This last weekend I went to the Lone Star Ruby Conference 2013. It was a good conf. Of course, there were some weak talks and bad wifi issues, but overall, it was the most enjoyable and useful conference I’ve been to.
- Sandi Metz’s keynote looking at the history of writing and tech - Always great to hear that you’re going to be obselete and thus, you need to remember what your priorities are.
- Dave Thomas’s talk on Exlir - Showed off the power of the language by live-coding and having a good time doing it.
- Brandon Hays‘ talk on Ember.js and Rails - perhaps the best beginner talk I’ve ever seen. Great combo of funny, interesting, informative and technical enough to be useful.
- Sarah Mei’s talk on fostering creativity and problem solving - Just a great talk–well delivered and interesting. Best soft talk of the conf.
- Nell Shamrell’s talk on RegEx - Super informative, well delivered and highly technical without alientating anyone. 200 devs paying attention to every word she’s saying about how a RegEx parser works. That’s mad skills.
- Sam Livingston-Gray’s talk on Refactoring - Wonderful talk that dove deep enough to give you an idea of HOW to refactor something. I always forget that it is one small thing at a time.
- Getting to meet and visit with people I had only known on twitter before like @_zph and @avdi.
- Getting to meet lots of people interesting in #pairwithme.
- Bryan Helmkamp: “Your goal is to make refactoring invisible. It should happen every time you touch the code. Little improvements here and there.”
- Getting to give my Lightning Talk on #pairwithme
Overall a great conf. It seemed like the best and most interesting talks weren’t focused on Ruby–with the exception of @geeksam’s talk on refactoring. Nearly every talk worth it’s salt was either talking about broadening your horizons or improving your code quality. That’s a tall order, and it’s a great thing that the Ruby community embraces it.
There will be no LSRC 2014, but the hope is that there will be one in 2015. I wonder if the Ruby Community will thrive to a point that makes all these regional conferences possible over the next two years. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. We’ll see. Here’s to hoping.