Monday, May 6, 2013

RailsConf 2013 Highlights

Last week, I had the privilege of attending RailsConf up in Portland. With about 1500 attendees, 4 days of sessions, about 3-4 session options to choose from at any time, and a set of about 40 lightning talks, there was a lot going on! Here's just a handful of what I learned while I was there:

  1. There's plenty of debate in the Rails community about whether the meat of your app should live on the server side or the client side. Even among the community leaders.
  2. We often unit test more things than we need to. Focus mainly on messages coming into your test subject, and only on outgoing commands.
  3. ActiveRecord is about 15,000 lines of code. Even the more advanced Rails developers get tripped up on it.
  4. When people read your documentation, they scan mostly along the left-hand side, so favor bulleted lists and appropriate verbs along the lefthand side.
  5. When you're speaking at a conference, being entertaining is of greater value than being informative, because if the crowd isn't entertained, they won't listen to what you have to say.
  6. When you find a security hole in someone's application, there's an etiquette to follow – communicate it to the application owner privately so that the bad guys don't learn about it before it can be fixed.
  7. When you go to a conference, plan out your schedule primarily based on the speaker rather than the topic.

It sounds like the RailsConf team is planning to put many of the presentations up online. When that happens, I'll link over to my favorite ones!

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Dave Leeds
My Hobbies:
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