Ruby Programming Uses: What Can You Create?

The Ruby programming language has many practical uses.

But here’s the thing…

Many people are attracted to Ruby because of Ruby on Rails. Rails is a framework. A set of tools that make building websites, or web applications, easier & faster.

That’s fine.

But Ruby is a beautiful programming language by itself, after you spend some time with it you’ll fall in love!

Now the question is…

Is Ruby limited to what Rails can do?


Not at all.

Ruby is a general programming language.

In theory, you can make anything you want with Ruby.


How practical it’s to make something is another story.

It depends on what gems & libraries are available because these gems do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

Practical things you can do with Ruby:

  • Full-stack web development
  • Web scraping & crawling
  • Static website generators
  • Command-line media player (using FFI + libVLC) & other command-line tools
  • Automation, Backup & DevOps tools
  • Servers
  • Parsing, data cleaning & filtering
  • API Clients (like Twitter’s or Github’s)
  • Report generators (PDF, HTML, CSV)

That’s a good list!

You can do all of these things & deliver them at a production level.

Less practical, but still doable:

  • Games (gosu / Ruby2D)
  • Data science
  • Machine Learning & AI

These you can do mostly for personal projects & fun.

Everything else?

You can still do, of course, but it’ll take a lot more work, code & domain knowledge.

Popular Open-Source Ruby Projects

I want to give you a list of projects made with Ruby so you can get inspired & see what’s possible yourself.

These projects all have 4k+ Github Stars.

Rails apps:

Non-rails apps:

There are thousands of projects made with Ruby, but these will help you get an idea of what you can do with this programming language.

In Summary

If you want to crunch the digits of PI as fast as possible, while getting every single bit of performance possible, you wouldn’t use Ruby.

But you wouldn’t be using ANY other scripting language either.

Like PHP or Python.

You may have to go all the way down to ASM (Assembly Language), which is the closest you can get to speaking in 1s & 0s to your computer.

Here’s the best part…

If you want to build a full website, any kind of helpful tool (backups, report generators, crawlers, etc.), or just get started in the programming world & have fun.

Then Ruby is perfect for you.

It’s under active development, it’s fun & you can always find help if you get stuck.

So why not give it a try?

I look forward to seeing what wonderful projects you build with Ruby!

1 comment
ziraq says last year

I just landed on Rubymotion for cross-platform apps for iOS, Android and OS X.

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