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Visuality

Highlights from Ruby Unconf 2024

Michał Łęcicki
Ruby Developer
Michal - Highlights from Ruby Unconf 2024

There are plenty of ruby conferences and one of them was held in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, 8-9 July 2024. Ruby Unconf is an original format of a conference without a schedule: the agenda is decided by voting on the proposed topic in the morning. Continue reading to see what talks were chosen this time!

The first day of the conference started with the only planned-before talk made by Eileen M. Uchitelle, a core member of the Rails team. Eileen discussed the Rails internals and explained the philosophy behind building the famous framework. She introduced the audience to Rails magic to make it less mysterious.

The unconf talks started with Alexander Sulim describing the "Laziness-driven development" idea. To build the software with "laziness" means undertaking steps to avoid unnecessary effort in the future (like automating tasks, removing extra dependencies, etc.).

Next, a fishbowl discussion. We sat in the circle and inside it, three people were discussing if the ruby is dying or not. Many people shared their perspectives on the current ruby's state on the market: from juniors currently searching for a job, to ones that already found it (like Witek from Visuality), to the company owners who recruit.

After lunch, Jochen Lillich in the talk "Infrastructure as Ruby Code" explained the usage of Chef recipes for servers/services configuration. It's all ruby! Nina Siessegger, from the organizer's team, outlined the challenges of building efficient development teams. She used Domain Driven-Design concepts to demonstrate how to divide big teams into smaller ones! If her talk was not technical, the next presentation given by Joschka Schulz was on the other end of the spectrum. He presented the full instructions on how to build a custom keyboard to make an animated object move! Most of it is in (Pico)ruby, ofc.

Another panel discussion was arranged to help junior developers prepare for the job interviews. Participants discussed the current recruitment expectations and ways to stand out. Some of the ideas: highlight personal strengths, get better at programming tasks under pressure, and have a public GitHub repository with the code to show off.

We concluded the day with an after-party in the (in-)famous Reeperbahn district, Haekken Club. Organizers booked the cozy venue exclusively for the conference attendees, so we could enjoy networking and exchanging our experiences. All were accompanied by Spezi and Ahoj-Brause.

Sunday had a similar format: we started with breakfast and a cup of coffee ( there was a bartender on site! ) and went through the pitching process. Then, voting and constructing the final schedule of the talks.

The day kicked off with an unusual live coding-debugging session. Simon Kaleschke showed a real production code and the audience (aka ruby hive mind) deconstructed it and proposed refactorings. The next presentation by Jan Krutisch took us back to 1985 when people programmed in BASIC. Jan showcased its uses and provided insights relevant to modern Ruby development. After the lunch break, Michał Łęcicki took the stage with a presentation about Hotwire Turbo (displaying the progress of the background jobs). The last unconf talk belonged to Chikahiro Tokoro, who taught us different ways of anonymizing production databases and introduced us to his gem.

The conference ended with a series of lightning talks. Their topic varied from technical ones (e.g. Solargraph, llamafile, or Brick gem) to more soft ones, like announcements about conferences or an introduction to NVC (Nonviolent Communication). The big round of applause for the organizers and speakers closed the event.

As members of Visuality, we were thrilled to be part of the conference lineup (a talk about Hotwire and a lightning talk announcing Ruby Warsaw Community Conference). We deeply appreciate the organizers' efforts in hosting the event at the highest possible level: from the signs on how to enter the building, to the barista serving unlimited coffee, and the helpful hosts team responding to every need of the attendees. Also worth to mention the German Punktualität that kept the event on the schedule, without exceptions ;)If that's not enough to encourage you to attend the next edition, let me add the beauty of Hamburg city with its remarkable harbor promenade and delicious Fischbrötchen!

P.S. We will add links to video recordings when they are published.

Michał Łęcicki
Ruby Developer

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