Last weekend Hamilton and I made the trip across the First Great Western Railway to Bath. Why? For this year’s edition of Bath Ruby!
While Hamilton had the good fortune to attend last year, this was my first time at the conference – and I wasn’t disappointed! It most certainly lived up to its reputation as a great place to comingle with fellow Rubyists and learn a thing or two.
Further to that point, Ruby conferences are always great for Pusher as a company to sponsor. Given that we grew out of a Ruby shop and our product is particularly popular among Rails developers, it’s always a fantastic opportunity to get feedback from the community and exchange Ruby-related ideas.
To sum the event up, it was excellently organized. The team behind it really went the extra mile to make everyone – delegates and sponsors – feel welcome. We’re glad we got around to talking to most of the delegates at our booth; it was great to talk about Pusher with both old users and those who had yet to try it out. The after-drinks, in particular, were a great source of fun. The organizers had laid out a delicious spread, accompanied with drinks, and we chatted about the newest developments in the Ruby/Rails world.
The talks were consistently awesome. The opening keynote was perhaps one of the best talks I, personally, have ever seen. Xavier Riley showed us the ins and outs of Sonic Pi, which – for those unfamiliar – is a piece of educational software on which to create music through code.
The talk ran through how with a few simple Ruby methods you can create any piece of Western music. What was particularly powerful about this talk was how he demonstrated how it could be learned by anyone of ages 6 and above, then proceeded to build on very simple concepts to create progressively livelier and more complex pieces of music. The last 5 minutes or so of his talk were outstanding: sampling a speech by Barack Obama on the importance of teaching code to children, he live-coded a wonderful musical performance for the rest of his talk – all without saying a word.
Photo Courtesy of Adam Butler
There were plenty of other cool talks scheduled throughout the day – lightning talks, a really interesting talk about the Neo4J graph database, talks about the open source community and diversity. The closing keynote in particular finished the event on a high. Aaron Paterson / @tenderlove spoke about his attempt to optimize Ruby’s inline cache for polymorphic functions. I personally found it a great introduction to Ruby’s plumbing, given that I had never looked into such things before. It was highly entertaining and very accessible.
So, overall – a really great event, and one which we were proud to sponsor. We certainly hope to return next year!