Ruby Python Javascript Conference RuPy 2012

Ruby Python Javascript Conference RuPy 2012

In the middle of November 2012, BłażejBartekMichał and I went to Brno in the Czech Republic, to attend the latest meeting of RuPy. According to the slogan on their home page, RuPy is “an unique conference that brings together communities from different state-of-the-art programming languages, such as: Ruby, Python, JavaScript and related technologies”.

Attending gives the opportunity to take part in workshops and presentations. The presentations are divided into two tracks: one that is aimed for Ruby developers and another one for Python developers. Of course, there are many speeches that interest both “sides“, either for their higher level of abstraction, or just concerning how we use our tools, for example JavaScript, which is widely used in web development.

This time I am not going to describe all the presentations I attended this year. Instead, I have picked the 6 most interesting speakers, (interesting either for the topic of their talks, or because of their good presentation skills).  I also have written a few words about the workshops and the parties after each day, because they are the reasons that many of us travelled to Brno.

First day – workshops

The workshops took place in RedHat HQ (the main sponsor of the event), which is a really impressive building. Everything there looks very modern and seems to be well thought out, so our first impression of the RuPy event was really good. I took part in a workshop about “Outside-in testing in Ruby” given by Michał Czyż. It was obviously directed at Ruby developers and, during these workshops, Michał gave us a “Test Driven Development” walk-through, on how to write and test an example Ruby on Rails application. During the coding sessions, the focus was on how the tester/developer goes through the stack of different test types, from acceptance to integration and unit tests. At the end, there was time for refactoring: improving the readability and maintainability of the tests we have written. Here and here you can find videos from this event.

I also “attended“ a workshop “Build your own Blog with PyLadies!” carried out by Lynn Root. Of course, I wasn’t suppose to be there, because only women could attend this event, but I was luckily allowed to take pictures 

In the evening, there were several integration parties scattered all over Brno. RuPy organizers chose a couple of local bars, and every person interested in socializing received a special map with their localities. It was the first time, that I encountered this kind of organisation, but it was OK. Together with Michał and Bartek we visited a few places and met some interesting people.

Second day – presentations

The second day took place at Masaryk University. This facility was really nice (you can see it in my photos). We were a little early, so we were able to take strategic seats on the top right, in front of a speaker’s desk. The day was opened by Zed A. Shaw, a person well known in the “Rails” world, as a creator of Mongrel) and the really funny manifesto. He is also an author of books about Python and Ruby on Rails for beginners. The topic of the presentation was: “Kaynote” (an application used to help people learning to play the guitar). Perhaps it wasn’t perfect for this kind of event, but the presentation itself was carried out with great charisma and in a really witty way. The audience had a great time listening to Zed. It was the first time I was able to see him present “live”, but after his speech it was clear to me why he has more than 15 thousand followers on twitter.The second presentation that made a great impression on me was AngularJS. AngularJS is an open-source JavaScript framework, maintained by Google, that assists with running single-page applications. Igor Minár was really good as a presenter and he convinced me (and my friends) that we should give this framework a chance.The last presentation on this day, that I would like to mention,  was “The Future of Deployment” by Dr Nic Williams. His claim was, that we should keep the error rate as low as possible and check it constantly, or we will have more and more problems. The statement was true, of course, and obvious, but Dr Nic has great presentation skills and I wasn’t bored, even for a second.In the evening we were invited to some disco’s in the suburbs of Brno. Only Michel and I went this time, and I must say that when we were delivered to the place by a taxi, we were a little confused, because the place looked like some scary, deserted scenery taken from a horror movie… When we eventually entered the club and we met some familiar faces, all our “creepy feelings” went away. We were lucky to meet some of the RuPy organizers and spent the whole evening with them. I found out a lot of interesting facts about the events and had a really good time. We were also joined by some of the speakers: Steve Klabnik and Mike Burns. Mike is working in Thoughtbot, one of the most well known Rails companies, so it was really interesting for me to speak with him, and exchange experiences (as well as thoughts about U.S. sports).  Michał and I found this evening really entertaining, and we were really disappointed when the party was over.

Third day – presentations

This day also took place in Masaryk University and it started with a recruiting session. I think there is nothing more to add here, so let’s move on to the presentations. The first one that I want to describe was, “Why should I care about Rails 4?” by Steve Klabnik. Steve is one of it’s core contributors, he shared his feelings about the good and bad things that the new version of my favourite framework will bring to the world. Although I try to be up to date with all the news about Ruby on Rails, Steve was able to provide me with some new things, so I have to give him credit for that.

Another good presentation was “Rails Girls – Giving tools for women to build their ideas” , delivered by Cristina Santamarina. If you have never heard about Rails Girls before, they organize a lot of workshops (for girls) all over the world and want to encourage them to start coding. I think this is a great idea and should be supported, that’s why I wanted to write about it here. Especially as Cristina gave a good speech and explained the women’s perspectives and fears about coding. It was really interesting.The last presentation that I want to mention was, “Single Page Applications with CoffeeScript” delivered by Andrzej Krzywda. Andrzej is another great presenter that I met in Brno, and his presentation gave me a lot of ideas, that can be used to build single page applications. He encouraged me to build one, just for fun, at home.

Conclusion I must say that I was really impressed by the facilities and catering. The workshops and most of the presentations were at a really high level, and I spent a great deal of time on integration events. The idea of mixing developers who use different languages is excellent. It helps us to exchange experiences and to learn from each other.  I think that I will attend the next RuPy event, which will take place in Budapest, 11-14th October 2013. I hope to meet you there!