Passionate Programmer

Chad Fowler is an internationally known software developer, trainer, manager, speaker, and musician. Over the past decade he has worked with some of the world’s largest companies and most admired software developers. Chad is SVP of Technology at LivingSocial. He is co-organizer of RubyConf and RailsConf and author or co-author of a number of popular software books, including Rails Recipes and The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development. He's here on Twitter.

Talk title: Experiment

We all use the word "experiment". What does it mean to be experimental? What does it mean to work experimentally? What is an experiment? In the context of experimentation, what is failure? What is success?



Senior Visionary, PeepCode

As one of the first developers to use Rails in 2004, Geoffrey Grosenbach hosted the official Ruby on Rails Podcast for several years before starting the influential PeepCode Screencasts (video tutorials for web developers and alpha geeks). He spends his time documenting undocumented Open Source software and self-producing mini documentaries with innovative developers and designers across the whole range of Open Source languages and software. He's on Twitter here.

Talk title: Learning from the Masters

Over the last two years, I've traveled the world to pair with expert designers and developers on short projects to learn their day to day secrets and understand their philosophies. I've condensed this to 35 minutes of tricks, insights, opinions, and old-fashioned rants from Aaron Patterson, Corey Haines, Ryan Singer (37signals), Kyle Neath (GitHub), Neven Mrgan (Panic), Zed Shaw, Gary Bernhardt (Destroy All Software), and others.



Refactoring Junkie

Katrina ran away from the circus and found her true home in the land of computers and code. She enjoys optimizing and automating, taking busywork away from smart people and putting it into code where it belongs. She is the problem solver you want on your side. She is driven by an inexplicable urge to refactor, and has for the past 6 years volunteered as a nitpicker at the Javaranch Cattle Drive, where she attempts to brainwash others to write clean code. She appreciates a good steak, and admits to enjoying a nice stick fight.
Find her on Twitter here.

Talk title: 467 tests, 0 failures, 0 confidence

Your tests failed. Again. And they didn't just fail, they failed you. There was no bug. There was no regression. You changed something trivial - an implementation detail - and your app still works but your tests are broken. They don't have your back. What purpose do they serve?

In this talk we'll evaluate the unit tests from an open source codebase. We will cover the roles a test plays in the lifecycle of a project, and explore guidelines that let us assess their worth, and determine which tests should live, which must die, and which are missing



Editor-in-chief of Code School

Gregg is still hating himself for missing Railsberry last year, there's no way he's going to miss this one. He's helped build a few technology companies including Envy Labs, a Ruby on Rails consultancy in downtown Orlando, and Code School, an online learning platform that teaches software developers new skills. He also runs Orlando's yearly BarCamp, the Orlando Ruby Users Group, and Orlando Tech Events newsletter. Other interests include theatre, dance, podcasting, Game of Thrones, good scotch, learning how to run a business "the hard way", and using way too many commas in a single paragraph (apparently).
Follow him on Twitter here.

Talk title: The Future of Online Learning

The best software developers are also great teachers. They can effectively teach customers how to use their products and teach other developers how to use their APIs. However, there are many different teaching techniques and there is no way you're going to be able to use them all (nor should you).

In this talk we'll go through several classroom teaching techniques, discuss how they've attempted to go online, and then take a guided tour through 8 different startups who are innovating in the education space, each focusing on different areas.



Object Orientator

Ben enjoys speaking at conferences more than damn near anything else. He gets high from teaching, and will soon use you to feed his crippling addiction. When not urging everyone to remap caps lock to escape, Ben writes code at thoughtbot, occasionally correctly.
He's on Twitter here.

Talk title: Live Coding with Ben

This speaker believes that the best way for programmers to learn is to watch each other work.

This talk leaves slides behind and focuses instead on the greater information density achieved through live coding.

We'll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of real code, and refactor it right on-stage. As we do so, we'll bump into lots of meaty topics:

  • Potential downfalls of the 'extract module' refactoring (aka ActiveSupport::Concern).
  • The pros and cons of Dependency Injection.
  • How two good OO design ideas (like SRP and Tell Don't Ask) can contradict each other, and what to do about it.
  • The positive design pressure of TDD.
  • How well-placed functional programming can improve a codebase.
  • Whether the Law of Demeter should be followed religiously, and what it means if that's hard to do.
  • Why fast tests are usually good tests, and vice-versa.

Audience participation is strongly encouraged, as is stealing the speaker's vim tricks for your own use.



Maker of stuff

Keavy works developing software at Github. As an independent consultant, over the previous decade, she has enjoyed pairing up with some of the top development shops across Europe and the U.S. Like many of her fellow Irishmen, Keavy enjoys telling a good story. Unlike many, she trains for Ironman triathlons and is not a fan of whiskey. Cosmo, anyone?
You can find her on Twitter.

Talk title: Internal tools: make or break your team

Keavy is part of the internal tools team at Github. She will give an insight into some of the internal tools used at Github, and discuss the importance of building and using software that enables and supports your team, whether onsite or distributed, to be more productive, informed, motivated and happy.



