This year me and José Valim had the pleasure of going to Baltimore, in the US, to one of the biggest Rails events of the world! RailsConf is definitely the best place to have the opportunity of meeting and talking to a lot of great Rubyists and Railers, and also attending their talks.
Not only that, we also participated (though briefly) in BohConf, the official RailsConf unconference, which was great and very well organized! The talks covered a myriad of topics, guided the exploration on some technologies and counted with the presence of the Ruby Mendicant University students. José Valim presented a tutorial on his own Elixir, showing how to build a chat server using some cool stuff that both Elixir and Erlang provide. The code used on the tutorial is available on Valim’s GitHub.
Also, José Valim presented a talk on the ongoing Rails refactoring, guiding through the SOLID Principles and the changes in rails’ own code. You can get the slides at his RailsConf page. While you’re at it, please rate and give your feedback if you watched it live!
In this edition of RailsConf, DHH presented the “assets revolution” part of Rails 3.1 and why CoffeeScript was adopted. It doesn’t matter if you’re into CoffeeScript or not, Rails now has amazing internals to deal with assets, raising them as “first-class citizens”. You can have this on the latest Release Candidate that was released last week. The keynote is available on Youtube.
Regarding Keynotes, RailsConf 2011 had amazing ones. I strongly recommend you to watch Eric Reies’ Lessons Learned, regarding delivering products and learning from your mistakes, from his upcoming book with the same title.
Tenderlove (or sometimes known as Aaron Patterson) presented a very good talk about database query caching and proposed a future Rails refactoring to restructure the rack middleware stack in order to make it better and faster. A must watch talk! Check it on Youtube: Aaron Patterson’s Double Dream Hands: So Intense! (fast forward to minute 40 or so for a surprise)!
The talks themselves were good, in general. Highlights, in my opinion, are:
- Aman Gupta’s Rails Performance Tools was the first time I saw Aman Gupta’s presentation live. Even though he got his slides from other conferences, I have to say I was very impressed. He really knows what he is talking about and the examples were very applicable to everyday’s work. You definitely should check it out.
- Jim Weirich and Matt Yoho’s Securing your rails application began slowly, showing easy-to-avoid security issues, but it picked up nicely, showing live examples on how to replicate the security issues described, very cool!
- Joe Ferris’ Testing the Impossible was a very good talk. At PlataformaTec we always discuss the best ways to test code and it was very nice to see someone else’s effort on the subject, I was able to confirm some ideas and learn new ones!
- Yehuda Katz’ Building Rails Apps For the Rick Client explained why Rails is much more than simple view helpers and then moved on to discuss API implementations. The proposed bulk api was particularly interesting and is a good example of a private protocol between the client (SproutCore) and server side (Rails) for advanced transactions and performance!
All in all, it was a great RailsConf! I had a blast, meeting people and having drinks at the parties was also one of the best parts of the conference! And what about you? What is your opinion about RailsConf, did you like it? Which were your favorite talks?
See you in 2012!