After months of planning and organizing, in just one day GoRuCo has come and gone. The Gotham Ruby Conference 2007 took place at Google’s NYC office on Saturday April 21st. It featured 6 talks, 3 from the tri-state region, three from outside the region, and a round of lightning talks.
As one of the organizers, I can tell you how much work it is to put something like this together. We had a fairly large team and I think we relied on each and every person’s unique contributions to make the whole thing come together. However, to credit our speakers and attendees, our whole purpose as organizers was simply to provide an environment and make sure it stayed functional. It was you guys who brought the show.
I was amazed at the overall quality of the conference. We definitely lucked out by having the google space available to us. We were a little concerned about some issues with being able to move around for the hallway track and things like that, but it turned out that having everyone in one area and keeping the group together really made the conference have a unique feel to it, as Luke Melia had mentioned to me, it seemed like it was possible to say hi to almost everyone.
The talks were really great. The overall structure reminded me a lot of the International RubyConf feel, which wasn’t really an accident, but I’m amazed that we found such talented folks to pull it off. As usual, I did a poor job of taking notes, but I do have a short list of highlights (for me) and some links to really good notes about the conference:
Notable Things from various talks and the hallway track:
- JRuby is getting more and more compatible with Ruby 1.8. Most of Ruport’s tests run!
- Bryan’s Fix My New York app looks very cool, though I fear it could be easily abused. (currently under development)
- Trotter showed a good way to use flexmock to make sure caching operations are being tested properly
- I realized that coding with contexts could be really handy, thanks to Trotter
- Paul Dix’s talk on document categorization was intense. For those interested in playing around with categorization, he recommended starting with naive bayes as it’s fast and very forgiving.
- I fooled at least one person into thinking our raffle app was generating unique Game of Life patterns to assemble people’s names. (It was really running in reverse ;)
- Adhearsion apparently will turn you into Bob Ross
- Jeremy McAnally has used the form helper I wrote on this blog, and actually made it much more capable. I’ll link it when I can find his notes
- Jeremy has a camping package called Kindling that brings in some common Rails utilities.
- Zed Shaw is as hateful as ever
- It was good to see some of the DevChix at the conference. We’re really interested in helping make the Ruby community more welcoming to women (and in general, of course), and though our numbers were still low, it wasn’t an all male conference!
- Business Natural Languages seemed a little scary to me. Though you can get a lot out of doing regex substitutions to build valid Ruby code, you’re still writing code, not English. But Jay attests that it works, and I’m sure that there is a niche for it. I just rather help my clients understand specs :)
- Bryan has some excellent talk outlines
- We’re using del.icio.us tag goruco2007
- We’re using goruco2007 for flickr tags too
If you have a blog post you want linked here, just drop me a line.
All in all, The conference was great and well worth the effort. The general smartness of the attendees and speakers made the day. I’m looking forward to next year!