Whew! Just got back from a whirlwind 5 days of RubyConf 2012 in Denver, CO. Overall it was a great conference and I’m glad I made it out there. Here’s a round-up of my thoughts in no particular order:
– between going to sessions, talking to people, and checking out events hosted every night, I was pretty much engaged the entire time. That was both awesome and slightly surprising. With 3 full days of sessions, I expected there would be a bunch of downtime or that my interest would dwindle. However, I brought a few books with me and ended up not even cracking any of them.
– there was a good mix of topics for the conference – it was less Rails-focused and tried to cater to more than 1 group of people – and that diversity of subjects felt refreshing. Other than the keynotes (which were held in a single huge room) there were 3 tracks of sessions, which is great way to ensure that you’ll find at least one subject that interests you for a given timeslot.
– when you consider all the sessions as a whole you can start to see patterns emerge. One of the main themes of the conference was JRuby’s rising popularity. In some ways it felt like a coming-out party.
– I met a lot of great people. The conference did a good job of making time/space for casual conversation and interaction. It was cool meeting people from all over the US and Canada who aren’t all working at Bay Area tech start-ups (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It was cool to hear about people working in research, defence, education, etc. Also, many of them were RubyConf first-timers. I met a guy who said attendance was up 50% from the last one.
– some of my personal favourite sessions included Jim Weirich’s keynote, Aaron Patterson’s session on meat curing/Rails internals, and Chris Hunt’s talk on SOA at Square. The video from the presentations will be posted on this site