Rails Israel 2014 – A Summary

As I write this I’m on my way back from Tel Aviv, Israel having attended and spoken at Rails Israel 2014. With just a short three days I was lucky to get some sight seeing time in, but more importantly I enjoyed an absolutely terrific conference.

The day started out with a live magic performance, something you might not expect to see at a Ruby conference. This was a genius idea to kick off the event and was followed shortly after by Konstantin Haase’s opening keynote ‘Magenta’. Konstantin’s talk explored many aspects of abstraction and perception, through physics, the study of colour, biology and language. So pretty much the whole spectrum in one talk. Ambitious! I really loved the talk and it served as a perfect opening of proceedings.

Akira Matsuda followed with an entertaining look at both Ruby and Rails performance in the now, and the changes coming down the line in future versions of both the language and framework. Akira showed us a simple application and benchmarked various implementations and subtle tweaks including a Rails/Sinatra comparison, Rails version comparisons and also introduced us to a pre-release look at his HAMLX gem that serves to address some of the performance issues he highlighted during the benchmarks. Another awesome talk.

Soon to follow was Steve Klabnik and his exploits with Ruby and Rust. Steve talked us through a quick backgrounding in Rust and then went on to disect his Rust-wrapping Ruby gem. He peeled back the layers and detailed some of the more interesting points in his particular methods for interoperability. As usual Steve gave an awesome talk and the forty or so minutes flew by. Note to self: take a closer look at Rust now it’s headed towards 1.0.

Up next I gave my talk on rescuing primarily Rails, but also other Ruby projects from the brink of despair. I totally enjoyed giving the talk and with the audience had a great time telling my stories. I had some fantastic feedback and will be certainly looking forward to giving the talk again soon at more local events. You can see my slides here. The talks were recorded and I’ll post the video link as soon as it becomes available.

Throughout the rest of the event I was impressed at the standard and content that was delivered by everybody involved. I didn’t take too many notes so unfortunately can’t cover all the speakers I saw, but I enjoyed Christopher Rigor’s talk on encryption, even at the late stage in the day when usually such topics would be tough to digest. Kudos to Christopher.

To wind up, Raphael Fogel – organiser of the event, suggested that Steve, Konstantin and I close out with some PowerPoint Karaoke. The rules being that the contestants prepare each other a short slide deck. With Steve overseeing events while Konstantin and I improvise our way through the respective decks. A hilarious way to wrap up the event and a perfect end to my first time at Rails Israel.

I would like to thank Raphael and all of those involved in the organisation of the conference.  Also, the Money Advice Service for giving me the opportunity and time to attend and speak. I’m already making plans for Rails Israel 2015. So keep a watchful eye on the calendar, and hopefully I’ll see you there next year – shalom!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *