RailsConf 2023: Our highlights and takeaways

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Just like every year, we had the pleasure of attending the latest RailsConf, the renowned annual conference for Ruby on Rails developers. This year, we not only attended as eager participants but also had the privilege of becoming speakers, thanks to our CTO, Juan Pablo Balarini, with his talk: “Faster and cheaper websites: integrating next-gen images in your Rails apps”.

RailsConf 2023 was held in Atlanta and witnessed a remarkable turnout of Ruby on Rails developers from all over the world. Many representing companies from Latin America, including Mexico, Colombia, and Uruguay, were also present.

A wide range of topics, spanning from software testing and front-end development to database management were part of the agenda. We had the opportunity to explore and exchange in big, expanding our knowledge, our ideas, our contacts, and our eagerness to apply everything as soon as we got off the plane.


This year’s highlights: among big personalities and companies

One notable highlight of RailsConf 2023 was the significant number of exhibitors showcasing server monitoring and error detection products. This trend reflects the growing demand for such tools within the industry. We had the chance to interact with representatives from prominent companies like GitHub and Shopify. These industry giants were enthusiastic about sharing their work and projects, further enriching the conference experience.

Shopify, in particular, stood out with its large team of Rails developers, actively engaged in the community. They contributed with code, hosted events, and generously shared their knowledge. Their commitment to open-source software development was evident through the release of several gems, including Active Merchant, a library for credit card transaction handling, and Sarama, a Ruby client for Apache Kafka. Additionally, they played a key role in enhancing Rails itself by submitting patches and bug fixes.

RailsConf 2023 also provided a platform for great personalities you've probably heard of, like Chris Oliver, the founder of GoRails. It has been a real pleasure to see him again, since he is always very open to sharing and listening to experiences, helping the event to become fertile ground for networking.


A wide range of amazing talks and conferences: from app performance to professional development

The conference featured a series of captivating talks and panels that left us with a lasting impression. Improving last year’s edition (yes, when we’ve only expected an even match) this time it was not only about performance. We could also appreciate some talks about personal and professional development, and work methodologies, crowning the event with an outstanding networking space. 

We wanted to share with you some of the talks that blew our heads off. Here they go:

  • Nate Berkopec's technical session titled "How to Have The Slowest Rails App Ever." Berkopec shed light on optimization techniques by highlighting what should be avoided to achieve good performance. He emphasized the significance of effective caching, and efficient database queries, and recommended tools like the Bullet gem for query optimization. Berkopec's insights provided invaluable advice that we are eager to apply to our current projects.


  • Gary Ware's interactive keynote, "The Power of Improv: Unlocking Your Creative Potential as a Developer," was another standout presentation. This engaging session encouraged us to actively participate in a creative and playful manner. Ware stressed the value of improvisation in fostering creativity and adaptability. Through various improv exercises, such as "Yes, and" and "Five Word Story," we had the opportunity to practice skills such as active listening, collaboration, and creativity. Gary also highlighted the importance of taking risks and embracing mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning.


  • Ebun Segun's talk, "An imposter's guide to growth in engineering," struck a chord with many attendees as she candidly discussed imposter syndrome within the Ruby on Rails community. Segun shared her personal experiences and emphasized the importance of cultivating a growth mindset, seeking feedback and support, and reframing negative thoughts. Her talk provided valuable insights into overcoming imposter syndrome and offered practical strategies for personal and professional development.


These three talks were very insightful as there was a lot we could start applying in our projects right away.


Many workshops and discussion panels

In a hands-on environment, RailsConf 2023 also featured numerous workshops, that ranged from building APIs with Rails, to implementing machine learning in Rails and scaling Rails applications. 

We also have the chance to participate in panel discussions on topics like the future of Ruby on Rails and diversity in the tech industry. These discussions provided a platform to share thoughts and ideas on important issues the Ruby on Rails community is currently facing.


Wrapping up the best of RailsConf 2023

We are sure, RailsConf will remain a prominent event in the years to come, attracting developers and industry professionals eager to explore the latest trends and advancements. 

If you're interested in attending upcoming RailsConf events, we recommend regularly checking the conference website for future updates. Also, don’t forget to take a look at our CTO’s talk at RailsConf here!

RailsConf 2023 concluded with many networking opportunities, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops. It proved to be an enriching experience for Ruby on Rails developers (of course, for us), fostering learning, collaboration, and idea-sharing. Everything we like wrapped together in one of the best 2023 tech events.

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Agustin Fornio
May 24, 2023

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