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Ruby Through Rails: A Survival Guide

by Kyle Daigle


A lot of new Rubyists enter our esteemed vocation through Rails. Lately, Rails has become more of a religious movement in some circles than just a framework to build web applications. I want to talk about how to tackle some of the larger disagreements in the Rails community including testing & choosing a framework, adopting "new standards" (or not) like SASS and Coffeescript, what could be concerning about Concerns, and why it might be best to use something other than Rails for your web app.

While the aim of this talk will be towards beginners or non-professional Ruby developers, my goal is to show options and alternatives through code by displaying both their upsides and downsides. Instead of explaining why a developer must use a certain testing framework, I want to show the options, where those options came from, and when it might make the most sense to add them to your application. For the more experienced developers, I hope to show some up and coming gems and libraries that may be too sharp for a new Rubyist.

I am a pragmatist at heart. I believe almost every tool has it's place with the right developer. My goal is to help people who came to Ruby by building a Rails app by relaxing some of the rhetoric, show tools and practices they might not know about, and share that Ruby can do a lot more than just Rails.

Additional Notes

After working at both startups and as a consultant, I've recently taken a role at GitHub on business tools. I originally went to school at Boston University for lighting design. My path to becoming a developer wasn't through normal routes and I like to cut the crap when it comes to a "one true way" to develop something. I love building applications for non-developers to use and help them understand how we got here.