Rails Conf 2009 Second Day of Sessions (Evening)

07 May 2009

If you’re looking for the slides from my talk, you can find them (and everyone else’s) here:

I feel like I must confess to you, faithful blog readers, that last night I ate a $240 steak at CraftSteak. But I do not apologize – It was worth it.

Before I give anyone at Obtiva a heart attack I should point out that I will not be expensing that meal.

Also, have you seen Toby Tripp’s Meeting Ticker? (http://tobytripp.github.com/meeting-ticker/) You enter your billable hourly rate, the number of people in the meeting, and press start. It then counts up the amount of money wasted, er, spent. Useful for those clients who are addicted to meetings.

Now on to the keynote:

What Killed Smalltalk Could Kill Ruby Too Robert Martin (Object Mentor Inc.)

First of all it’s probably worth tracking down the video of this talk and watching it. Uncle Bob is a crazy talented speaker who knows way too much about software.

What was it that killed Smalltalk? Kent Beck – “It was just too easy to make a mess”
Also it was written on top of a database (All the code went in there).
And Java was free.
But mostly the mess.

Boy scout rule: Leave the campground cleaner than when you found it.

Perform a random act of kindness on your code every time your check it out.

TDD can be a solution to the mess. (I would also add that code metrics are another.)

The tests allow you to clean the code.

Professionalism: The disciplined handling of power.
Just because you can do a thing does not mean you should do a thing.

What is it that might save rails:
Discipline (TDD)
Humility (Try not to make everyone hate us by snickering too much about other languages)
Acceptance of solving the dirty problems. (ugly database schemas in the enterprise)

If you’re tempted to ignore these warnings – Remember the fate of the most powerful and influential language of the 70s and 80s.