I attended the 2016 RedDotRubyConf last week, being sponsored by my company. Kudos to Roomorama.com management for that!

This was only the second tech conference that I’ve attended. The aftermath is the nostalgic drive to contribute to the communitiy, and the return of the old gnawing by the realisation that I have not been sharing and teaching enough.

So here I attempt to start writing again, complete with a newly ripped off blog theme and blog title. The following is a summary of my takeaway from the 2-day conference. I did not write notes during the talks (I probably should) and these are purely my recollection from whatever my mediocre memory allows.

Go in Ruby

Ruby core team and Matz gave an awesome glimpse into new features of Ruby 3, its new typing philosophy, inspired by Go’s interface reference. Go’s concurrency craze is also drawing Ruby 3 to start tackling that aspect and try to bake it into the language. It’s wonderful to hear all the designs and considerations that good guy Matz and team puts into the language. @tenderlove’s GC lecture, for example, shows how much work goes on to improve that memory margin for Ruby programmes.

Humans behind that code

I think I now have that little bit more empathy instead of frustration when languages features of some library/gem fall short of expectations. The core team’s doing their best, for you to use for free! If you’re not contributing, on what grounds are your frustrations?

Other languages are encouraged!

I sort of take this for granted, but it was mentioned in a couple of the talks that the community has that openness about it, where it is not shy about trying out and taking lessons from other languages. And hence there are many Rubyists who convert out during their little adventurous detours. Currently I am doing that with python. I will be sure to update if there is anything I learn from python and if python is indeed the go-to language for data analysis.

It’s not going to the moon

Another takeaway is an echo from last year’s conference: it is not that difficult to contribute. From documentation to refactoring to micro-improvements in code performance, there are many possibility of contribution to open-source and to the community. It’s probably pride that’s stopping me from contributing in trivial ways.

Be the village

There’s a little mantra that I’ve picked up since I’ve started coding:

Where you're stuck at is not a new place; you need to know how to search.

Kenji Mori, author of a japanese tech blog, described how he kept writing the tech blog and how he and his team are benefiting by becoming better programmers and getting job offers. I am sold and resolve to write more, and hopefully to learn through sharing.

Kenji’s talk also adds a new line that mantra:

And you won't be the last one here, help the next guy out.

In a similar tone, Godfrey Chan gives an abstract talk about education and teaching, and he suggests that we should all contribute and “Be the village”.


Here comes a new member to the village! For more resources from the talk, see this great summary gist.