Software Developer

Blue Ridge Ruby 2023 Recap

Blue Ridge Ruby 2023 πŸ”—

Blue Ridge Ruby recently wrapped up in Asheville, North Carolina. This post is not intended as a review of any of the talks, but to highlight the variety of great work from all involved. I hope you’ll seek out the full videos of all the sessions that interest you once they are available.

Day 1 πŸ”—

Welcome πŸ”—

Jeremy Smith gave an intro that I hope to see expanded into a full conference talk one day. Maybe after he’s not so busy organizing a conference.

Jeremy Smith at Blue Ridge Ruby

Enough Coverage To Beat The Band πŸ”—

I had the pleasure to bring the “Ruby’s Got You Covered” world tour to Asheville. This was my first time sharing this with an in-person audience.

Kevin Murphy at Blue Ridge Ruby
Photo Credit: Drew Bragg

Empathetic Pair Programming with Nonviolent Communication πŸ”—

Stephanie Minn shared a way we can reframe our mindsets and statements in pairing situations and beyond. We reviewed observations, feelings, needs, and requests within the NVC (Nonviolent Communication) framework.

Stephanie Minn at Blue Ridge Ruby

Forecasting the Future: An Introduction to Machine Learning for Weather Prediction in Native Ruby πŸ”—

Landon Gray gave us an appreciation for all the work that goes in to prepare, manipulate, and clean the training data used in machine learning models.

Landon Gray at Blue Ridge Ruby

Who Wants To Be A Ruby Engineer? πŸ”—

Drew Bragg, to the surprise of everyone only paying attention to the schedule on the website, hosted a small version of his popular game show after lunch.

Drew Bragg at Blue Ridge Ruby

RSpec: The Bad Parts πŸ”—

Caleb Hearth demonstrated how we can use test structures that promote obviousness. Test examples should show what’s being tested and how it is being used.

Caleb Hearth at Blue Ridge Ruby

Maintenance Matters: Maintaining Your Rails App and Your Sanity πŸ”—

Annie Kiley shared 10 suggestions to keep maintenance at the forefront of your application development process. I liked their ethos to make it easier to do the better thing, and that standards are not standards unless they’re enforced.

Annie Kiley at Blue Ridge Ruby

Making Ruby Fast(er) πŸ”—

Kevin Menard ended the day of talks, just as a different Kevin started them. This talk starts with a discussion on Instruction Set Architectures (ISA) on silicon and transitions to YARV optimizations of Ruby code on a virtual machine (VM). Interpreters, parsers, and compilers - oh my!

Kevin Menard at Blue Ridge Ruby

Day 2 πŸ”—

What’s your type? Generating type signatures with Sorbet and Tapioca πŸ”—

Emily Samp reflected on her reflection experience. Through this we learned how Tapioca generates RBI files for Sorbet to use. Give this one a watch for her beautiful slide design and expert animations and transitions.

Emily Samp at Blue Ridge Ruby

Digital Identity or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Web3 πŸ”—

Thomas Carr discussed the concept of a self-sovereign identity. This enables a user to manage their own data.

Thomas Carr at Blue Ridge Ruby

Go Pro with POROs πŸ”—

Ifat Ribon discussed encapsulation, clarity and simplicity. Starting with a primer on database wrappers and modules, we moved into exploring different patterns where Plain Old Ruby Objects (POROs) apply: services, API wrappers, virtual domain models, and request/presentation objects.

Ifat Ribon at Blue Ridge Ruby

Lightning Talks πŸ”—

Fishing, stewardship, CLI tools for generating licenses and CI results, Rails tips, hiring, 1:1s with managers, and accessibility were just a few of the topics covered in these five minute sessions.

How can I move forward when I don’t know where I want to go? πŸ”—

Mo O’Connor introduced tools to guide decisions on moving forward. Individual Development Plans, applying/interviewing, somatics, pros/cons lists, mentorship, and building relationships were the topics covered.

Mo O'Connor at Blue Ridge Ruby

Appreciation πŸ”—

Thank you to Jeremy Smith for putting this idea into the world and making it a reality.

Thank you to Mark Locklear, Karl McCollester, and Joe Peck for helping to organize.

Thank you to the entire Blue Ridge Ruby Team:

  • Mark Locklear
  • Joe Peck
  • Karl McCollester
  • Johnathon Wright
  • Bryce Senz
  • Daniel Bradley
  • Jeremy Smith
  • Kristy Smith
  • Porter Smith
  • Jade Smith
  • Thomas Carr
  • Jay Sanders

Thank you to the sponsors for supporting a fledgling event. Particular thanks to Pubmark for helping support my participation.

Thank you to everyone who I met there. A conference doesn’t work unless people show up, and you all made it the event it became. Thanks to everyone for the kind words about my talk. I really appreciate it. Speaking is a lot of work - hearing from people afterwards is what makes it worth it.

Congrats Jeremy; you did it.

Jeremy Smith closing Blue Ridge Ruby