You have have an opportunity to transform everything about the way we think about programming. This "big picture" talk starts with the Earth; it's losing mass at a rate of 1.5 grams per second due to the energy the Internet demands. This is in spite of the fact that programming languages fundamental to the modern Internet remain essentially the same as they were in the 1960's, says Robert Martin. Martin's energetic lecture questions the basic assumptions involved in software development.
Musician and CD Baby founder Derek Sivers had already built his popular music selling website using his own cobbled-together PHP framework when he realized he needed to do something different. His quirky code was not able to scale as the site grew and Rails was the solution. In his 2010 Railsconf keynote, Sivers describes the journey he took and his own thought processes in deciding to use Rails as a framework for this award-winning project.
Computer code is not yet art, but it could be. Neal Ford discusses aesthetics, constraints, creativity, and why the Ruby on Rails community is closer to art than other programming communities. He implores developers to create and define their own tastes, rather than merely consume what others have created.
There is no "in crowd" in the Ruby development community, so you shouldn't be worried about being excluded. Yehuda Katz of EngineYard shares stories of several important contributors to Ruby and Rails who started out knowing nothing, but through hard work and persistence created value for the whole community. Katz: just find something that looks impossible and do it!
Michael Feathers asks his audience whether clean code is good code. Looking at examples from business and academic research his talk seeks to address the problem of legacy code in software development. Taking some lessons from engineering he suggests some ways to make code better and cheaper.
Ruby on Rails has been around for five years and three major versions, and while many small things have changed, the major principles are still the same. In this talk from the 2009 RailsConf, David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Rails, lists some of the things that failed to "kill" Rails, the philosophy and details of the upcoming Rails 3 release, and the key to productivity in software development.
Jeremy Kemper, one of the largest contributors to the Ruby on Rails framework, talks about various techniques to improve performance in this presentation at the O'Reilly European Rails Conference. This is a must-listen presentation for anyone who is interested in optimizing the performance of Rails-based web applications.
Legacy software is usually seen as a burden, but in this talk from RailsConf Europe, David Heinemeier Hansson flips that idea on its head. In order to recognize bad software, you have to become a better developer, so if your old code is "legacy", that means you have progressed. Legacy should be a badge of honor. After discussing the concept of legacy code in general terms, Heinemeier Hansson does some detailed analysis of his own old Rails code.
In this Q&A session the Rails core team discuss trends in the Rails community, the challenge of SproutCore, framework competition, and how to pick a Ruby implementation. Along with insights into the team's personal technology interests and the folly of micro-optimisation, the dangers of over abstraction and other areas are explored.
Rails 2 has a lot of things to feel happy about. Jeremy Kemper, one of the earliest and one of the largest contributors to the Ruby on Rails framework, gives a detailed explanation of the new features in Rails 2.0 and 2.1.