Last weekend I was in Montevideo, Uruguay to assist to the RubyConf Uruguay 2013, I was one of the few Chilean developers there and it was a really awesome conference, thanks to the organizers! And after it I want to share some of the knowledge, opinions and resources about the conference.

Disclaimer: this words represent my opinion only and the talks themselves have a lot more info that this blog post, and I might got something wrong about the talks :P

Disclaimer 2: I’m not a native enlgish speaker, but I’m practicing

At first I was kind of wondering if a rails conf would be better than a rubyconf, because I develop in rails and I want to know more about rails, but in retrospective, it’s way better to learn different things in ruby than just a tool that uses it.

In that sense, one of the main points in the conference was to use lightweight tools to get the job done and all talks and people there were aiming to reduce complexity and get more stuff done.

Also, I got really great advices about starting to contribute to open source from Santiago Pastorino and Rafael França, like:

  • start by participating in pull request/issues discussions, read the code and the motivations in it. Even if you don’t understand what’s going on, but with time, this habit will help you to get on board in a complex project like rails.
  • read the code from the commits in the code.
  • look and read the first commits of a project, this is the simplest version of the project and it will help you to be in the shoes of people starting a great project.
  • it’s easier to follow the activity of a project through RSS. GitHub enables you to do that.
  • ask people for help. There is a lot of people in cool open source projects, read and try to understand, then ask for people help if it is very difficult.

Beside that, I’m going to talk a little about the talks in the conference and gather some resources to look further to:

Jim Weirich, Why aren’t you using Ruby?

This talks is about the cool features in ruby that help us to ship better programs in less time. He talks about his experience in ruby and how he made rake, even he make a light version of rake in live coding.

For me, the most awesome aspect of this talk is that expert programmers like Jim, think and code in the most simple and practice way possible. That’s awesome, I’m a developer and I usually tend to overcomplicate things, but Jim is a hacker and is focused on getting stuff done.

Justine Arreche, I Am Designer and So Can You!

She talks about color theory, and shows a nice chart about what represents each color. Gives tips about picking a color scheme and lastly talks about the differences between serif and sans-serif

Andreas Fast, Performance matters

He talks about several practices to improve performance in rails applications, how to measure them, and it’s a must see talk for all rails developers. His slides have a really nice touch with the handmade graphics, courtesy of Máximo Gómez.

Luismi Cavalle, Sustainable productivity: Rails vs OOP

This talk is excellent, he talks a little about the progression with using ruby on rails, the diversity that has come with rails popularity of ways to do things, and discusses about the data characteristics about active record objects versus the principles about pure OOP practices, and it’s differences, here’s a comparison between this two focuses.

I think that is enough for now, tomorrow I’ll be covering more interesting talks and tips about other talks in the conf.