Fledgling Ruby Developer Discovers Community Among Mountain Rubyists
What better place to mine for skills in Ruby development than at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains? I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think of any better place to experience my first Ruby conference than at Mountain.rb. I went to Boulder, Colorado where I was greeted by towering mountains and listened to genius people advocating the language that I have been honeymooning with.
Now, please note, I am very new to the community. I have only been working in Ruby for the past 5 months, and I come from a design and front-end background. Most of my programming and development skills have been self-taught, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a newborn amongst mature Rubyists. I think veteran developers might have had different experiences from the conference itself, but I’ve been inspired to share my beginnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s viewpoint.
The conference started for me on Wednesday, October 6 with a QuickStart workshop on Ruby and Rails. The community house where the workshop was held sat at the very foot of the Flatirons. It was a beautiful view and the venue was the perfect meeting place. Rich, dark woods surrounded me and made me very comfortable, as I was about to get a steady, but strong stream of Rails knowledge sent my way. Sarah Allen (Blazing Cloud) and Sarah Mei (Pivotal Labs) led the QuickStart, and even though I am familiar with Ruby and Rails I was intrigued as they touched on the inner workings of Rails components.
Thursday started off the technical sessions, of which I was uncertain of how much I would be able to keep up with. Most of the talks tended to be higher-level, touching on aspects of software development that anyone whom delves in code would be able to utilize. (I will admit that I did get lost when messaging between threaded processes were discussed). Evan Phoenix and Joe OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Brien inspired goodwill with their encouraging talks on treating people right within OSS programming and software sales.
Pete Jackson, our very own Director of Client Services, gave a blockbuster talk on Geospatial Programming (if you missed it, you can still catch him again at RubyConf in New Orleans). His talk touched on a lot of tools that many developers have not yet worked with extensively, and it was very well received.
The biggest thing that I took away from my first Ruby conference is that this community is one that I want to grow in. Amongst the good-natured developers, crazy animal noises from the crowd, and fervor for the Ruby language and methodologies I feel like this is fertile soil for me to cultivate. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m so glad that I have been uprooted from PHP while IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m still green!