Scottish Ruby Conference 2010 roundup-1

Following some inspirational talks with some great folks at Scottish Ruby Conference, I am going to apply the pomodoro technique for this blog post – 25 minutes of writing on this post!

These are just some of the things you get to learn at this no-nonsense conference, which is full of geeks, innovators and innovative geeks. This time, the renamed conference (earlier called Scotland on Rails) had a very good mix of talks on Ruby, Rails, good practices and even philosophy. I could get into details of each talk but they have all been recorded and will be out soon – it would be so much better to listen in on them instead of reading about them here !

What I intend to do here  is to put forth some views of the talks, the styles, the key take-home points and what I learnt.

Jim Wreich started with an excellent keynote and also give an awesome theatrical performance in the closing key-note! He was very clear in getting into my head that the key values of a good programmer:

– thinking out of the box. (Try to innovate!)

– accept duality (code & objects are the same things from different points of view!)

– abstractions are good. (Write generic, re-usable code!)

In the closing key-note, along with Joe O’Brian, it was made clear about why we should explain the benefits (and not features) of Ruby to the decision making management – no point in talking about Ruby features like blocks, iterators and TDD/BBD instead of business aspects about how the maintenance cycle of product can be reduced drastically by using Ruby and how Ruby seamlessly integrates with legacy systems.

People had come from all over the globe – from US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and us from India. If this wasn’t good enough for diversity, the enormous variety of food at lunch made up for it. The venue, Royal College of Physicians was ‘unbelievable’. I sat in the ‘Great Hall’ admiring the ceiling and in the library admiring the expanse of the books lined in the racks beside and the so beautifully architected Amphi-theater.

The talks were well distributed in 3 tracks and each talk had a sizable crowd. There were 3 talks which discussed how to write good code (‘write bad code’ by Gwyn Morfey, ’10 most errors in Rails’ by Exceptional and ‘Your doing it wrong’ by Tammer Saleh). Each had a different style – my personal favourite being Tammer’s talk – it seems straight from the heart. Gwyen’s talk was very well staged to show how to ‘really’ work and it was really funny.

Tyler McMullen’s talk on distributed rack applications was amazing and new way to look at things. Imagine different sections on a web-page being serviced by different application servers — no! Not using ajax requests but genuine HTTP distributed requests for rendering a single page! He demonstrated it really well and there were some of us in the audience who installed the distributed_demo gem from gemcutter to see it all in action!

Joesph Wilk’s talk was precision perfect on scaling cucumber test cases – there is indeed a lot of potential here. Scott Chacon ‘showed off’ the git internal plumbing with an excellent and very cool presentation – I am inspired now and do plan to use a single git repository for distributed deployment on different machines with different roles.

Lightening talks were really good !! I shall be using RedCar (the Ruby IDE) and Showoff, the Rails presentation gem from now on. Ryan’s talk of 2500 words (speed reading) was an awesome insight into the life-cycle of a software programmer who found the worth of testing his code!

Keeping in line with the pomodoro technique, I shall stop now and write another detailed post on the conference soon 😉 I stretched this post to 35 minutes — hell nobody’s perfect!

2 thoughts on “Scottish Ruby Conference 2010 roundup-1

  1. Hi Gautam,

    I dont think you’d remember me – I would always remember your father and thank him – In 1995, when i met with an accident, he was the one who took me to Nerlekar hospital. I suddenly came across your profile and saw that you’ve become a CEO – Truly very happy for you!…. Hope your parents are doing really well.



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