Red Green Repeat Adventures of a Spec Driven Junkie

My Goruco 2016

{ Goruco: "Gotham Ruby Conference"}

Goruco is a one day Ruby conference and on a Saturday at that! I was a bit disappointed by the Saturday because I wanted a day off work, but when I got there, I realize a Saturday event changes the attendee profile. There were very few “suits” and everyone that was there, really, really wanted to be there.

The talks were fantastic. Highlights that stick out to me:

Brian from Code Climate presented a view of code that was refreshing.

  • The optimal pull request size is 400 lines of code (LOC). More lines gets less feedback, fewer lines gets more feedback.
  • Getting everyone in your team on board with a code quality metric is important… But not so important to spend time on researching the hell out of it. If in doubt, just use LOC.
  • Biggest threat to clean code: fear. Fear of introducing bugs into the system.

Nadia came in from London and shared with us the parallels of being a good host and making code bases hospitable. The parallels of getting around a city and a code base are eerily similar. Very enlightening. I immediately bought her book recommendation: non-violent communication. Looking forward to reading it soon.

One thing I experienced at Goruco which was awesome: seeing speakers participate in a Ruby version of Just A Minute hosted by Andrew Faraday. This really broke up the day and provided for some great entertainment after lunch. Other conferences I have been to never had such a break and I was really worn out at the 3pm mark. With this break, I was refreshed and able to focus on the afternoon speakers. The ice cream from Phin & Phebes helped too.

From the afternoon talk, two highlights for me:

Rocio gave a talk about DB performance at scale. I learned there are two tools which can help in improving and debugging DB performance: peek and scientist.

  • Peek shows how performance is over the whole web request.
  • Scientist allows a portion of production requests to use an “experimental” request to collect real performance data on new optimization developments.

Adam Cuppy gave an excellent talk on culture and company. Many of his points about cults fit perfectly with many new startup attitudes. I’m surprised I didn’t make the connections myself sooner. One of the most mind blowing points from Adam were how focusing on the last two of our basic needs, the other four would automatically be fulfilled. That is making me rethink how I am organizing and prioritizing my life.

Beyond formal talks

Outside of the formal talks, I learned a lot from other attendees I met:

  • Eric told me about the importance of having a company’s founders still alive and in power at a company. I was very surprised how Bloomberg has steered his company recently.
  • Aja told me there’s a book on machine learning in Ruby… Which uses TDD! Wow. Another book I have to read soon. (And she gave me a nifty sticker too!)
  • Abel Americans are not financially or environmentally driven to conserve their utility usage… But by competition.
  • Patrick found me a website which can make any MacBook super pretty.
  • I met James there and told me he will be at Windy City Rails. Maybe I’ll make an effort to see him there!
  • Met Luke Melia and talked to him about getting into Ember more. I need to checkout the Ember guides again.

No guts; No boat party!

The conference boat party was awesome. I’m very happy the boat was large enough to accommodate a +1 for every guest. (It’s not that there wasn’t enough women at the conference.) I used my +1 to introduce a fellow n-langer to the Ruby community. She really enjoyed it and might become part of the Ruby community more. 😄

The boat took us around Manhattan harbor and gave us spectacular views of the area.

manhattan harbor

manhattan skyline

big sky nyc

statue of liberty

If you have not been to a Ruby conf…

Make an effort to attend! Be sure to say hi to everyone, introduce yourself, and ask how they’re doing. Those were the key ingredients I used in this Ruby conf and had a great time. See you next year!