Ruby’s Growth Comes to an End?!

According to O’Reilly’s latest report on the state of the computer book market focusing on programming books, Ruby has the definitive lead. Check out this treemap view – I believe it does not need too much additional explanation (The percentages reflect the relative book sale compared to 2006/Q1):



Now, I would not like to start a language war here at all – there is neither a need to draw zealous consequences from the Ruby camp nor to come up with explanation from proponents of other languages. The diagram shows that compared to the same period of 2006, there is the biggest demand for Ruby (and other Ruby-based/related) books currently – and nothing more. It does not tell anything about the number of people using the given language or related frameworks, job opportunities or the absolute market share – this is just a relative indicator based on the programming book market.

However, if you take a peek at the TIOBE index for May – entitled ‘Ruby’s growth comes to an end’ – you can see that Ruby is the fastest growing language at the moment (again, compared to the same period of 2006). If this is the ‘end of the growth’, then how does the growth look like?!

It is also interesting to check out this graph from TIOBE:



It tells me that starting from July 2006, none of the programming languages shows so big (and steady) growth than Ruby.

I don’t know based on what did the TIOBE guys come to the conclusion that Ruby is losing steam… I have talked to a few Ruby on Rails freelancers recently, and each of them confirmed independently that there is a bigger need for Ruby/Rails programmers than ever. Based on (not only) these data I would say quite the opposite is true: my personal feeling is that Ruby/Rails is just going to be a *lot* bigger than it is currently!

5 thoughts on “Ruby’s Growth Comes to an End?!

  1. There is a difference between growth coming to an end and a “Recession”. The article is merely stating that the exponential growth has reached a critical mass where it can’t grow much faster any longer.

  2. Talking to a “few freelancers” is hardly a strong measure of language prominence… Why does it seem like every Ruby “statistic” is completely anecdotal?

  3. @John: Yeah, I understand the difference between a monotonic and a monotonically growing function, but on TIOBE’s site Ruby received the most arrows up – so IMHO the table did not reflect that the growth has ended (maybe it ended compared to last month’s results, but I did not find any reference on that in the article…)

    @Ivan: I did not claim that Ruby is prominent (in fact, if you check the TIOBE graph, it shows that every language I’d care about is above Ruby currently) – I have just said that it’s hot right now (you can call it ‘hype’ if you like).
    Given the market share, this currently means that you won’t find 662393 Ruby/Rails jobs just by opening a newspaper or your local craiglist – it means that if you really want, and you are good enough, you’ll be able to find a Ruby (well, most likely Rails) job today.

  4. Pingback: Ruby, Rails, Web2.0 » Blog Archive » “I guess Ruby is over: it Was Fun While it Lasted.”

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