I’ve been studying Ruby for four years now, and use it as my secret weapon for getting all sorts of odds and ends done. As a scrape engineer at work, I am often working outside of our established product pipeline and implementing whatever technology I need to get my work done… but the rest of the company lives in a Windows world. All of our products and servers have roots and branches in Microsoft products: Windows Server, .NET, and SQL Server. This is to simply say that Ruby, and Linux servers don’t exist in my company’s world.

Fitment Group has a strong employee development culture; notably, even when the “What’s in it for me?” might be a bit more abstract. As such, I was given the opportunity to adventure to New Orleans for my first RubyConf last year. I came home with a blast of insight and inspiration, recharged and ready for the world. However, having learned Ruby in a vacuum, and, working in a mostly .NET shop, I lacked confidence in using Ruby outside of personal scripts. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Is this appropriate?” So, when the next conference was announced to be in Los Angeles, I made the conscious decision to skip it in hopes of not wearing out this luxury. I’d plan on going to the following one instead.

I came back to my company with a lot of ideas I had stumbled upon at last year’s RubyConf. In particular, Chad Fowler’s keynote about Legacy Software (how it became legacy in the first place, and how to design software that can become legacy itself) seemed to resonate with our CTO in a way that started shifting to shift our culture. In his talk, he offered the following insight: You can code in any language or technology you want. You don’t have to ask me. As long as the code is “this big”, and works. Our CTO has referenced this quote, and other ideas from this presentation at least a dozen times this past year: it clearly planted a seed in his mind. Or, more likely, he was captivated by Beethoven’s 7º II, Allegretto. Today, even though we have more than a decade of software deloyed with .NET, I no longer feel that we are explicitly “A .NET shop”. With RubyConf 2018 Los Angeles approaching next week, I find myself reflecting on my previous decision that it would not be appropriate to go again so soon. The fact is, I have grown significantly this past year, and I attribute a lot of this success to the momentum received from going to RubyConf last year.

Lucky for me, RubyConf has a long history of making their videos freely available online. So, I’m going to make my own personal conference.

Below are the presentations I’m looking forward to watchin when they are released.

(Hopefully) Interesting Rubyconf 2018 Presentations