliness. Opposed to that, Javascript did not have any design goals at all, and seems to be repeating the errors of all language designs that existed before. “Knowing Javascript” would not be a selling point to me when hiring someone, there should be mentioned specific javascript frameworks. And I’d always try to find someone who has experience in multiple languages. So my advice is to to learn RnR first, you get a head start, Javascript will just come along with it. And you can distinct yourself from other people that claim web development knowledge because they have done one javascript tutorial :-)

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Leonardo Ribeiro
Software Developer Consultant at Scalable Path · | 4 upvotes · 69K views

One of the things that we I often hear since I started programming, is that languages will die. Ruby and JavaScript are both one of the most popular languages today. And popular languages just doesn’t go to the top and die.

So, F*** what people say about languages dying. Go ahead and learn both, or choose one to learn. But also learn data structures, design patterns and testing. This is basic for awesome developers and a lot are missing that.

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Ekapob Ukritnukun
Software Engineer at App47, Inc. · | 4 upvotes · 69K views

I know I'm cheating by recommending both, but that's because I don't think you can go wrong either way.

I've been working with RoR full-time for the past 3.5 years and I really enjoy it. Compared to JavaScript, it's so much easier to read which is amazing from a team collaboration perspective. As for the perception that it's dead, when I recently started looking for new opportunities, I received probably an average of 10-15 calls a week from recruiters looking for people with RoR experience. Also, if you look around for average wages of developers of different languages, Ruby is fairly high up there (higher than JavaScript if I recall correctly), probably because there are fewer of us around and we can command a premium.

However, that said, if your goal is to find a full-time engineering position quickly, then JavaScipt certainly is the flavor of the month and any product with a frontend component will need it. Even our enterprise SaaS platform which didn't use a frontend framework (React, Angular, Vue, etc...) required us to integrate JS packages and write custom ones. JavaScript is probably more versatile than Ruby at the moment and it seems like new frameworks are being written for it all the time, but remember that Ruby was also the preferred language by almost all companies 5-10 years ago.

At the end of the day, I would go with the language that you enjoy writing the most as you'll be using it a lot in your workplace. If you aren't having fun at work, that's a lot of time spent suffering.

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pascal carrié
developper at self-employed · | 4 upvotes · 69.2K views

ruby got better and better, rails is outstanding. Listen David Heinemeier Hansson : I recommend you to read Otis Meyer and Don't bother what's they say, just enjoy programming

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Joost Baaij
Internet creator. at Space Babies · | 3 upvotes · 51.4K views

Yo Matt,

I've been in the Ruby on Rails game for twenty years. For the last ten, Rails has been declared deceased. ;) But in reality, Rails is still going strong. The jobs are highly paid and fun. All the pros you list are valid. Yes it is a beautiful language, the OO makes sense, it's dynamic and expressive, and the ecosystem is top shelf. What's to dislike? There are a lot of Rails websites out there. And new ones get created every day too.

Now, to address the elephant in the room....

Ruby is quirky. Since the syntax is pretty different from PHP, and core developers being opinionated, some people just see drama. When Node.JS got slightly usable, they moved over to that. Node.JS is very c/PHP-like after all in its syntax. Many engineering managers will just select the ecosystem that is biggest. Node.JS is a lot bigger. But if you don't care about going a little off the beaten path sometimes, Ruby in my opinion still, after all this time, gives me joy when I use it.

Also important: to this day, I can build everything I want. Ruby, Rails and many gems are being actively maintained. Security vulnerabilities are discovered and corrected. New developments still find their way into the language. For myself, I know that the anemic JS standard library would just frustrate me to no end.... every wheel is invented time and again. Ruby's standard library isn't as voluminous, but it's a lot more diverse and useful.

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Decisions about Groovy and Ruby
Mark Esser
Senior Tech Recruiter at i22 Digitalagentur GmbH · | 8 upvotes · 48.4K views

A developer and project manager from our team X says the following about our use of Rails at i22:

"We use Rails to build stable and flexible backend systems. Rails is extremely good for managing data structures and quickly setting up new systems. It is the perfect base for most use cases."

