I showed up semi-sick with a cold, an empty notepad and interested in soaking up the sessions to see how I could apply them to both rails and coldfusion programing. There were even some fellow coldfusion developers providing me with some comfort. Being sick, I did not spend any time with them; I am certain I got more out of seeing them there than they got out of me.
The company I work for was gracious enough to sponsor me even if we do not see any rails development (for now). This conference was a nice contrast to the usual java or coldfusion conference. Overall, it was small, non-commercial and felt more like a huge user-group than a conference event.
I really liked how most of the session’s topics could easily apply to rails as they could to any other programming language.
It was great to see Neal Ford talk about DSL. I had seen him once before at NFJS and he didn’t disappoint. His presentation was full of examples where code evolves thru implementations of DSL. I am sure things are not as simple as he makes them seem. Its a matter of his vast experience in the topic and my lack of.
My work related development could possibly benefit with these practices mostly because we seem to perpetually revise the same tools over and over again.
Another highlight for me was to see Peter Armstrong talk about Rail on Air.
Peter wrote a book on Flex and Rails (Flexible Rails) that I’ve been a fan of since I got it. He first put up his book (as he was writing it) up at lulu.com. Buying the book entitled us to follow along as he wrote it. Peter gracefully provided his readers with google groups for discussion and many other benefits of a small focused community.
Later on, his book got picked up by Manning. I’ve recently received my paper copy (bought as well) and it is wonderful.
This will most definitely be my second book to do this year. He has updated it to Flex 3 and Rails 2. Flex 3 Builder hasn’t come out yet and I rather not have to deal with product expirations for a while… Best focus on that book by itself.
Sadly, I couldn’t stay to the end of his session because of work related circumstances but was able to briefly meet Peter afterwards. I was delighted. He seems to have big plans for this year; I wish him the best and will be sure to keep up to date with his work.
Day two coming soon…