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RubyConf 2014 Speaker Lineup
2014-09-18 22:21:17 -0400

I'm not sure I can explain why I enjoy the Ruby community so much, particularly considering that I'm not a part of it, really. I don't program in Ruby professionally. I've barely dabbled in it. My attempts to learn Rails never made it very far.

But I love the podcasts and the blogs and the Twitter accounts. It's fun and comfortably and challenging and smart, all at the same time.

The speaker line-up for RubyCon 2014 in San Diego was just announced. Some quick thoughts on it:

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  • The show is being held at the San Diego Convention Center, Hall E, primarily in Ballroom 20 and rooms 22 - 25. Having attending Comic-Con there from 1999 - 2006, I'm almost jealous of a show that takes up such a small portion of the convention.

  • Still, I expect Matz cosplayers...

  • Hotels are still available -- including the beautiful Omni right across the street -- without a lottery for reservations.

  • A quick look shows about a dozen women speaking, many of them new and not from the usual collection of suspects. Yes, there are a couple of the usual and much-beloved favorites (Sandi Metz is in there with a great talk I've seen before, as is Aja Hammerly), but it's a variety of speakers I'm not familiar with after that. I think that's a good sign.

  • Despite the fact that Ruby is not my main gig, I find just about all of the talks on the schedule to be interesting. That's a great lineup that I hope keeps Confreaks very busy for post-processing for a few weeks.

  • Aja Hammerly has a talk titled "A WORLD WITHOUT ASSIGNMENT." As you might imagine, it has a functional bent to it, which is particularly interesting to me these days.

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  • The most bizarrely interesting talk of the show is from Amy Wibowo, titled "SWEATERS AS A SERVICE." I did not know that Nintendo almost got into the sweater-making plug-in business in the 80s. Really, it's true. It never happened, but nearly 30 years later, some engineers took on the task. With Ruby!

  • Speaking of Confreaks, their own Cindy Backman is talking about her convention circuit touring with "ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN". Cindy is the one who was behind the camera at ElixirConf and is as nice as can be. I'm sure she has some amazing war stories to share.

  • "RUBY IDIOMS YOU'RE NOT USING YET" from Craig Buchek is just what it says it is. I'd love to learn more about these concepts, which can often be implemented in other languages, too.

  • The most interesting talk of the show for me is coming from Ernie Miller, who might spark some controversy with "RUBY AFTER RAILS". It's something I've been thinking about lately: Is Ruby on the downslide? Has Rails run its course? Are we past Peak Ruby? What comes next?

  • Jim Gay's "EASTWARD HO! A CLEAR PATH THROUGH RUBY WITH OO" promised something called 'East-Oriented Code,' which avoids 'if' statements as much as possible. Sounds slightly functional, and very OO at the same time.

And so on and so forth. When this show starts going up at Confreaks, a lot of people are going to be spending a lot of time watching YouTube videos, is all I'm saying. Given the show happens mid-November, maybe it'll be some nice viewing over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Or maybe it'll be a Christmas break treat.

Either way, I can't wait.

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