Get Started With Ruby

ruby, beginners, tutorial, programming

4 minute read


What is Ruby?

Ruby is a dynamically typed, interpreted, object oriented programming language. Ruby was created by Yukihiro 'Matz' Matsumoto in Japan in the 1990's. Ruby has a very minimal syntax making it very readable and easy to write. If you're already familiar with another object oriented language like Python, learning Ruby will probably come very quickly. Ruby along with the Rails framework can allow you to build back ends very quickly. For a deeper dive on Ruby you can check out this link. For more information of Rails you should check out this link.

Installing Ruby

To install ruby head over to the ruby-lang site and follow the instructions for your operating system. I use a Mac and Homebrew so all I had to type in my terminal was brew install ruby. Windows and Linux will have slightly different ways to install so again just follow the instructions linked above and you should be fine. After installing ruby you should run the command ruby -v to check to make sure everything installed properly. If you use VS Code you can install this extension to help with things like syntax highlighting, as well as auto complete and formatter support.

Using IRB

Ruby comes with its own REPL that can be used in the terminal called IRB. If you have ever used Node.js, IRB is pretty similar. To use IRB just type irb into your terminal after installing ruby, you can then run Ruby code. You can test this out by typing puts 'Hello, world!' into an IRB session, you'll see that this returns nil after printing 'Hello, world!'.

Using Ruby

To give an example of how you can use Ruby, I'll show you how to solve Fizz Buzz. While this won't be an example of how to write object oriented code, it will give a very brief overview of syntax. If you're not familiar with Fizz Buzz you can check out the leet code question here. Ruby has a pretty easy to read syntax so if you have experience with a similar language you'll probably be able to follow along fairly easily but if not I'll include comments to explain what's going on. <br /> First, lets create a new directory by typing mkdir ruby-fizzbuzz into the terminal. Next you can move into the new directory by typing cd ruby-fizzbuzz into the terminal as well. Now that you're in the new directory run the command touch fizzbuzz.rb, to create a new ruby file. After creating the file you're good to open the directory in whatever code editor you use. <br /> First, let's define a fizz_bizz method.

#Use def to define a method, you don't need ( ) around parameters.
def fizz_bizz n
#Always remember to 'end' your methods.

Next, lets create an empty solution array.

def fizz_buzz n

    answer = []


We'll also need to set up a loop to iterate through a range of numbers. There are a ton of ways to loop in Ruby. I did a whole post on looping in Ruby that you can read here. This is also a pretty good resouce for more information on different types of loops in Ruby.

def fizz_buzz n

    answer = []
    #this is a very simple way to loop in ruby
    n.times do |i|
    #remember to always 'end' loops as well!


Now all we need to do is add some conditional logic to check each value in the range given

def fizz_buzz n

    answer = []
    n.times do |i|
        #check if value is divisible by 15
        if (i + 1) % 15 == 0
            #shovel in 'FizzBuzz'
            answer << 'FizzBuzz'
        #check if value is divisible by 3
        elsif (i + 1) % 3 == 0
            #shovel in 'Fizz'
            answer << 'Fizz'
        #check if value is divisible by 5
        elsif (i + 1) % 5 == 0
            #shovel in 'Buzz'
            answer << 'Buzz'
            #if none of the above is true, shovel in value as a string
            answer << "#{i + 1}"
        #always 'end' conditional statements
    #print array to terminal
    puts answer
#call the function
fizz_buzz 100

And that's really all you have to do! This solution could still be refactored but is probably the first solution a lot of people would come up with when approaching the problem with Ruby. To Run the code just make sure you're in the right directory and run ruby fizzbuzz.rb. To Check it out in a REPL you can check out [this] link.

Uses for Ruby

You'll hear all over the internet that Ruby is dying or that it is already dead. While Ruby is no longer being used as much as other languages it is still being used. There might not be as many jobs for Ruby in the market that you live in though, and you should probably make sure it's the right fit before diving into learning it. The Stack overflow developer survey is a good resource to see what is actually being used, but you should probably leverage things like indeed, glassdoor and other job posting sites to check for your local market. There are companies that still use Ruby in 2022 like twitter, shopify, hulu and many more. You'll want to pick up the Rails framework which allows for very fast fullstack app and api development.


Here are a few more resources that may come in handy as you learn more about Ruby:

If you have any questions please leave a comment over on

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