The annual european Ruby conference, EuRuKo, has a few great traditions. Not only it is organised in 100% by the community, with no institution behind it, but also every single year it takes place in different city, chosen by the attendees of the conference. Last year participants of EuRuKo 2012, in quite a controversial voting, decided to choose Greek team that promised to organise a great event in the heart of their country, in Athens.
This year SponsorPay’s representation on EuRuKo wasn’t big, however, we were not only participants, but also had the chance to talk about the project we had been working on in the first months of 2013. Two SponsorPay developers - me (Grzegorz) and Simon showed the audience presentation called “… but we had to kill unicorns” which reached the top #1 in the community voting. In our talk we presented how we manage to use Ruby on Rails application in multi-threaded mode, without switching from MRI to different Ruby implementation. More about this topic coming in the next post!
The conference itself was organised very well. I was really surprised, because during team’s presentation in Amsterdam in 2012 I was really sceptical about how this group will handle organising such a big event. In the end, it was really amazing! The conference took place in a huge venue, called Badminton Theater, which had over 2000 seats! EuRuKo is much smaller event, so we covered only about 25% of the room’s capacity.
A lot of great presentations took place during this year’s conference. All of them are already available on Ustream and in a few weeks will be available in HD quality.
The conference traditionally started with Matz’s keynote. It was my 3rd EuRuKo and this year’s keynote was so far the best one. Matz talked about being a language designer. He presented programming languages as a compromise between human’s languages and bits that are understood by computer. He also tried to convince attendees to try to write their own languages.
A lot was said about Ruby internals. A few presentations touched this topic. One of them was presented by Koichi Sasada (@_ko1), member of Matz’s team, working full-time on MRI. Koichi started his talk by presenting the whole team, and then he talked about the GC that will be implemented in Ruby 2.1 and why it is so hard to implement a generational garbage collector in MRI. Also Chris Kelly and Dirkjan Bussink told about internals of Ruby, with GC among them.
A few more presentations that I enjoyed most were “Functional programming in Ruby” presented by Pat Shaughnessy, “Architecting your Rails app for success” by Ben Smith and “Functional reactive programming with Frappuccino” by Steve Klabnik. Especially the last one brought my attention, as Steve is not only a great open source contributor, but also experienced speaker. His presentation was very motivating. Actually, reactive programming and Frappuccino gem were just a background to tell people that sometimes they should have fun in programming, that they should write irresponsible code, without tests suite, just plain fun, the code that shouldn’t be used in production, but is creative and can lead to some other ideas. In his talk, Steve mentioned why, the lucky stiff, a few times. He told how _why had an impact on his contributions to open source, and how _why’s spirit is still present in Ruby community. Personally I found this talk really, really inspiring. I think that Steve’s currently a great keeper of _why’s legacy, not only in terms of projects and code, but also in term of this spirit and craziness.
All the presentations are already available on the EuRuKo Ustream channel. I highly recommend to watch at least the ones that I’ve mentioned in this post, but I must say that almost all of them were really good and I enjoyed watching them.
It was a great pleasure to deliver a speech on such a great conference. Huge thanks go to organisers. This group of Ruby enthusiasts made an incredible effort to make EuRuKo look so professional and well organised. They succeeded in 100%!
The next year’s EuRuKo will be organised in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev. I really hope to go there, as organising team made a good impression. Maybe at SponsorPay we’ll try to prepare some presentation again?