The Learn to Code With Me Advice Column

As a Newbie Should I Learn Python or Ruby First?


“Nice to meet you and thank you again for your site, it’s a wonderful resource.

I am interested in starting to program because I am looking to start a career that will allow me to allocate more time to the things that matter. Example: family, travel and hobbies.

My question for you is after reviewing the all encompassing list of online schools you put together, my preliminary coding language was pretty much shot. I was pretty set on learning “Python” first but after reviewing the coding schools it seemed as if there were more emphasis on the “Ruby” language as far as starter languages are concerned.

My main goal is to initially learn a language that I can apply immediately in the workplace and also have the easiest learning curve to overcome out the gate. I know you mentioned initially trying your hand in learning Python when you started and then switching to Ruby, is that still what you recommend now?”


Hey Shaka,

This is something *so many* people struggle with: the question of what to learn when first starting out.

As far as learning itself goes, in my opinion Ruby and Python are very similar in terms of difficulty.

The thing that matters most when deciding which to learn is what you want to do after learning it!

Python may be better to learn if…

  • You are interested in data science or data analysis
  • You want to be in the academic and/or science fields

Ruby may be better to learn if…

  • You want to work at a startup
  • You want a lot of online learning material to choose from

Really, there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your end goals.

More suggestions to help you decide which to learn…

  • Do you have a dream company you’d love to work for? (Airbnb, Uber, etc.) See what language they use at the company (it may not even be Ruby or Python!).
  • Is there anyone you know with a “dream career”? If yes, see what language they use.
  • Look at online resources available for both: which stands out to you the most?

The main reason why I switched from Python to Ruby awhile back was because it is quicker to build Ruby on Rails (RoR) apps. (Some people would argue with that, though.)

Plus, there is more community support for RoR. (Rails 27,021 stars on Github versus Django’s 15,261.)

For the record: I no longer do anything with either Python or Ruby.

Why? Because I evolved as a person/creator/coder.

I realized I am happiest doing WordPress/front-end development. And that’s what’s most important, right? Enjoying what you do.

And that’s why we are all learning to code: to live a happier, more fulfilling life. =D

Other articles you can check out on this topic:

    1. Ruby on Rails vs Python and Django: Which Should a Beginner Learn?
    2. Ruby vs. Python (includes a nice comparison table at the top)
    3. Which is easier to learn: Python or Ruby? (Quora thread with varying opinions)

If you are still unsure which to go with, I suggest going with Ruby only because of the abundance of online learning materials, courses, forums, etc.

Hope this helps! And good luck learning, Shaka.

DISCLAIMER: Thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Any recommendatons and/or how-to information is intended to be helpful. Also, please note that some of the links are affiliate links. Continue here to learn more about affiliate marketing on

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