November 07, 2008

Posted by John

Tagged presentations and rubyconf

Older: Testing Merb Controllers with RSpec

Newer: Can't Miss RubyConf Wrapup

Can't Miss Coverage of RubyConf Day 1

So yesterday was day one of RubyConf in Orlando. I’m not keeping really detailed notes as I’m trying to pay attention more and note taking seems to hinder that but I’ll give a quick overview.

Matz Keynote

The day started with Matz keynote. As always, he was pleasant and pretty funny. He spoke about his reasons for ruby and confessed his love for all of us. Search twitter for Matz and you can find a bunch of his good quotes from the keynote.

Gregg Pollack – Scaling Ruby

Next up was Gregg Pollack’s talk on Scaling Ruby (without Rails). Side note: scaling does not appear to be a direct topic at the conference but threads, concurrency and distributed programming are getting some heavy coverage. Gregg had possibly the best put together presentation I have ever witnessed. I talked to him later and he said it was all keynote but I think it was black magic.

He started by going through a wonderful explanation of threading and the benefits of single threaded vs. multi-threaded. After threading, he dove into message queues and did a wonderful demo of Starling. He closed the talk covering ruby prof, how to profile and some examples of what is expensive in ruby. The concepts he covered are not simple ones but Gregg did a phenomenal job of making them appear simple with great visual aides. He has a pdf on the RailsEnvy site and his talk has been released as an EnvyCast.

Scott Chacon – Using Git in Ruby Apps

At RailsConf Scott did a presentation on git that broke the record for number of slides. This talk was not as fast paced, but I enjoyed it a lot more. It was one of those talks that instantly started firing neurons in my brain, mostly because I hadn’t really thought a lot about using Git for storage in an app. Examples Scott gave were git-wiki, ticgit, sqlgit and grit (which powers github).

Jamis Buck

Jamis did a presentation on how to say goodbye to the enterprise and embrace Ruby’s idioms. I didn’t really come from the enterprise but that is not to say that I don’t have bad habits. He had a couple of good quotes.

I was on the dependency injection horse and riding it for all it was worth.

I’m not into dependency injection but that cracked me up. If you don’t know what DI is, it’s ok as Jamis said you are probably better off.

Code just in time, not just in case.

This hit home. Often times I think what I might need down the rode but I always end up with a more complex solution than when I just create something that I need. It is far easier to add more code than to remove code at a later date.

The Evening

There are always a few presentations that really get me thinking, but the best part of any conference is hanging out with people who share the same passions. In the evening, I went out to eat at Chili’s with Ryan Daigle, James Avery and Corey Haines. We had some rousing discussions about perfectionism, getting stuff out there, building apps, ideas, blogging and advertising.


I have found it really interesting what a hot topic threading is this year. I have recently been reading up on Threads in ruby and how they work and I will post some stuff here at some point. It is kind of interesting to see how each conference kind of ends up with an overall theme, despite the lack of collaboration between presenters and no theme being stated by conference organizers.

Last year I blogged some suggestions for RubyConf. I have no idea if it helped but the name tag font size was markedly larger and it seems like things are starting a bit later. Not 10 but today’s talks started at 9:30 which is far easier to stumble stroll into. That is all for day one. Nunemaker out.


Sorry, comments are closed for this article to ease the burden of pruning spam.


Authored by John Nunemaker (Noo-neh-maker), a programmer who has fallen deeply in love with Ruby. Learn More.


Release your software more often with fewer problems.
Flip your features.