We are conference aficionados at Kyan. As well as hosting our own, we try to visit as many as possible. This year already we've been to Bath Ruby, Pittsburgh's RubyConf 2018, UX London, TNW 2018, Diversity in Technology, Accountex... and, of course, WXG. Erica Porter recounts her cross-channel experience at Paris.rb, a community-driven Ruby conference for the people!
How would you describe the Paris.rb conference experience?
This was my first Ruby conference outside the UK. I love attending tech conferences because it is an opportunity to spend several days immersing yourself in topics you are passionate about and to meet other people who share that passion. The chance to do that in one of my favourite cities in the world with an impressive line up of speakers was just too much to pass up.
Paris has a growing startup scene and an ambition to become a global tech hub. It was definitely possible to feel that vibe at Paris.rb. The conference had a very international feel – speakers and attendees had travelled from Canada, US, Australia, Japan and all over Europe. I was also impressed by the number of female Ruby on Rails developers at Paris.rb!
What talks did you enjoy the most?
The quality of the talks at Paris.rb was really impressive and it is extremely difficult to pick favourites. Eileen Uchitelle, the newest member of the Rails core team, kicked off the conference with her keynote 'The Future of Rails 6, Scalable by Default' where she discussed the features she has been working on, such as giving Rails the ability to run tests concurrently or the ability to connect to multiple databases, that will allow Rails to scale more effectively. This felt like a really important talk and set the tone for the conference in terms of what to expect in the future for Ruby on Rails.
Rafael Franca, production engineer at Shopify, gave a fascinating talk entitled 'Living on Rails Edge', documenting the challenges of upgrading one of the largest Rails applications in production and discussed why keeping your Rails application up-to-date is so important.
I also loved Damir Svrton's (Netflix) talk where he compared multiple options for building a serverless Ruby bot, and Jenna Blumenthal's (Shopify) talk on how she built event sourcing into an existing Rails application.
What were your learnings from Paris.rb?
Many speakers emphasised the importance of sharing knowledge within the community, especially in relation to tasks that all developers encounter and find challenging, such as the upgrading of Rails applications. Another takeaway was to try out Ruby in areas where it is less commonly used such as building bots, as pushing the boundaries is important for the development of the language.
Did Paris.rb inspire you to try anything new or to do something different?
I feel inspired to watch the new developments in Ruby and Rails closely and to make sure all applications are kept as up-to-date as possible!
What makes a good conference?
A good conference is one where you leave feeling more excited about the work you do and more connected with the community you are a part of. Paris.rb definitely delivered on that. I am waiting patiently for next year's tickets to go on sale!