Vladimir Sarić wrote this on May 3, 2013

Notes from Railsberry 2013

Last week I attended Railsberry in Krakow, Poland. It was my first tech conference, so I have nothing to compare it with, but I think it was pretty amazing. And talking to other attendees, during and after the conference, I got the same impressions. Many said that it was by far the best conference they attended, which is really a big accomplishment for the organizers, considering it was just their second year of organizing it.

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The conference venue was beautiful and perfectly picked. It was once a tram depot and has recently been renovated and now serves for cultural and entertainment purposes. The food and drinks were great and more importantly were always accessible. During the breaks the mood was perfectly set by a DJ.

This year’s theme was experimenting or more precisely it was “The conference for curious Rails developers”, so in reality there wasn’t much talk about Rails, but more about surrounding technologies and general software development.

Keynote speaker was Chad Fowler and he did one of the things he does best, he motivated people and it was the perfect way to start the conference. In his eyes developers are happy when they are confident and learning. To learn and progress they should experiment.

I will highlight just a few talks that I found most valuable and interesting, but all were great and the speakers are truly top of our field.

Fred George introduced a scoring system for evaluating how agile a team’s development process really is. With that, he gave some really great suggestions, that seem more obvious than they actually are.

Agnieszka Figiel showed some really powerful Postgres features, like Common Table Expressions and the Window Functions.

I loved Chris Kelly’s talk because it involved object oriented design, which I’m a big fan of, and even referenced one of my favorite books. He gave some nice tips on how to apply practices from OOD to web services and APIs, which especially hit home since I have been working on Semaphore API.

Katrina Owen tried with her talk to answer two of the hardests TDD questions “When to test?” and “What to test?”. To help answer those questions she gave few rules of thumb and used an open source repository for code examples.

Geoffrey Grosenbach and Gregg Pollack gave amazing talks that outlined the importance and the future of online education.

Paolo Perego gave a great talk about web application security, that even novices in that field could understand. He demonstrated tools which he wrote and that can be used to hack a web application. Of course, it was all done to get a better understanding of how hackers work and to protect your own project.

One of the most engaging and fun talks was by Felix Geisendoerfer who demonstrated how to control an AR-drone with the Go programming language.

There was also a good number of lightning talks and they were well organized as the rest of the conference. The one that got me the most intrigued was by the guys from GitLab on their release schedule.

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