Differences between python and ruby

11 August 2023

Python and Ruby are considered to be among the most popular scripting programming languages. Although they have much in common, they differ from each other in terms of their history, syntax, semantics, features, and performance. However, both are quite easy to learn and efficaciously used in programming. Let’s find out how they differ!

Ruby vs. Python: Who uses these languages?

Python and Ruby are software languages that are very popular among modern programmers and software developers. They are commonly used in broadly known websites and applications.

For example, developers use Ruby in GitHub, Twitter, ZenDesk, Airbnb, Basecamp, or Urban Dictionary. Python, on the other hand, is a language popular among giants such as Google, Instagram, Mozilla, Yahoo, and Dropbox.

General purpose and most common use of Ruby and Python: is Ruby easier than Python?

Python is a simple but not fully object-oriented software language that is most often used in the development of AI, data science, and financial apps. It is a high-level, open-source, easy-to-learn programming language that novice programmers mostly use. It’s a language that allows you to write clean and transparent code. Thanks to this, you can quickly find any bugs that appear during the programming process.[2]

Ruby, on the other hand, is a programming language that is distinguished by its expressiveness. It’s an object-oriented language that allows you to create very elegant web frameworks. It is a flexible and empowering language, which is appreciated by thousands of programmers. However, we must admit that focusing on the visual version of the language results in losing some quality when detecting possible bugs in the code.[3]

Ruby and Python: Differences between their libraries

Python was launched in 1991, and Ruby in 1995. This difference of several years means that Python has many more libraries with more carefully prepared documentation. Therefore, their scope enables the development of projects for typical statistical and scientific purposes. In addition, Python has a lot of ready-to-use code snippets that are available in its repository and can be reused.

By contrast, Ruby libraries are more limited. However, they can be scaled more efficiently. In the case of Ruby, unfortunately, finding a library that a programmer is interested in can be much more difficult and negatively affect the process of implementing specific solutions and functionalities.[4]

Read also: Surviving Scope Creep: Strategies to Keep Your Project on Track?

Python and Ruby differences: Comparison of the most important questions

The discussed programming languages differ from each other not only in general use but also in specific activities and works performed by programmers. It is worth mentioning the most important differences.

Code differences

One of the first noticeable differences is the code itself. The one used in Python is simpler, less complicated, and supports on-line lambda functions only. It has functions, a predictable structure and a simple learning curve.[5]

Ruby code is more “magical” and supports blocks. It has a stiff learning curve and greater complexity, which makes it less readable.[6]


In Ruby, iterators are not that significant. In Python, however, they are crucial, and programming is not possible without them. Iterators are very much related to the functions of this language.

Type recognition of Unicode and its encoding

Python is a language that distinguishes between Unicode strings and byte strings very well. This facilitates data analysis, further use or conversion to Unicode strings. As for Ruby, it treats all strings the same as byte strings. The programmer must find out what kind of coding he is dealing with.[7]


Python supports multiple inheritance. By contrast, Ruby can only handle single inheritance. Python can easily inherit attributes and methods from a very complex hierarchy of classes, while the newest ones need to be supplemented with information from the oldest classes. By contrast, Ruby does not allow such extensive inheritance.[8]

We compare some of the crucial differences between Python and Ruby in the infographic below:

Read also: The lifecycle of software product development

Ruby and Python community

When talking about Python and Ruby community, both software languages are very popular and have a large community that focuses on their development. It must be said, however, that Python is more focused on web solutions[1], it is also pre-installed on Linux computers[2] and has many more people from scientific, academic and analytical environments. Therefore, you can count on a more innovative approach, development, and support in this language.[3]


The Ruby community is still young and also web-focused but very determined and passionate. However, it is still relatively smaller. It’s a community very focused on web development. The enthusiasts’ passion for this language results from their fascination with the already discussed elegance and creating code that is, above all, enjoyable for developers.[4]

Ruby vs. Python: Which programming language to choose

Surely each of them requires some commitment to understand and learn it. In our opinion, for beginners, Python is an easier language to start with, but it has its limitations in web and mobile app development. Therefore, you need to take into account the nature of the projects you want to work on.

And if you need help with your web or mobile project – we’re happy to help! Estimate your software project with us (for free!)

Read also: Beyond aesthetics: How design systems impact business?

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