Rails Conf 2010 Day 3

13 Jun 2010

A few days late on this because I’ve been sick all weekend. There just has to be a way to do climate control in conference centers in such a way as to not destroy the planet and, more importantly, Jake’s health. I seriously wore black jeans and 2 shirts on hot summer days and yet I was shivering and caught a cold.

But let’s get to last day of Rails Conf 2010 and my exciting adventures therein. (tweets are in italics)

Woke to “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Which is good ‘cause my heart was pounding. Settled it with some bacon. #railsconf
Yep, I could feel cold coming but I was in denial. I ran into Neal Ford at breakfast and we chit chatted about this and that and then he mentioned that he had read my blog post from yesterday. First thought: I published that sucker at 1am this morning and he’s read it already? Second thought: Oh shit, what did I say about his keynote – I think I called him a jerk at some point. But my brain was foggy and so I wasn’t quite sure what I had said. Later I looked and, yes, I had called him a jerk. I was kidding! If only that was the most embarrassing thing I did that day…

Pro tip: Have the hotel watch your bag for the day while your at the last day of the con #railsconf
It’s true. This year Rails Conf was nice enough to have a section for people’s bags at the conference but they don’t always.

Twenty-Five Zeros - Robert Martin

So, as many of you know, I started out at Object Mentor (as an unpaid apprentice/intern) and I’m a bit of an Uncle Bob fanboy. As these next tweets can attest:

Great speaker, although I had to de-follow him on twitter as I’m not into right wing politics.

Funny how social sciences never really advance as fast as the hard ones. I think of programming as a ‘soft’ science because the hard part is NOT getting a computer to understand the code it’s describing intent to humans.

Vi, Emacs, TextMate, etc. all seem like some weird time warp compared to the awesomeness of the language. It always seems like a really good Ruby IDE is just around the corner.

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs is so often praised that people in the know just refer to it as sicp. It’s available for free here: http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/ I’m thinking of working through it in clojure. And who doesn’t like LISP? Uh…

But his point about multi-core is important (although it has been made before). A lot of people took his talk to mean that Ruby will lead the way into the future of programming. I think his point was that the people at Rails Conf will lead the way – but probably not in Ruby. I’ve seen a few frameworks for handling concurrency in Ruby and they all suck. Why? Because you have to remember to use them all the time. All it takes is one programmer mutating a state somewhere in your code and now you have an intermittent race condition bug. If you’re really going to do concurrency you need a language that treats all mutation like a disease that must be contained in explicitly declared blocks. And that language is not Ruby.

But I think we still have a few years left before we all have to get functional, so that’s nice.

In my defense: I’m an idiot.

You May Also Be Interested in: Implementing User Recommendations in Rails - Matthew Deiters

So Amazon makes 25% of its sales based on recommendations. I was talking with a friend from Groupon the night before and he was telling me that just guessing the sex from a person’s name (and targeting what they get offered) has led to a significant sales boost. If you’re not thinking about how to intelligently recommend to your customers, it’s a sure bet your competitors are.

I urge you not to click this link: http://www.post-literate.com/gerpunx/archives/2005/01/prepare_to_lose_your_mind.php
I think Deiters was trying to make a point about recursion in SQL being bad, but the image made my brain stop working.

Graph db’s are amazing for relationship stuff. You can do “what’s my degree of separation from X” stuff in milliseconds. And Neo4jr-social looks like a pretty cool way to do that stuff in a readable way.

Really good talk. Lots of info in the slides:

Lapidary: the Art of Gemcutting - Nick Quaranto

Versioned API and an ‘undo’ – cool.

All these ideas are great. I command the readers of this blog to go implement them now… Please?

All very cool. Nick is clearly firing on all cylinders – he deserves a raise.

Yehuda Katz - showed up and thanked Nick for his contributions to the Ruby community. I was in quite a few talks where he made it a point to thank the speaker for things he really liked. Stand up guy that Yehuda.

RT: OH: “Firefox is the new IE.” #railsconf (via @glv)
Ouch. But kinda true.

At that point the sickness overtook me so I found a quiet place and laid down. So I missed the last keynote – which I’m about to watch now.

And I’m back. Good Keynote. Actually, all the keynotes were pretty darn good this year. And so were the sessions. Shortly before I got sick on Thursday I remember thinking “This is probably my favorite Rails Conf.”

Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk is probably summed up best with this (made up) title:

Relationships, relationships, relationships, (and swearing) - Gary Vaynerchuk

Here’s some memorable quotes and thoughts:

“Giving a Fuck is coming on strong”

“Stop using the space (twitter, facebook, etc) just to put out fires”

“If I get a hundred more followers I’ll donate $100 to Haiti - Hey Fuck-face just donate $100 to Haiti”

“Everything you’re doing is being documented”

“It’s just getting real hard to hide”

In 2005-6 everything was free 24/7/365. Now people are being trained to pay for things.

On consulting for huge companies: Its stunning how little most big companies give a crap. Most CEO’s want to keep the stock price up for 3-5 years and get out with a huge payday.

Getting people to your site is awesome but “Content is always king”

“What’s the ROI (Return On Investment) in social media? Well I don’t know fuck-face what’s the ROI in having a real relationship? Meanwhile you’re paying for billboards…”

Old businesses: “They lived under small town rules” - if you screw someone you’re going out of business. Those days are coming back.

Corporations: “We don’t want to open this up because people could say our product’s bad”

Gary on the future: “I’m all in – I’m bullish on human beings.”

You can find Gary’s Keynote along with all the others at: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=393ECE649BB3813D or on iTunes.

Well that’s the end of my Rails Conf 2010 coverage. Thanks for reading.