Nestled in the vibrant heart of Boulder, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Ruby Conference 2023 offered attendees an experience as invigorating as the mountainous backdrop the town is famous for. With the promise of deep dives into the Ruby programming language, the event brought together a diverse crowd of passionate developers eager to learn, share, and connect.
eTown Hall stood as the chosen venue, an excellent decision made by Spike Ilacqua. Its intimate setting was both a breath of fresh air and a catalyst for close-knit interactions. Unlike the vast expanses of some other conference venues, eTown Hall felt personal, ensuring that attendees didn't just mingle, but truly got to know one another.
The conference format stood out significantly. Opting for a single-track style, the organizers ensured that all attendees were on the same page, both literally and figuratively. Not having to choose between concurrent sessions meant no one had to miss out on anything. This shared experience created a common thread for discussions and allowed conversations to bloom naturally during the generous breaks.
Speaking of the breaks, the thoughtful flow of the conference schedule—with 30-minute breaks and a lengthy 2-hour lunch—was much more than just downtime. These moments became opportunities. They were times to dive deep into discussions about the presentations, to share insights, and to genuinely network without feeling rushed.
Among the notable speakers, which were all amazing, a few truly captured my attention.
Drew Bragg’s “Who want’s to be a Ruby Engineer?” stood out, presented in the style of the iconic game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” This creative approach not only provided valuable insights into the Ruby language but did so in a manner both engaging and entertaining.
Marc Reynolds' "Modularizing Rails Monoliths One Bite at a Time" was another highlight, offering a deep dive into the nuances of setting boundaries in a Rails monolith application. It was a deep dive into streamlining processes without getting entangled in complexity.
Ifat Ribon’s "Go Pro with POROs" was an insightful presentation on Plain Old Ruby Objects (POROs). Delving into their versatility and usefulness, Ribon masterfully showcased how POROs can be employed in diverse areas, from services, API wrappers, and virtual domain models to request and presentation objects. Her talk was not only enlightening but reinforced the importance and adaptability of fundamental Ruby constructs in various application scenarios.
Ridhwana Khan's “Caching Strategies at dev.to” delved into the intricate world of caching, demystifying its various layers. Her clear elucidation of the decisions involved in determining what to cache was particularly enlightening. The audience came away with a better grasp of optimizing performance, drawing from real-world examples.
But beyond the excellent presentations and the valuable lessons, what truly made Rocky Mountain Ruby 2023 a remarkable event was the sense of community. It was an assembly of like-minded individuals, all united by a shared passion for Ruby. The atmosphere was charged with excitement, collaboration, and an unmistakable sense of camaraderie.
In conclusion, the Rocky Mountain Ruby Conference 2023 wasn't just about Ruby or even just about coding. It was about rekindling a passion, forming meaningful connections, and maintaining bonds with old friends. It was an opportunity to immerse oneself in an enriching and supportive community. For many, including myself, it was a reminder of why we fell in love with the Ruby community in the first place.