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RailsConf 2011: Q&A

posted on and written by Paul Elliott in

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Hashrocket came and conquered RailsConf 2011. We laughed, we cried and we walked away feeling inspired and challenged. Here are just of the thoughts of the Rocketeers that attended RailsConf.

Who was the most interesting Rubyist you met at RC2011?

Matt Conway: Probably Wayne. He has a very vibrant personality and wore sesame street boxers. You could hear him laughing all the way down the hall.

What was the biggest thing you missed out on while you were at RC2011?

Dave Ott: I didn't have any crab cakes and didn't make it to BoatConf [a few Rocketeers rented a room on a boat and dubbed it BoatConf - ed]. I really wanted to pair with some people but no one seemed to want to. Although BohConf was a lot of fun, it would have been cool to see some of the talks as well. Probably the biggest thing I'm upset about is missing the music jam. I just totally spaced on it.

What was your favorite interview?

Paul Elliott: It's hard to narrow it down to just one. I really enjoyed talking to Chad Pytel from Thoughtbot about how they manage themselves for both client and product work. I talked to Jeff Casimir from JumpStart Labs about the upsurge of training offerings in the industry. Jeff is great...I love talking with him. I also had a great conversation with Brian Doll from [NewRelic][] about some of the new features on their platform, which I am really looking forward to trying out. I was really interested in the comments by Anthony Aeden from DNSsimple and LivingSocial about the mentality on InfoEther's side of the aquisition. I don't think I can pick just one.

What was the coolest camera equipment you saw while you were at RC2011?

Kaz Sheekey: Mine.

Did you learn any new testing tricks from the conference sessions?

Thais: I really liked how Chelimsky explained his point of view and how to remove duplication. He showed some examples of RSpec and some things he doesn't like about the library. Even though everything he mentioned is not new to me, it was still good to watch because he is a very good speaker.

Another cool thing he talked about was how to think about being DRY. Sometimes being DRY causes you to tightly couple pieces of the system that shouldn't be coupled and this can cause problems down the road. He said that a little bit of duplication is OK in certain circumstances.

What was different about this year's RailsConf versus previous years?

Thais: This year had a big focus on frontend development. There were talks on backbone-js, coffeescript, and page load performance. This is a topic that has been largely overlooked by the industry for a long time. Even the organization of javascript in Rails 3.1 has had an overhaul and is greatly improved. The asset pipelines are much more sophisticated. DHH discussed some of this in his keynote and it was followed up by a few of the talks throughout the conference.

Describe your conference experience in 1 word.

Paul: inspiring
Caleb: welcoming
Thais: motivador
Dave: connecting
Aaron: enlightening
Matt: gin

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