I asked the same Team X member why the team prefers to work with Ruby on Rails, rather than Python and Django:

"Because Python is a scripting language and from my point of view not suitable for building stable web services. Python is for me rather good for scripts and fast small tools. Not for stable business applications. And if I want it fast I prefer Go."

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Ing. Alvaro Rodríguez Scelza
Software Systems Engineer at Ripio · | 12 upvotes · 256.2K views

I was considering focusing on learning RoR and looking for a work that uses those techs.

After some investigation, I decided to stay with C# .NET:

  • It is more requested on job positions (7 to 1 in my personal searches average).

  • It's been around for longer.

  • it has better documentation and community.

  • One of Ruby advantages (its amazing community gems, that allows to quickly build parts of your systems by merely putting together third party components) gets quite complicated to use and maintain in huge applications, where building and reusing your own components may become a better approach.

  • Rail's front end support is starting to waver.

  • C# .NET code is far easier to understand, debug and maintain. Although certainly not easier to learn from scratch.

  • Though Rails has an excellent programming speed, C# tends to get the upper hand in long term projects.

I would avise to stick to rails when building small projects, and switching to C# for more long term ones.

Opinions are welcome!

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Timm Stelzer
VP Of Engineering at Flexperto GmbH · | 18 upvotes · 446K views

We have a lot of experience in JavaScript, writing our services in NodeJS allows developers to transition to the back end without any friction, without having to learn a new language. There is also the option to write services in TypeScript, which adds an expressive type layer. The semi-shared ecosystem between front and back end is nice as well, though specifically NodeJS libraries sometimes suffer in quality, compared to other major languages.

As for why we didn't pick the other languages, most of it comes down to "personal preference" and historically grown code bases, but let's do some post-hoc deduction:

Go is a practical choice, reasonably easy to learn, but until we find performance issues with our NodeJS stack, there is simply no reason to switch. The benefits of using NodeJS so far outweigh those of picking Go. This might change in the future.

PHP is a language we're still using in big parts of our system, and are still sometimes writing new code in. Modern PHP has fixed some of its issues, and probably has the fastest development cycle time, but it suffers around modelling complex asynchronous tasks, and (on a personal note) lack of support for writing in a functional style.

We don't use Python, Elixir or Ruby, mostly because of personal preference and for historic reasons.

Rust, though I personally love and use it in my projects, would require us to specifically hire for that, as the learning curve is quite steep. Its web ecosystem is OK by now (see, but in my opinion, it is still no where near that of the other web languages. In other words, we are not willing to pay the price for playing this innovation card.

Haskell, as with Rust, I personally adore, but is simply too esoteric for us. There are problem domains where it shines, ours is not one of them.

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Andrew Carpenter
Chief Software Architect at Xelex Digital, LLC · | 16 upvotes · 307.8K views

In 2015 as Xelex Digital was paving a new technology path, moving from ASP.NET web services and web applications, we knew that we wanted to move to a more modular decoupled base of applications centered around REST APIs.

To that end we spent several months studying API design patterns and decided to use our own adaptation of CRUD, specifically a SCRUD pattern that elevates query params to a more central role via the Search action.

Once we nailed down the API design pattern it was time to decide what language(s) our new APIs would be built upon. Our team has always been driven by the right tool for the job rather than what we know best. That said, in balancing practicality we chose to focus on 3 options that our team had deep experience with and knew the pros and cons of.

For us it came down to C#, JavaScript, and Ruby. At the time we owned our infrastructure, racks in cages, that were all loaded with Windows. We were also at a point that we were using that infrastructure to it's fullest and could not afford additional servers running Linux. That's a long way of saying we decided against Ruby as it doesn't play nice on Windows.

That left us with two options. We went a very unconventional route for deciding between the two. We built MVP APIs on both. The interfaces were identical and interchangeable. What we found was easily quantifiable differences.

