Railsconf 2013

Fellow soapboxer Kelly Packer and I had the privilege of attending Railsconf, the largest gathering of Rails and ruby developers in the world. Here's a quick re-cap of our experience.

The keynotes were contentious and the sessions were interesting, but the lasting effect of Railsconf 2013 has been that of having been so close to the community. The city of Portland welcomed us as we spent 4 days immersed in possibly the most active and opinionated group of software developers in the world.

David Heinemeier Hansson's keynote outlined 37signals' strategy for increasing UI responsiveness in web apps, where cache is king and "a sprinkling of JavaScript" is all that is needed to "decorate" our documents.

Yehuda Katz called out the nearly 1MB of JS used in Basecamp (37signals flagship product) to emphasize his point that we should embrace JavaScript as a first-class citizen, "We're talking about a megabyte of sprinkles here!" he said.

Chris Kelly's talk on hypermedia opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about how to structure HTTP services (APIs): Use hypermedia concepts to decouple clients from server-side implementation details.

But, as a I mentioned, getting to know other rails developers in the hallways and after parties has re-energized my sense of curiosity and desire to learn as a developer. I especially enjoyed my time debating the ethics of google glass over pizza and beers with Eoin Coffeey and Brooke Kuhlmann from Gnip and Ryan McDonald from PivotDesk.

Here at Creative Soapbox, we always try to embrace openness and sharing amongst others in our industry, so seeing those sentiments reciprocated on a national scale inspires us to step things up in the community.

Stay tuned for announcements as we reach out to engage the local design and development community.

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