Objective-C or Ruby on Rails – Learning to Code

Learning to code is getting a lot of attention lately. From this video: Every One Should Code, to the prevalence of great learning resources like Treehouse, Code Academy, Lynda.com, and others, there is a lot of encouragement and resources in this space.

If you’re like me, you’ve wanted to code for a while. The latest “push” has only cemented that desire even more. But the decision that I and other people who want to learn to code run into is:

“Ok, I definitely want to code . . . so which “language” do I choose?”

There’s Java, HTML, CSS, C++, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python, Objective-C, SQL, ASP.net and so many more! Its a quagmire of decision (though some would hate to have it called that) and you can get stuck in it if you are not careful. Its not like I can learn them all (realistically), and I want to be sure I use our time wisely by learning a language that will help me to actually build my ideas.

I want to have the power to launch the ideas I have. So – after quite a bit of research which I wont review here, I’ve narrowed it down to Objective-C and Ruby on Rails. Objective-C is the programming language most commonly used to program iPhone apps, and Ruby on Rails is typically used for building web applications – and from what I hear, is really great.

So plain and simple – the decision comes down to this: Do I want to build iPhone apps or web applications?

To answer that question, I need to think about the current ideas I have and also which programming language will serve me best in the future.

Lets take my four top ideas right now. If I consider building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for each idea, and considering using one of three methods to building the MVP: Objective-C, Ruby on Rails, and WordPress (I know, I know – WordPress isn’t a programming language and its in a different department from the other two, but I could honestly build an MVP for several of my ideas using WordPress. I’m just talking about an MVP, not a full-blown build out web app).

Idea #1 – Objective-C

Idea #2 – Ruby on Rails

Idea #3 – WordPress

Idea #4 – Objective-C

Yet, many of the web apps could have an accompanying iPhone app, and vice-versa.  So both would be applicable. And idea #3 would be converted to a web app if the MVP gets some traction. So both Ruby on Rails and Objective-C could help me launch some of my own ideas. And those are just my four top ideas right now. In one year, my ideas could very well be more iPhone based or they could be more web app based.

So I really can’t go wrong I guess. Shoot, maybe I’ll learn both. I can learn one first and use it for a while, then learn the other later. Having both skills would be great.

But these things take time. I’m not in a position where I could take 2 months off and focus on learning to code. I’m going to be doing this in the mornings, evenings, and weekends.

Objective-C and Ruby on Rails, here I come. But which one will be first . . .

written by Brady Mower on March 1, 2013 in Learning with 7 comments