Untitled project participant

Fred George has been writing code for over 44 years in (by his count) over 70 languages. He has delivered projects and products across his career, and in the last decade alone, has worked in the US, India, China, and the UK. He started ThoughtWorks University in Bangalore, India, based on a commercial programming training program he developed in the 90’s. An early adopter of OO and Agile, Fred continues to impact the industry with his leading­edge ideas. Oh, and he still writes code!
Follow him on Twitter.

Talk title: Agile is the New Black

This mid­ 80’s declaration from the fashion industry has become synonymous with radical shifts in the norm of any field. Agile provided such a radical shift for traditional waterfall processes. Yet as Agile has matured, it is redefining itself at a pace that rivals the whims of the fashion industry.

This presentation presents not only the (somewhat obvious) shifts from waterfall to Agile, but the second and third generation of shifts within the Agile community itself. Basics such as automated unit tests are falling away (“Deployment is the new unit test”).

The overall message is to continue to question practices, and strive to understand the reasons behind a practice so that you know when it is safe to discard.




Andrew gets excited about code and loves working with people who feel the same. For the past three years he has worked on the Go Programming Language at Google Sydney, which he enjoys greatly. He also enjoys 8-bit hardware, difficult music, and rabbits.
Follow him on Twitter

Talk title: Go: a simple programming environment

Go is a general-purpose language that bridges the gap between efficient statically typed languages and productive dynamic language. But it’s not just the language that makes Go special – Go has broad and consistent standard libraries and powerful but simple tools.

This talk gives a brief introduction to Go, followed by a tour of a real programs that demonstrate the power, scope, and simplicity of the Go programming environment.




Eric's a programmer. He's also a longtime advocate of alternative storage mechanisms (especially the distributed kind), and loves to write and talk about them. He's co-author of Seven Databases in Seven Weeks and recently A Little Riak Book. Eric is a Riak Engineer at Basho.

Talk title: Distributed Patterns You Should Know

Do you use Merkle trees? How about hash rings? Vector clocks? How many message patterns do you know? In this increasingly decentralized world, a firm grasp of the pantheon of data structures and patterns used to manage decentralized systems is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. You may never implement a pipeline, but chances are, you already use them.



Application security Jedi

It was 1994 and Paolo discovered that filling a buffer with 0x41 and 0x90 was really fun moreover it was funny having system applications to spawn shells for him. He started fighting against insecure software with the motto "defensive programming will save us" writing some application security tools he currently uses for his own job. Paolo started in March 2012, a technical blog about application security as seen either from the developer point of view and in his spare time Paolo is an husband, a proud father, a guitarist and he is close from being black belt Taekwon-do ITF martial artists.

Talk title: Solid as diamond: use ruby in an web application penetration test

Of course you can create great web applications using Ruby and one of its well known frameworks like rails or sinatra or padrino. Ruby can be either a very effective language to be used to create security tool and to make security tests. In this talk we will make a walk-through of some tests you can make to assess a web application for its security level using ruby gems or oneliners.



Fearless SQLizer

Agnieszka is a developer at UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge, UK, where she works on software that helps save the planet. Early adopter of agile and RoR developer since pre-1.0, she also has a certain bias towards relational databases and information retrieval. As a native of Kraków she is very proud to return home to speak at Railsberry.

Talk title: Saving the Elephant with Slonik

You probably know that the population of the African Elephant is on the decrease due to demand for ivory. But if you ever wanted to find out how much ivory exactly is being traded and by which countries, you’d need to come straight to UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge, the maintainers of over 30 years worth of endangered species’ taxonomy, legislation and trade data. Join in to find out how we go about making this data available worlwide and how some PostgreSQL magic comes into play.



Rhetorical Programmer

Joe is a senior developer at SoundCloud helping shape the future of music on the Internet.

Talk title: Creative Machines

Alan Turing set out to find the answer to the question: "Can machines think?". Thinking, that's easy! Even my dishwasher can do that (it's a really smart dishwasher). How about we try something harder and push into a new area of AI: "Can machines be creative?". We will put forward a new Creative Machine test and thats were you all get to participate (participation mandatory). Can you distinguish between a machine's creative attempts and a humans? Along our journey down the path of discovering a new generation of artists, born through Ruby, we will look into the heart of each machine-artist. Examining different algorithms/techniques and their effectiveness at exhibiting creativeness. Also how slowly killing a neural network lead to some of the greatest progress in creative machines.



Rum and Code

"Although classroom focus may not be a strength of Elliott's, it is hard to ignore his enthusiasm for this subject. Elliott has cultivated a devil-may-care approach which has not been too harmful to his results up to now." - Elliott's school report, circa 2003, is as relevant now as the day it was written. But seriously... A self-taught hacker, Elliott is a Kiwi developer based in the UK. He likes running Riot, building things and disagreeing with people.

Talk title: Objective-C and Ruby: friends 4 ever!

In the Mac developer universe, there's a lot of talk about the Terminal. But why stop there? Native GUI interfaces are super useful - not just for designers with zsh-o-phobia, but for everybody. Let's see how Ruby can help.



