Barcelona is truly a beautiful city. Our lunar expedition was amazed by its thriving narrow streets, colorful nightlife and exquisite cuisine full of strange sea creatures. But, surprisingly, these weren’t the reasons we came here. We came here to attend BaRuCo, to listen about Ruby, talk about Ruby, and meet fellow Rubyists from all over the world. How was it then, you probably wonder? Read on!
Marek: the first thing I noticed about the conference was it’s venue – a science museum. Whoever came with the idea of putting a bunch of nerds in a building full of bizarre contraptions demonstrating various laws of physics was a genius. I was eagerly awaiting the end of the talks each day just to see it all! Ok, it isn’t exactly true, because the talks were great.
I especially liked the talks by Github’s Scott Chacon and Zach Holman, who presented ways of getting your work done more efficiently, respectively by solving the most basic problems better than before, and by automating every tedious developer task that can be automated. Paolo Perrota did a great job by humorously summarizing the history of software engineering and showing its impact on modern developers.
Among the more technical talks I enjoyed ones by Gary Bernhardt and Xavier Noria most. The first one described the structure of modern web frameworks, ways of enhancing it, and pros and cons of every approach. The other one demystified the magic of Rails autoloading mechanisms.
Most of the lightning talks were also very interesting, with topics ranging from zsh tips and tricks to a game of go to how perseverance is more important than talent.
I really enjoyed the first Barcelona Ruby Conference, and I’m looking forward to the second one :)
Phillip: BaRuCo was hosted in the CosmoCaixa museum in Barcelona, which made for a very interesting two days because when the talks were over there was still much to do, although unrelated to the conference itself.
The conference started out with a very good keynote by Scott Chacon, co-founder of GitHub, with a topic that was not technical, but rather a point about getting work done and creating software that solves specific problems by getting back to the basic principles set forth by the company or project, respectively. The remainder of the day had many enthusiastic and passionate speakers, most notably Gary Bernhardt with his talk about deconstructing the usual controller in MVC to smaller more single purpose parts, Anthony Eden with his talk about the protocols used in the programming community, and Paolo Perrotta with his very humorous, very interesting look into the history of Software Engineering and how we have come to Agile methodologies.
After the main speakers there was a chance for the attendees to give lightning talks that were time boxed to 5 minutes. These were very interesting, ranging from quick talks about helpful tips on apps to user, to a talk about the ancient board game Go, to a guy telling a story about hope. Let me elaborate on this guy and his story, as he reached his 5 minutes mark and was buzzed to stop, but received a wave of applause to keep telling his tale. Hope was the point of his talk, in that he was an average developer, like most of us are, and he made software that actually helped people and was a relative success. This story definitely resonated with me, and, I assume, most of the attendees.
The second day had talks that seemed to be less enthusiastic but ended on a much stronger note than the day began. All in all, I think this was a very nicely organized conference with quite a few good talks. The only really complaints I have is that the wifi could not handle this many developers in one room, and at the beach party there needed to be more beer.