RubyConf Brazil 2011 in a few paragraphs
Last Thursday and Friday I had the opportunity to attend RubyConf Brazil 2011, a well-organized conference by Locaweb and Fabio Akita. On this post I’ll show up my feelings and thoughts about it using
just a few paragraphs.
First, let’s talk about the venue. The conference took place in a well-known “shopping mall” in São Paulo near to Av. Paulista, which means that most of attendees could use public transport such as subway to come to the conference.
The decision of using a mall as an conference venue for me is always a good idea. You are a step closer to a wide variety of restaurants and, when things get boring, you can take a walk across the mall.
One aspect that I think could be improved for next editions is the total space for people to walk and to talk in during coffee breaks (yeah, another point to the organizers, the food was excellent). I don’t think more space as a whole is necessary, just rearranging the food through all the place instead of centralizing it on the talk rooms exits. I saw lots of free spaces but people insisted on being next to the food (I guess, it’s an instinct).
Now, let’s go to the talks I’ve attended. I won’t give a complete review about all of them, just a short opinion over my feelings and thoughts about those I liked most. Let’s start.
Douglas Campos (@qmx) on JRuby on Steroids
photo by @hannelita
Great talk presenting how JRuby team is using the newest Java 7 features to improve JRuby. Douglas explained such a hard topic as JVM is in a simple and deep way. And to get things harder he was talking about Java platform stuffs in a ‘rubyists’ conference, so he could have faced some tomatoes or something like that anytime (just kidding, at all, there are few extremists there).
José Valim (@josevalim) on Learn and Understand more about Ruby creating your own Programming Language
photo by locaweb
As José said, he gave the ‘long-titled’ talk on the conference. It was a really nice talk where José explained in which ways building a new language could improve our development skills (really, really interesting). At the end, he gave us some kind of quiz where he whether is interesting or not adding some new features to Ruby and after his briefing, we voted on what he had suggested.
Aaron Patterson (@tenderlove) on Who makes the best Churrasco? and Why I hate Lambdas
photo by @hannelita
As usual Aaron gave a outstanding talk presenting us with some rails (mainly ActiveRecord) internals. He explained things that we didn’t even think existed before, like peculiarities with threads and connection pooling with Rails. At the end he show us some features he would like to implement on further versions of rails, such as the new rails route resolver which uses graph algorithms instead of the current regex pattern matching . After this presentation I saw a lot of people (including me) realizing that there’s still a lot to study.
The last RubyConfBr 2011 talk had Aaron as speaker too, replacing other speaker that couldn’t come. The talk was entitled “Why I hate Lambdas”, and, IMO was one of the most amazing and funny talks I’ve ever seen. The content was really simple: why he hated lambdas and what to use in order to replace it. This talk took just a few minutes (I guess about 15 minutes) after that he started talking about the ‘Worst ideas ever’, where he showed us a set of bad ideas he had to implement (or thought to implement) in order to learn or prove something. Believe me, he wrote a parser, called it Phuby, to execute php code, inside a ruby application. Using Phuby he was able to beat ‘dhh’ by creating a 2 minute blog instead of the usual 15 presented by rails community. What a great talk - I could learn that even the worst ideas we have should be implemented, because it the end - and at least - it’s possible to learn something.
There were other great talks such as the ones from Bruno Oliveira (@abstractj), Nick Sutterer (@apotonick), Lucas Húngaro (@lucashungaro), David A. Black (@david_a_black) and Nando Vieira (@fnando). If you want more details about the talks you can check eventials.com/rubyconfbr.
Taking this into account it’s possible to consider RubyConf 2011 one of the greatest 2011 conferences, where I was able to learn, talk with old friends, exchange ideas and laugh a lot.
In short, conferences, for most us developers should be more than just presentations. IMO, conferences are great opportunities to see how far you have been in studies and to take notes of the newest stuffs there’s out there, and the best conference is the one I leave with more questions and doubts than when I arrived, so now I’ve a lot things to read and study and I intend to post some of them here in my blog.