Our Picks from RailsConf 2016

Our Picks from RailsConf 2016

We recently sent a delegation to Kansas City, Missouri for a roadtrip to attend RailsConf 2016. We stayed in a beautiful Victorian-style home built in 1880; ate ourselves sick with BBQ and coffee; and met developers from across the world creating new and interesting software with many of the same tools we use.

As always, Ruby Central did a great job building a balanced conference schedule. We've returned inspired, and we want to share a few of our favorites.


These are our favorite of RubyConf's featured talks:

The Original of Skunkworks by Nickolas Means

This is probably our favorite talk of the conference. How was Skunkworks able to create the incredible aircraft of the Cold War? The parallels to modern agile development are stunning.

Data Mining Music by Paul Lamere

Spotify has mountains of data. This talk highlights some of the neat insights and tools built from all of that data. The autocanonizer is probably our favorite!

Make Rails Great Again by Aaron Patterson

It's Aaron Patterson. With Cats. And performance profiling. And optimization. And puns. Lots of puns.

Software Apostles

We have a few people that are software rock stars at Grok, and their talks never disappoint.

Succession by Katrina Owen

Refactor an old nursery rhyme, one stanza at a time.

Get a Whiff of This by Sandi Metz

You're code may stink, but how do you know? Sandi Metz leads the way.

RSpec and Rails 5 by Justin Searls

This talk is about RSpec for only few minutes; it truly is a call to action for the Ruby and Rails communities.


Building great software takes more than a keyboard. Here's how to handle some of that mushy middle.

How to Build a Skyscraper by Ernie Miller

This talk is not about skyscrapers.

Quit Frustrating Your New Developers - Tips From a Teacher by Miki Rezentes

If you have junior developers, or are about to onboard new developers you probably making some mistakes. Senior development is about leadership and teaching, so let's learn how.

Booting Up: Hiring and Growing Bootcamp Graduates by Eric Weinstein

For companies looking to hire recent graduates from software bootcamps (like Codeup), this talk is explores the advantages and challenges of finding, hiring, and training these junior developers.

Developer Tools

Writing a Test Framework from Scratch by Ryan Davis

A code-along with Ryan Davis. If you keep up, you'll have a bare-bones implementation of Minitest. If you use Minitest, you absolutely should spend the time to watch this.

Foreign API Simulation with Sinatra by Konstantin Tennhard

An interesting new approach to faking network requests with a small Sinatra app built into your test suite. It provides an alternative to Webmock and VCR.

Multi-table Full Text Search with Postgres by Caleb Thompson

If you're new to Full Text searching in Postgres or just want a refresher, this talk will get you up to speed.

From Zero to API Hero: Consuming APIs like a Pro by Cecy Correa

If you're just beginning to learn how to integrate third-party APIs, this talk is a great starting point.

Tags: Rails

Portrait photo for Josh Freeman Josh Freeman

Developer. Leader. American. He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, but gave it all up to join the war against stack traces. A senior developer at Grok, he designs Swift and JavaScript clients to consume the RESTful web services he builds with Ruby. When not making software, he's probably making tacos.



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