KC User Group Tour, Part 4: Rubyists

Luke Patterson Community, Development Technologies 3 Comments

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Trying to unwind the onion now, peeling away until I get back to the February Ruby meetup.  I got more than a little side-tracked, but I learned a lot along the way.

I was new to Ruby, and I kept hearing that it could help me get a web app going in no time. Here is how I imagined it:

  1. Throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave
  2. Start developing my web app
  3. Finish developing my web app
  4. Wait until my popcorn finishes
  5. Eat the popcorn while enjoying my new web app (btw, Tapatio is awesome on popcorn)
On I went, and my Hello World would be real simple – Throw a CMS up on Heroku.  I ended up getting it “done” (note the heavy dose of “quote fingers”), but the journey took a little longer than expected.  It was difficult, but worth it.  Along the way: Ruby, Refinery, RVM, Heroku, S3, _why, Homebrew, ImageMagick, taking a nap in anger, Vagrant (really cool), VirtualBox, vagrant-snap, Lilyhammer, VeeWee.  (I need to blog a walkthrough)

The February 21st Meeting:

Great Turnout!

The Main Event:

  • Wes Garrison, one of the group organizers, started off with a wrap-up of recent Ruby happenings
  • Darren Cauthon demonstrated Refinery, a Rails CMS
    • Insights on routes
    • Advice about keeping the controllers thin
    • Tips on using Amazon S3 for hosting the images
  • Kyle Putnam presented Propr, his creation for “Property-based testing for Ruby (ala QuickCheck)”
    • Discussed code coverage and provability
    • Can help find what else floats
    • Properties, Axioms, Specs, Inverse Functions
    • It was nice to see interest in doing the right thing

Lightning Talks:

  • Samuel was barefoot
  • Craig talked about Quicksilver
  • leap2 – KC-Based!
  • Dusty talked about an advanced rest client chrome extension
  • An announcement for Kill Mobile, a new mobile and “Objective-C for Ruby developers” group

Seven Bridges of Königsberg

Afterwards, I stuck around so I could learn how to lose in “Ticket to Ride“.

I am the best loser.

Q&A With Wes Garrison:

Q. How would you describe the Ruby community in KC?

Pretty good and getting better. We’ve had two successful conferences.
Our keynote is still the featured video on http://www.confreaks.com/
with over 50K views since November.

We have a strong showup and lots of people meet up and hack during the
off weeks, too.

Q. How does Ruby improve a developer’s toolkit?

Most people learn Ruby to use Rails. If you’re coming from the Java or
.Net world, Ruby and Rails can let you produce web apps with a lot
less code.

Also, Rubyists emphasize automated a lot, which I’ve found leads to
better software done right the first time.

Q. How has Ruby changed your life?

I quit my full time job to start a Ruby consultancy.  I have a cat named Ruby.

Thanks Wes!

Next Up: KC .NET, their next meeting is on Tuesday, April 24th.

– Luke Patterson, [email protected]

Other Stops On The KC User Group Tour

Part 1: Perl Mongers

Part 2: Atlassian User Group

Part 3: Pythonistas

Part 4: Rubyists

Part 5: NodeLabs, by NodeKC (a guest post located on the Joyent blog site)

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