Happiness Engineer

Officially, Chris is the Developer Evangelist at New Relic. Unofficially, Chris is a happiness engineer. He spends his time working on things that hopefully make someone's day better. When Chris is not on a plane, he's on a soap box evangelizing the merits of coffee, open source, urban living, travel and of course, Ruby. You can find him on the Internets as amateurhuman, including on Twitter and GitHub

Talk title: Object-Oriented Lessons for a Service-Oriented World

The dreams of developers working on monolithic Rails applications are frequently filled with sugar plums and service-oriented architectures--but like any kind of software design, SOA can easily become a tangled mess. Many of the same principles that guide our software design can guide our architecture design. We apply SOLID principles to applications to keep them loosely coupled, we design interfaces so we can send logical messages to our domain objects. We hide our databases behind abstractions because how we access our data shouldn't matter to how we consume it. Rarely, though, do we see the same practices applied to our services and APIs, leaving us with tightly coupled and difficult to extend service-oriented architectures. If you are facing the monorail to SOA challenge, consider looking at your services as objects and your APIs as messages. Service-oriented applications are complex, and the best way to fend off complexity is though object-oriented design.



Tinkerer, reader, human being

Alex is a senior software engineer at eSpark, helping to improve student learning using technology. He's also the author of the Koala Facebook gem and sundry other projects, and in past lives has moonlighted as an online bookseller and led part of a massive healthcare IT installation in California. An amateur cook, eager language learner, incurable devil's advocate, inveterate book reader, and lover of adjectives, Alex dual majored in computer science and scavenger hunts at the University of Chicago.

Talk title: Sleep!

Sleep: we all do it. It's easy, and yet - as most of us experience every morning - it's somehow really hard too. It's also very relevant: as thinkers, creators, and problem solvers - people whose fundamental job it is to use our heads - how our brains work is a subject of huge importance. This is a scientific tour through recent scientific research (with references, of course) on the effects and causes of sleep restriction. Sleeping even six hours a night produces measurable cognitive impairment in most people; it gets worse as you sleep less, to the point where some parts of your brain are constantly functioning like they hadn’t slept in days. Who'd want to code, let alone live, like that? Things get even more interesting when you examine why it's so hard to get a full night of sleep - how our internal clocks and their adjustment mechanisms often in conflict with society's timetables. So many of us end up in a state of "social jet lag": missing sleep every night as if we'd traveled a timezone or more by plane that day, constantly tired and never sure why. We spend countless hours optimizing our development environments to get maximum efficiency. Shouldn’t we treat our most important tool - our brains - the same way?



Infrastructure Mad Man

Mathias Meyer is the infrastructure head honcho at Travis CI and the author of the Riak Handbook. He's on Twitter and occasionally writes. He loves coffee and photography.

Talk title: The Message Queue is Dead, Long Live the Message Queue!

When we look at the current state of web applications, the most common answer on how to speed up an application is to use some sort of message queue to move processing in the background.

Message queues have rightfully been around for a long time, more than thirty years by now. Yet they still pose an interesting question for us as developers when it comes to using them. They commonly add multiple layers of complexity to an application, each of his in one way or the other, evolves around the message queue.

While we're trying to work around this by moving the workload into our database rather than a separate queue, the issues remain the same, they may even become worse. The database is the message queue, and the message queue is a database.

This talk is a whirlwind tour of message queues, looking at the common patterns they're being used for, the complexities they add, and how applications need to evolve to deal with queues in a resilient fashion.



Structured Procrastinator

Felix is an avid procrastinator. He has recently been involved in starting the NodeCopter movement, researched JavaScript performance techniques to compete with C Addons in MySQL protocol parsing, and is also a node.js core alumnus. When not procrastinating, he earns his money by working on his bootstrapped file encoding startup: Find him on Twitter.

Talk title: Programming flying robots with JavaScript

This talk will start with a quick introduction to the NodeCopter community, which a few friends and I started last year. But worry not, the slides will be abandoned quickly, turning the rest of the session into an unapologetic AR Drone hacking session. So if you're interested in JavaScript, flying robots and non-lethal office warfare, you should definitely join the fun.


Avid coder

Antek is a full stack engineer at Base CRM. Having coded in C#, C and Python in his previous life, he left for Amsterdam and fell in love with Ruby and JavaScript. An open-source enthusiast, one of the creators of BigTuna - a language agnostic Continuous Integration server. In his free time, an avid skier, coffee lover and a wannabe downhill biker.


Code commando

Head of the Post PC team at Base CRM whose greatest passion is coding. Usually seen researching awesome new solutions for use in Base. When not doing that, he's probably working on some crazy code that you can find on github. Tweets as @marcinbunsch.

Talk title: Shipping Post-PC

The Post-PC revolution is already here. Finding new natural interfaces, using your customers data for intelligence and a ubiquitous approach are key.
In this talk we'll tell you how to take advantage of the opportunity, how to use it to your strength and how it all affects our work.