We were able to iterate on our Node based APIs much more rapidly than we were our C# APIs. For us this was owed to the community coupled with the extremely dynamic nature of JS. There were tradeoffs we considered, latency was (acceptably) higher on requests to our Node APIs. No strong types to protect us from ourselves, but we've rarely found that to be an issue.

As such we decided to commit resources to our Node APIs and push it out as the core brain of our new system. We haven't looked back since. It has consistently met our needs, scaling with us, getting better with time as continually pour into and expand our capabilities.

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Thomas Miller
Talent Co-Ordinator at Tessian · | 16 upvotes · 166.7K views

In December we successfully flipped around half a billion monthly API requests from our Ruby on Rails application to some new Python 3 applications. Our Head of Engineering has written a great article as to why we decided to transition from Ruby on Rails to Python 3! Read more about it in the link below.

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Mike Fiedler
Enterprise Architect at Warby Parker · | 3 upvotes · 150.5K views

When I was evaluating languages to write this app in, I considered either Python or JavaScript at the time. I find Ruby very pleasant to read and write, and the Ruby community has built out a wide variety of test tools and approaches, helping e deliver better software faster. Along with Rails, and the Ruby-first Heroku support, this was an easy decision.

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Pros of Groovy
Pros of Ruby
  • 43
    Java platform
  • 32
    Much more productive than java
  • 28
    Concise and readable
  • 27
    Very little code needed for complex tasks
  • 21
    Dynamic language
  • 12
    Nice dynamic syntax for the jvm
  • 9
    Very fast
  • 6
    Can work with JSON as an object
  • 6
    Easy to setup
  • 5
    Supports closures (lambdas)
  • 5
    Literal Collections
  • 2
    Developer Friendly
  • 2
    Optional static typing
  • 2
    Syntactic sugar
  • 603
    Programme friendly
  • 535
    Quick to develop
  • 487
    Great community
  • 467
  • 429
  • 271
    Open source
  • 233
  • 203
  • 155
  • 138
    Powerful one-liners
  • 67
  • 57
    Easy to learn
  • 49
    Easy to start
  • 41
  • 36
  • 30
  • 20
    Fun to write
  • 19
    Diverse web frameworks
  • 12
    Reads like English
  • 9
  • 9
    Makes me smarter and happier
  • 8
    Elegant syntax
  • 7
    Very Dynamic
  • 6
  • 5
    Programmer happiness
  • 4
    Generally fun but makes you wanna cry sometimes
  • 4
    Fun and useful
  • 4
    Object Oriented
  • 3
    Elegant code
  • 3
  • 3
    There are so many ways to make it do what you want
  • 3
    Easy packaging and modules
  • 2
    Primitive types can be tampered with

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Cons of Groovy
Cons of Ruby
  • 3
    Groovy Code can be slower than Java Code
  • 1
    Objects cause stateful/heap mess
  • 7
    Memory hog
  • 7
    Really slow if you're not really careful
  • 3
    Nested Blocks can make code unreadable
  • 2
    Encouraging imperative programming
  • 1
    Ambiguous Syntax, such as function parentheses

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What is Groovy?

It is a powerful multi-faceted programming language for the JVM platform. It supports a spectrum of programming styles incorporating features from dynamic languages such as optional and duck typing, but also static compilation and static type checking at levels similar to or greater than Java through its extensible static type checker. It aims to greatly increase developer productivity with many powerful features but also a concise, familiar and easy to learn syntax.

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.

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Blog Posts

Nov 20 2019 at 3:38AM


Oct 24 2019 at 7:43PM


Jun 6 2019 at 5:11PM


What are some alternatives to Groovy and Ruby?
Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.
Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser, 100% interoperable with Java
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
Gradle is a build tool with a focus on build automation and support for multi-language development. If you are building, testing, publishing, and deploying software on any platform, Gradle offers a flexible model that can support the entire development lifecycle from compiling and packaging code to publishing web sites.
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