ePages at EuRuKo - Is Ruby still alive?

Last week my team (Internal tools team) attended the European Ruby Conference in Budapest. Although we use other languages, we love working with Ruby. It’s the base of our team, so it felt natural to be there.

An amazing location

Budapest is awesome. It’s a must see city, both during the day and at night. Gorgeous buildings, nice public transport and tasty food.

First day

We arrived early at the registration, got a nice breakfast and then started networking. One of the things that I loved the most is the nice community. Everyone is friendly, wants to share knowledge, listens to others, provides suggestions and likes doing some small talk.

Matz opened the conference, as it couldn’t be any other way. He gave us some hints about the future of Ruby and the team’s focus and motivations.

There was a really nice diversity of topics and everything on just one track, so nobody missed anything. Helping communities & products thrive by fostering empathy, How To Scale an Unscalable Service, Tensorflow Ruby API or Things I Learned the Hard Way Building a Search Engine were some of the talk titles.

Even though Ruby was the central topic in most of them, some other topics such as empathy, system architecture or machine learning were also included. In my opinion, this shows how mature and open minded this community is.

Lightning talks full of gems

These talks were full of advices, from tips for juniors to system health monitoring. Some of the most interesting libraries for us were tty to ease the process of creating command line apps, a small library to perform health checks called mini-check, and reality which is an interesting experiment on ruby to process data and transform it into knowledge.

EuRuKo day two

The second day started with a talk on JRuby by Charles Nutter. It was awesome to get an insight into the issues, thought processes, and the numbers of other Ruby versions. I was really intrigued by the performance and the advantages the JVM provides to Ruby. This is something that we are going to play with, for sure.

This day also offered a really nice selection of topics not only focusing on the code. I like listening to this kind of talks about health, life/work balance, and how to manage stress; they show the human side of programmers and that we often forget taking care of ourselves.

We also listened to some talks about things that went wrong, as we are -again- only humans and we all make mistakes from time to time. This shows the importance of other skills, like for example being able to stay calm even in difficult situations and still deliver best quality by avoiding snowballing mistakes.

Talks ranting about Ruby were also present - showing again the open minded community and the high effort on improving the language - as well as talks about more scientific applications on ruby, simulations of performance, cost efficiency, and so on.

Things that caught our attention

Opal, a Ruby to JavaScript source-to-source compiler, Rubymotion, a way to write cross-platform native apps in Ruby, and jemalloc were some of the technical highlights for us.

On the non-technical part, we were surprised by the openness of the community, openness to share, to contribute, to help; and by the passion of people about coding. All of this probably inspired by the motto of the Ruby community: “Matz is nice and so we are nice”

It was nice to see that not all Ruby is Rails and that there are way too many use cases for this language. I firmly believe that the sky is the limit for Ruby and sharing those two days with seven hundred people made clear that Ruby is not dying anytime soon.

See you next year at Vienna’s EuRuKo 2018

About the author

Unai M. belongs to the epagesdevs content team.