After an eight hour flight and a three hour train ride, @roy, @thijsc, @roncadier, @matsimitsu, @antekpiechnik and I arrived in Baltimore for Railsconf. In this article I’ll talk about some of my personal highlights.
Since we didn’t go to any tutorial sessions, our Railsconf started on Tuesday, which gave us the time to eat burgers, drink beers and go to Washington before the conference.
In @jnunemaker‘s “Don’t repeat yourself, repeat others”, John gave a great peek into some stuff he learned while building MongoMapper. He urged everyone in the room to steal and write about it and explained why most of his open source projects are stolen as well. MongoMapper’s internals — like the plugin system — look really nice, I have to look into that soon.
For his book — Agile Webdevelopment with Rails — @samruby needed a test suite to check if the code samples keep working in newer versions of Rails. In his talk he showed a bug report he submitted to the Rails Lighthouse, created using his open source project called Gorp (amongst others). His approach seems like a really nice way to submit a proper bug report and a little script to reproduce the problem without manually having to generate rails applications, generate scaffolds, edit files and test manually.
On Tuesday evening, @wycats gave a fantastic keynote that really inspired me to get my hands dirty. That meant I dove into Navvy after drinking some beers at the Blue Box Group party later that night. And no, I didn’t get anything done.
I was really looking forward to @defukt‘s talk about Redis and Resque in Github. Chris gave some great insights into their background job processing strategy, which gave me some new ideas to steal (Nunemaker said I could) for Navvy. It didn’t bother me during the talk, but I would’ve loved some slides for later reference since he gave a lot of information I can’t really remember right now.
@josephwilk had a talk called Rocket Fueled Cucumbers in which he explained some optimizations Songkick did to their slow Cucumber test suites. Although I switched to Steak a while back, I learned a lot from this talk and it got me thinking about some stuff we could still do with Steak in the future. Expect more on this soon.
On Wednesday evening, @deadprogram organized the Music Jam, which treated us to some musical awesomeness I wasn’t really expecting from a bunch of programmers. Great show, I didn’t know you guys are rockstars as well.
The last day, @imf gave a talk called Agile the Pivotal Way bout the way they work at Pivotal Labs. Ian covered things like pair programming, having breakfast and playing ping pong at work and it was a great eye opener for all of us. We even made an appointment to come over to their New York office to have a look around. Expect a post about this on the 80beans blog soon.
I’ve had a great time this year and I hope to be able to come next year again. We’re in New York for the last part of the 80beans US trip right now (awesome pictures by Antek), but we’ll be back home on Wednesday.
If you’ve sent me a question or pull request: sorry for the wait, I’ll get back to you after I come back.
Oh, and if you’re ever in Baltimore, be sure to visit the Abbey Burger Bistro for awesome burgers, beer and free wifi. Just sayin’.