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Ask HN: Which one should I learn deeper, Node.JS/Express.JS or Ruby on Rails?
20 points by carlosedp on Feb 9, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments
Recently, I've been investigating jobs in the Web industry and startups and to go further, I would to learn deeper one of those.

Many offered positions asks for Rails knowledge but looks like Node is getting a nice spot in Web development for the very near future, also due to it's traction and the always improving Express.JS web framework, I'm still uncertain which one I should learn deeper.

I already know a little bit of both and been fiddling with Node recently.

Any tips on which one I should delve into? Maybe both?


What are the jobs and projects you want looking for? When I decide to commit most of my learning time to a certain language, it's because that's the language I want to and like programming in the most. For instance, right now I'm trying to branch out and do less frontend work, so I'm learning more Ruby on Rails and Django and concentrating less on JavaScript.

You already know a little bit of both, so why not just make the call yourself? I feel you already made up your mind and now you're seeking reinforcement. It's a technology trap and hurts your business. Good luck.

Maybe you are right. Recently I've been playing with Node and some of my recent projects (they are on http://github.com/carlosedp ) are made with Node.

Also, every time I think about learning Rails deeper I think "damn, I already know how to do this on Node. Why bother..." but the industry wants Rails experience and every Rails developer I read loves it.

That's where the question came. Should I go with the current market or should I invest in a "promise" for the future?

For that matter, I hated Rails.

Also, it seems to me you're starting your own company. Why does it matter what the current market demands then?

Actually I`m thinking about what could I build myself... maturing some ideas but in the meantime, I'm been looking at the market if there are opportunities for me to move and work in USA since I'm from Brazil.

I like playing with JS. It's nice to have JS on both ends.

I found Express.js and it's sister-framework Connect to be a complete mess. I had trouble following what was going on, major problems debugging, it uses the factory pattern in the wrong places, and the Rack-style middleware is inefficient and unnecessary for most projects. But NodeJS itself is great, and to learn it best I think it's worth the time to write your own simple framework and utilize libraries where appropriate (like db libraries, formidable, and websocket.io).

Rails is over. It's a bloated meta framework that requires enormous amounts of peripheral knowledge to understand.

I thought the same about Express the beginning but as I learned my way thru it I found it very simple indeed. You can build a Web App on a couple lines and never worry about protocols and stuff. Easily integrated with Websockets using Socket.io too.

About Rails, I think that seems like there is too much happening behind the curtains with magic. Express seems more objective.

when i started learning node.js i went straight to Connect since i felt Express was too bloated. best decision ever considering i was building APIs mostly at the time. i've found Connect to be pleasant to work with.

but if you're considering building regular web apps (even with APIs), Express is a good starting point, since you can always use Connect middleware and lots of examples out there.

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