Tuesday, June 8, 2010

RailsConf Day 1

Today was a full day of conference action. I was able to hang through it all by a thread. Unfortunately, I feel as bad as I did yesterday. Don't worry, I won't give a minute by minute rundown on that again. But here are highlights from my notebook today

To start off, Ben Scofield and Chad Fowler gave a good, short introduction. Then they kicked off the morning keynotes. I was really fired up because I admire both DHH and Michael Feathers so much. DHH covered the changes in Rails 3 that he is most excited about. They are working to pushe Rails 3 closer to release this week (note: by the end of the day beta4 was released w/ RC promised in the coming days). Also, almost tongue in cheek, he even highlighted some of his wishlist for 3.1.

Michael Feathers talk was around a topic he is quite famous for: Legacy Code. He had a little twist on it because he hasn't had to do much work on legacy Rails apps. Some of my biggest takeaways from this talk: read his paper on Testable Java, start mining source code repositories for information about projects.

Glenn Vandeburg's talk on Software Engineering was good and very well thought out. However, it was more of a history lesson to me. I don't think there was anything that is going to make me change how I do things. However, I may go back to the original paper by Winston Royce that is credited with starting the waterfall movement (by accident because it was so poorly written and presented).

The State of eCommerce panel was really good also. There are a lot of things people don't consider when they want to start an eCommerce site. The panel was obviously battle-tested and very insightful.

Ruby's Dark Corners w/ Charlie Nutter and Evan Phoenix was fantastic. These guys are no joke, very technical and highly entertaining. The biggest moment of the day was that I sat through this deeply technical Ruby talk, and I understood what they are talking about. Maybe I'm finally getting it!

The evening keynote was done by Yehunda Katz. I was expecting a technical talk from Yehunda, but got a very inspiring one instead. He has a very good background story to tell. And set out to explain that anyone can make an impact. He gave many examples from the Ruby community where people made impacts by plugging away at easier problems. He also gave examples of people taking on problems that were considered impossible or nearly impossible.

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