TITLE: Some Final Thoughts and Links from JRubyConf AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 29, 2012 2:44 PM DESC: ----- BODY: You are probably tired of hearing me go on about JRubyConf, so I'll try to wrap up with one more post. After the first few talks, the main result of the rest of conference was to introduced me to several cool projects and a few interesting quotes.
Sarah Allen speaking on agile business development
Sarah Allen gave a talk on agile business development. Wow, she has been part of creating several influential pieces of software, including AfterEffects, ShockWave, and FlashPlayer. She talked a bit about her recent work to increase diversity among programmers and reminded us that diversity is about more than the categories we usually define:
I may be female and a minority here, but I'm way more like everybody in here than everybody out there.
Increasing diversity means making programming accessible to people who wouldn't otherwise program. Regarding agile development, Sarah reminded us that agile's preference for working code over documentation is about more than just code:
Working code means not only "passes the tests" but also "works for the customer".
... which is more about being the software they need than simply getting right answers to some tests written in JUnit. Nate Schutta opened day two with a talk on leading technical change. Like Venkat Subramaniam on day one, Schutta suggested that tech leaders consider management's point of view when trying to introduce new technology, in particular the risks that managers face. If you can tie new technology to the organization's strategic goals and plans, then managers can integrate it better into other actions. Schutta attributed his best line to David Hussman:
Change must happen with people, not to them.
The award for the conference's most entertaining session goes to Randall Thomas and Tammer Saleh for "RUBY Y U NO GFX?", their tag-team exegesis of the history of computer graphics and where Ruby fits into that picture today. They echoed several other speakers in saying that JRuby is the bridge to the rest of the programming world that Ruby programmers need, because the Java community offers so many tools. For example, it had never occurred to me to use JRuby to connect my Ruby code to Processing, the wonderful open-source language for programming images and animations. (I first mentioned Processing here over four years ago in its original Java form, and most recently was thinking of its JavaScript implementation.) Finally, a few quickies: One overarching theme for me of my time at JRubyConf: There is a lot of stuff I don't know. I won't run out of things to read and learn and do for a long, long, time. ~~~~ IMAGE 1: my photo of Sarah Allen during her talk on agile business development. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. IMAGE 2: Jay-Z, 2011. Source: Wikimedia Commons. -----