RailsConf 2006 End Note

Delayed telecast. I was too busy heading out to catch a glimpse of Chicago on whatever-is-left-of-Sunday (yea, bad day to do tourist stuff). And delayed further when the hotel firewall decided to shut me out suddenly. Anyways!

Overall, I had a wonderful time at RailsConf, albeit being shamed for not carrying an Apple laptop. It was hillarious! And I was definitely much more tickled than I looked :-D The only saving grace was that I ran Ubuntu (thanks Sukanta!). The certificate can be viewed in detail here. Man.. 550 attendees and only 50 non-conformists. Go do your own math!!

Rails is still very much in the early adopter’s phase and it showed. The show wasn’t spoiled by vendors (ulterior motives) selling their solutions and presence of unwilling folks (attending only because they were arrowed to). RailsConf had lots of heart. The atmosphere there feels just like how it would’ve felt when a couple hundred grateful people turns up to pay tribute to a gift that has made marked changes to their lives. Most of the fulltime Rails developers I spoke to are entrepreneurs happily doing their own gig. The rest were researchers and programmers in less ideal environments who came to hear the good word.

Mongrel (creator Zed Shaw was there!) was one of the biggest winner in the conference, earning lots of praises from speakers - and deservedly so! And its only been 3-4 months?! I’d say though, no matter how hard Rails deployment was painted out to be, at least its consistent - the same Rails app can be deployed very much as-is in all various setups - which I prefer over Java app-server’s specific configurations (that’s fault on vendors, not Java itself)

Fixtures, on the other hand got slapped - which makes me feel less guilty now. I’d always thought there’s something wrong with me.

I was pretty shocked to be id by Bruce Williams (author of the very practical rails views series) for KRJS. An encounter that rendered (pun) me speechless. Now I just hope he’ll have nice words for it if he does give it a try.

One guy I’d wanted to thank though, but didn’t recognize the few times I saw him: Derek Sivers of CDBaby. It was his ’beautiful programmer’ post that linked me to Rails. Blogs are such a wonderful resource huh?

The funniest, and painfully real question asked to the Rails core team was: "My girlfriend asked if David has a girlfriend? And should I be worried?" Ahhhhhhhh…  (The answer was "yes" and "no" respectively)

The ‘lightning talks’ proved to be very interesting. Individuals signed up on the spot to do impromptu 5-minute demos of whatever they want. Saw a whole bunch, but most importantly I saw an impressive demo on using RadRails - its what the official RadRails talk should’ve been! The RadRails team had chosen to talk abt IDE generically instead of boring the audience by going through its features. Lesson #1: don’t assume your user know your tool.

Btw.. is it just me, or does Why The Lucky Stiff look like Jack Black (with a dash of Aston Kutcher)? Or maybe I was just seeded with his image, having to watch King Kong 3 times on the plane.