RailsConf 2012: Day Three
By Steph Skardal
April 25, 2012
To kick off the day, I ran the low-key RailsConf 5k along the lake here in Austin. I’m glad that this event was organized — I think it’s good to take a mental break from all the conference activities.
This morning kicked off with a RubyRogues live session. The topic for today’s podcast was a discussion about what Rails developers care about and/or should care about. I thought that the answers apply to developers in general. Below are some of the topics covered in the talk.
- James focused on the point that experimentation is important and to perceive all code as experimental.
- Avdi’s main argument was a suggestion to practice deliberate and mindful coding. While he believes
that there is a place for the “shut up and code” mentality in some projects depending on risk, it’s not acceptable to have this perspective when it comes to community sharing of knowledge. - Avdi recommends that exercising introspection by reviewing your code and explaining it to someone else (how and why) will make you a better programmer and communicator.
- David shared that Ruby is not a [block oriented](http://www.functionblocks.org/Introduction.html) [lexically scoped](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scope_(computer_science)#Lexical_scoping_and_dynamic_scoping) language. - He suggests that you should a) learn Ruby as if it’s unlike the other languages you know b) learn CoffeeScript because it
- Josh suggests to exercise prudence, or acting with or showing care and thought for the future by building a strong foundation. - He also discussed how while he agrees with comments of previous keynotes (loss aversion is pillar of conservatism, experienced
developers have a lower tolerance for technical debt), that he also has the perspective that he has a limited budget for risk in projects. From his experience, bundler was a huge win in minimizing risk, but asset pipeline (in its current state) spent all of his risk budget.
Charles Max Wood
- Charles focused on how the Rails community should try to encourage and bring other developers to the community by evangelizing it. We should reach out to other communities and groups to encourage them to try Rails.
The last session I attended at RailsConf was the Lightning Talk session. I know I’ve abused lists in my RailsConf posts a bit, but Lightning Talks are meant to be presented in list form! Here’s a quick rundown of some of the topics presented in the Lightning Talks, which were a mix of 1-minute and 5-minute talks. I’ll update with more links as they become available.
- NSRails is a gem that bridges objective-C and rails, and will give Objective-C a bunch of methods similar to Rails methods (.all,.find(x), CRUD behavior)
- config.threadsafe is a setting in configuration that allows threading. Tony Arcieri provided a lot more details — I’ll update this post to include a link to the slides later.
- iwanttolearnruby.com is a resource for Ruby/Rails learning resources
- @marksim talked about how private teams should work like open source by a) doing more code reviews and b) using distributed communication tools like HipChat, Campfire, IRC, message boards, mailing lists, internal blogs, Google+ Hangout, and Skype to have success like open source does.
- sidekiq is a distributed message queue (like resque)
- erd is a gem that was written during RailsConf to allow visualization and changes of the database. I’ll post a link to it when it becomes available.
- Rowe is a development technique that means trading results for money (as opposed to time).
- The job_interview gem is a silly (and extremely entertaining) gem created during RailsConf for helping you answer those tough interview questions.
- In Rails Engines, routes should a) always be drawn on the engine, and b) the engine should call isolate_namespace.
- Tokaido is a kickstarter project that Yehuda’s been working on.
- railcar is an isolated, compiler-optional Rails environment.
- tddium is a continuous testing integration tool.
- wicked is a gem for rendering wizards.
- flash_s3_rails is a gem for embedding a multi-file upload widget into your application.
- graphite is a scalable real-time monitoring tool.
A Little Bit More…
I also attended Yehuda Katz’s talk on Rails: The Next Five Years. I’m saving a write-up on this for another post, because I’d like to wrap it in with some of the other keynotes discussions.