Thursday, June 10, 2010

RailsConf 2010 Day 3

Author's Note: wow, this post is way overdue. I actually wrote this the day I got back from RailsConf, but never got around to publishing it.

Day 3 started with Bob Martin's keynote. Very exciting, this is the first time I've seen Bob Martin in person. His energy is really powerful, doesn't alway translate when I've watched videos of his talks. Kind of like live music, it's better if you are actually there. He gave the usual astronomy-backed introduction to his talk. This was quite relevant to where he was going with the rest of the keynote. To sum up, hardware has advanced at a frighteningly astonishing pace in the last 40 years. However, software has made marginal, if any, progress in that period of time. The rundown of current languages and where they came from was fascinating. I'd love to see a family tree in visual form of what he was talking about.

Now that the game has changed in hardware improvements (slower, but more processors), the game must change in software. There are languages that are addressing this by the bigger companies and communities (Scala & F#), but those languages look like what you'd expect from those communities (big and complex). He likes Clojure for its simplicity.

Another takeaway for me, is that I have a new set of books to read. In order, Uncle Bob recommends 1) The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, 2) Structured Programming, and 3) The New Turing Omnibus

The other hightlight of the day for me was Agile the Pivotal Way with Ian McFarland. This was a very good presentation with great content. We use Pivotal Tracker on our projects at Dominion Digital, so I wanted to see how development was done by its creators. No big surprises here. I am interested in how they set up their workstations. No one has their own laptops out in the project development areas. That is pretty interesting. They take pairing to the next level. I'd like to experiment with that on an upcoming project. Not sure if everyone else is going to buy into to it though.

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