Home Tech Elixir vs Ruby: Which Will Work Best For Your Project?

Elixir vs Ruby: Which Will Work Best For Your Project?


Ruby was not always a popular or mainstream language, but it grew in popularity after David Heinemeier Hansson (a fellow Chicago resident) created Ruby on Rails in 2005. For a long time, we relied heavily on Rails as our primary web application framework.

When Elixir programming language gained popularity, we were blown away by its remarkable similarity to Ruby. Not to mention, the more we studied Elixir, the more we realized its advantages over Ruby and how it might greatly help our company.

In the modern day, the Elixir vs Ruby dispute has been settled.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Ruby and Elixir

With the fundamentals out of the way, let’s look at what each of the two programming languages has to offer, with a focus on their most popular frameworks.

Pros of Elixir

The Solution That Has Withstood the Test of Time

The Elixir programming language runs on the Erlang virtual computer (BEAM). With its roots in telecommunications, Erlang VM BEAM is ideal for building and managing systems with numerous concurrent connections.

Language Conceptualization

Elixir offers clear syntax, patterns, and design that aid in the creation and understanding of this functional language’s diverse, often complex, topics.

Distributed Concurrency

Elixir enables code concurrency thanks to Erlang. In addition, it allows you to run concurrent connections on both a single computer and numerous ones.

Phoenix Framework

Phoenix, the most popular Elixir web development framework, is known for its lightning-fast response speeds measured in microseconds. With millisecond reaction times, Rails is no slouch, but there’s an order of magnitude difference here.


Suppose you envision a system or application to handle a high volume of traffic in the future. In that case, Elixir’s ability to squeeze the most out of a single computer is an undeniable advantage. There is no need to add new servers to the app’s architecture using Elixir to match the increased bandwidth demand generated by a rising number of users.

Cons of Elixir

Small Talent Pool

Because Elixir is a relatively new programming language, there is a scarcity of talent on the market. Nonetheless, companies are fascinated by the prospects this creates. They have already begun to offer Elixir programming jobs. However, they are having difficulty recruiting specialists to fill those positions.

Functional Programming Methodology

Elixir is a functional language, whereas Ruby is an object-oriented language by nature (although it also supports functional programming). It might be difficult to wrap your head around the difference in approach to programming in this manner. However, switching from one paradigm to the other is not insurmountable; it simply requires learning a new way of thinking about software development.

Immature Ecosystem

Elixir is not yet one of the most popular programming languages, which implies there isn’t a large enough community to develop it actively. Moreover, there are limited Elixir libraries.

Pros of Ruby

Productive and enjoyable to work with

Yukihiro Matsumoto sought to create a programming language that would make developers pleased to work with when he created Ruby. Why? Its crisp and lean syntax obviously aids both reading and writing.


Ruby and Ruby on Rails both have a thriving library ecosystem. There is a gem for almost any functionality you could wish to implement. Whatever you need to create a full-fledged app, you’ll find a tool to assist you. Ruby and Ruby on Rails are quick and battle-tested alternatives for constructing such an application due to their wealth of gems.

Ruby on Rails: A Brilliant Framework.

Most people associate Ruby with Ruby on Rail. It demonstrates how deeply the framework is embedded in the language. Because Ruby on Rails has transformed the way developers build modern Web applications.

A Fruitful Community

The Ruby and Rails communities are lively and teeming with contributors publishing ready-made open-source solutions.

Cons of Ruby


In comparison to Elixir programming language, Ruby is a poor choice for concurrent Web apps.

Developers can use Concurrent Ruby tools to develop web applications. However, Ruby’s global interpreter lock (GIL) permits only one thread to run at a time without the extra tools. Without built-in concurrency, developers are unable to properly handle the available hardware resources—a must in any traffic-heavy software.

Performance & Development Speed

Ruby isn’t very sluggish, but it’s not as quick as Elixir. On the other hand, poor performance is frequently the result of inexperience in this scenario.


Ruby and Rails are modern solutions for developers who want a fuss-free approach to coding when developing online applications. But they can also be the source of many headaches when it comes to long-term maintenance.

Furthermore, business owners and developers prioritize convenience over configuration in Ruby. It keeps code simple and developers more productive. However, when less experienced developers are unfamiliar with what goes on behind the Rails curtain, mistakes that impede productivity and maintenance are more likely to occur.

Best Uses Cases for Both Languages

Let’s put Elixir’s and Ruby’s qualities into the best use cases once we’ve looked at the distinctions between the two languages.

Best Use Cases for Elixir

  • Apps with high traffic (messages, chats, etc.)
  • On a single machine, apps with 100-1,000,000 concurrent connections
  • Web apps with a high user base (thousands or hundreds of thousands)
  • Asynchronous tasks are performed by the Internet of Things app distributed systems software.
  • In the future, applications are expected to be scaled and expanded.

Best Uses For Ruby

  • MVPs, PoCs
  • App concepts
  • Prototypes
  • Marketplaces
  • Small to medium-size Web apps created to cater to a limited audience

What Should You Choose?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive solution to that question. Elixir and Ruby are excellent programming languages for creating various apps, software, and systems. The main thing is always choosing the technology that appears to be the most feature-rich for your project.

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