A couple of months ago we attended a new RubyConf in Houston. After the pandemic, it was even more amazing to get the chance to reunite with other tech lovers and meet in person with Ruby developers and contributors from all over the world. And most of all, to discuss Ruby in-depth and learn new stuff about it. We think about this RubyConf as a great opportunity that every developer and professional that works using this technology should have.
Now that every available to enjoy online, we wanted to recommend our favorite ones and bring all of our experience in this RubyConf. We’ll check out our thoughts about it and our fav talks during the 3-day event. Ready? Let’s travel to Houston then.
One of the greatest things about this RubyConf was the audience. The Ruby community is incredibly open. We were surprised to find people not only interested in strengthening abilities that were connected more to the technical part of the job but also in meeting and working with other tech lovers like them. It was amazing to see how much passion and commitment they showed and mostly their willingness to share with others all of the things they knew.
Among those people, we found young professionals. For most of them, this RubyConf was their first one. So we confirmed the idea that this programming language is alive and relevant among new generations with our own eyes.
Performance was the main connector between a lot of the talks that took place in this RubyConf. It all started with Matz (Yukihiro Matsumoto, Ruby’s father). He said that performance wasn’t something that Ruby focused on because its keys are more related to how easy it is to use this programming language.
But other speakers took that quote to turn it into something even more interesting: to point the fact that there are a lot of developers committed to improving Ruby’s performance. In the end, it’s all about the community. Plus, there’s a lot of work behind keeping this language alive as never before. For instance, Shopify, one of the most important e-commerce platforms, is built in Ruby and has an entire team only focused on improving this programming language.
Ruby’s performance was one of the common threads between various talks, but there were others. These are some of the talks that caught my attention, grouped according to different aspects of Ruby:
There were a lot of talks that discussed Ruby’s performance. Here are some of them:
We found “Exit(ing) Through the YJIT” by Eileen M. Uchitelle really inspiring. It made us want to get more involved, go deeper with our knowledge about YJIT, and even contribute. Maybe this was all boosted by the fact that they made us interact with the tools after the talk. We got the chance to test, use, and check out how to make YJIT better.
These talks were very insightful not only because of the interesting topics they covered but also because we have found similar issues in our projects. Many of the solutions presented here can be very useful to enhance the products we’re working on, and we can’t wait to get on with it!
Queues are an issue when you’re developing your product. In “What does ‘high priority’ mean? The secret to happy queues”, Daniel Magliola addressed that issue. He explained everything about background work and queues by sharing real-life experience but keeping it anonymous for sure. We found this really interesting because he shared real processes, real problems that arise across the developing stages, and real ways to manage background jobs.
Microservices are another trend among the tech community and, therefore, they had to have their own place at this RubyConf. Kevin Kuchta made sure this happened with “Everything a Microservice: The Worst Possible Intro to dRuby”. In this talk, we can say that we had fun. It was a funny way to learn from him how to apply a microservices approach using Ruby and how inefficient it could be sometimes to separate the entire codebase in microservices.
Another talk we loved because of the storytelling that the speaker used was “The Case Of The Vanished Variable - A Ruby Mystery Story”. During an hour, Nadia Odunayo introduced us to Deidre Bug, some broken code easier to solve than it seemed, a looming Demo Day, and more.
Although all the talks were interesting, we wanted to highlight our fav two in terms of using this programming language more innovatively. In both cases, the beauty of the language arises, without loosing Ruby’s essence when getting these uncommon tasks done.
Amir Rajan in “Building a Commercial Game Engine using mRuby and SDL” presented DragonRuby, an innovative Game Engine built in Ruby. In "Building Native GUI Apps in Ruby", Andy Maleh showed us the infinite range of possibilities in the native app world, while walking us through his fun and passionate projects.
Each talk gave us more fuel to keep on learning and improving our Ruby knowledge. It was inspiring to meet people that we admire and only knew on GitHub until this RubyConf. Being close in person to this passionate, committed community was even better than we’ve ever imagined. We look forward to continuing to share, enhance and contribute to Ruby. Can’t wait to see where it takes us next!