The Grays at MountainWest RubyConf 2009
Dana and I really enjoyed our first MountainWest RubyConf experience. The talks were very high caliber, the venue great, and the hosts generous. This conference also proves that not only does a single-track conference still work, it's just plain better.
Lone Star Rubyconf Slides
I've had a couple of requests for my slides from Lone Star Rubyconf. Here are those links for those who want them:
- At LSRC 2007 I gave a Ruby as a Glue Language speech. My slides are available.
- I also gave a Hidden Gems talk at LSRC 2008. Those slides are available as well.
- For LSRC 2009 I talked mainly about Japan, but also mentioned Ruby's modules a little. The talk was called Module Magic. I've made those slides available.
I Enjoy the Regional Conferences
I have to say that the Lone Star Rubyconf was just great. I'm hoping that's representative of the other regional Ruby conferences as well and from what I've heard it is.
I was at the official Rubyconf last year and I'm comfortable saying that the Lone Star Rubyconf competed well on content. We had great keynotes from Charles Nutter and Zed Shaw (though he's wrong about that don't love your language point); we had presentations from icons of the community, like Hal Fulton; we had popular topics covered by the experts, like the RSpec presentation from Mr. RSpec, David Chelimsky; and we had the wonderfully practical technical talks, like Evan Short's smooth coverage of Domain Specific Languages.
While you do have to consider it a small minus to miss seeing Matz and a few other key Rubyists, the conference countered with a terrific small community feel. Everyone was open and friendly. You could easily approach anyone and chat them up about nearly any topic. Several people approached me and I loved it.
I Got Booed at the LSRC!
At the Lone Star Rubyconf, only a single speech coaxed a "Boo!" out crowd. Of course, it was mine.
On a slide where I was trying to counter the expert warnings against using glue code features in Ruby, I told people not to lose a lot of sleep about external dependencies. When I added the comment, "That's your SysAdmin problem anyway," one audience member growled a complaint.
The complainer later apologized to me for the outburst, but his point was valid that I didn't say what I intended to say.
What I was trying to get across is that any external dependency I add to an application is going to become a line item in my SysAdmin's build script. After that, neither of us will lose any more sleep over it. He does his job so well that it makes mine easy. So, what came off as an insult, was intended as a compliment. I apologize.
To rebalance the global karma pool, do me a favor and hug your SysAdmin today.