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Past presentations ~ RSS

February 9, 2016

API Integrations for the Excessively Paranoid

by Alex Jarvis

When we integrate with external services, we are designating a new source of truth in our application, and we as developers have a responsibility to respect this truth with a rigorous interface. How can we move beyond 'service objects' and avoid a VCR-blasted test-suite while still maintaining tests that *actually* cover our new truths? In this talk, I'll propose breaking down the integration into layers of interface with our system, and discuss ways to separate their various duties through POROs. The end result: Exhaustively tested, easily readable integrations for those who think someone might be watching.

Building Web Applications with Hanami (Lotus)

by Tim Raymond

Hanami (formerly Lotus) aims to be Rails rebuilt with an eye towards modularity and composability. Hanami’s components work well together, giving you the full framework experience that you’ve enjoyed in the past with Rails. However, they’re modular enough that you can use parts of Hanami to augment your existing applications. We’ll take a tour of the framework and see how apps written in it compare to their equivalents in Rails and Sinatra along the way.

January 12, 2016

Fast Metaprogramming with Truffle

by Kevin Menard

Metaprogramming is a powerful technique that sets Ruby apart from other contemporary languages. It allows compact and elegant solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Serving as the foundation of some of the mostly widely used frameworks and DSLs in the Ruby ecosystem, it’s arguably the single most defining feature of Ruby. Unfortunately, that expressive power has traditionally come at the expense of performance. We’ll show you how JRuby+Truffle has eliminated the cost of metaprogramming so Rubyists can write idiomatic Ruby without having to worry about hidden performance trade-offs.

How to Performance

by Eileen Uchitelle

Understanding performance output can feel like reading tea leaves. It makes sense to a few people, but many of us are left in the dark; overwhelmed and frustrated by the data. On top of that there are a ton of performance tools to choose from; StackProf, RubyProf, AllocationTracer. Where do you even start? While working on speeding up integration tests in Rails source, I learned that the key to improving the performance of Ruby code is having a baseline, not relying on one profiler and understanding the advantages and limitations of your tools. By utilizing these methods, integration tests are now 3 times faster than they were in Rails 4.2.0, with more improvements being made every day. In this talk we will not only look at how to read performance output, but when and how to use the right profilers for the job. We'll discuss a variety of methods and techniques for benchmarking and profiling so you can get the most out of any performance tool.

December 8, 2015

Holiday Party

by Community

It's that time again! Last year, instead of a regular meetup, we hosted our first BostonRB Holiday Party and it was a great success. Join us again this year for an evening of fun, networking, eating and drinking as we put a bow on a phenomenal season of great talks, great speakers and a thriving Ruby community. Huge thanks go out to Autodesk for sponsoring this event. Our food menu includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. We hope you'll join us!

November 10, 2015

Third-Party Integrations at Scale

by James Daniels

Practices learned for integrating with third party services at scale; whether you're sending push notifications to Apple, pinging people on Slack, grabbing information from Google, or pushing a deep integration with another service. We'll go over lessons learned in general design patterns, credential storage, handling validation/failure, api limits, and back off; both applicable to Ruby micro-services and monoliths.

October 13, 2015

Mocking Language

by Sam Phippen

What’s a mock? What’s a stub? How about a spy? Or a double? There are a lot of different tools to create isolated tests in RSpec. The terms aren’t necessarily totally clear. In this talk, we’ll look at what the different kinds of test isolation tools in RSpec are for, some testing smells they can create, and how to fix those smells. This talk will be perfect for those already a little familiar with RSpec and looking to improve their testing skills.

A Muggle's Guide to Tail Call Optimization

by Danny Guinther

Submitted for your approval: a circle of torment unchronicled by the poets of old, a terror at the heart of many a horror story: SystemStackError: stack level too deep Tremble no more! Conquer the well of eternity! Behold the secrets of tail recursion and tail call optimization in Ruby! Witness the metamorphosis of a simple function as we explore the hidden power of tail call optimization buried deep within the Ruby VM! Follow the transformation to the revelation of tail call optimization's most ghastly secret: in many ways it's really just a special type of loop construct! The horror!

September 8, 2015

React on Rails

by Conner Wingard

React is a powerful JS (I know!) library for building user interfaces. Our goal is to build a blogging app with markdown editor and live HTML preview powered by Ruby on Rails and React. In doing so we will learn what makes React more than yet another JS library blowing up Hacker News.

Container-based Development with Docker

by Brian Kaney

This is a different kind of Docker talk. We will side-step deployment orchestration. We won't mention scheduling and service discovery. And we won't even talk (much) about docker repositories. Instead, it's all about developers! Building applications today using Docker has never been easier. We will look at why using Docker now in development makes sense. Then dive into using new tools, techniques, and workflow practices. We will also cover emerging community "container trends". Folks should leave this talk feeling ready to try container-based development.

August 11, 2015

Have you ever wanted to make a video game?

by Samuel Backus

Creating games can be as fun and rewarding as playing them but it can be hard to know where to start. This talk will explore a few principles of game design and the fundamentals of the Game engine, Hasu. We'll also dive into some live coding examples.

Ruby Rails Performance and Profiling

by Danny Guinther

Ever wanted to understand how to do benchmarking and what profiling an application means? This talk will introduce you to these concepts and walk you through some of the best tools we have in the Ruby community to do that type of work.

June 9, 2015

Constraining API's with Schema

by Tanner Burson

What trick do companies like Google and Heroku know about API development that you don't? How do they reduce the maintenance burden of maintaining client libraries while also making their server-side validation and response generation simpler? Schemas! Whether you're building APIs for the public, for internal micro-service infrastructures, or even just consuming other's APIs, Schemas can make your life easier. This talk will break down the differences between Descriptive Schemas and Prescriptive Schemas, and when you might want to use each. We'll look at real examples of usage in the wild, and tips for implementing Schemas in your environment.

Crafting Your First Pry Plugin

by Danny Guinther

Pry bills itself as "a powerful alternative to the standard IRB shell for Ruby", and it ain't kidding. With integrated tools like Slop and Method Source, Pry is a full-fledged Swiss army knife of command-line kung-fu at your disposal. But why stop there? With an architecture built for plugin extension, the limits of Pry are really only a reflection of the limits of your own imagination. So come learn the basics of creating a Pry plugin as we dive into some of Pry's internals and walk through the process of creating a plugin that adds a custom command to the Pry CLI. Where you take it from there, only you know.

May 12, 2015

Cultivating a Code Review Culture

by Derek Prior

Code reviews are not about catching bugs. Modern code reviews are about socialization, learning, and teaching. How can you get the most out of a peer's code review and how can you review code without being seen as overly critical? Reviewing code and writing easily-reviewed features are skills that will make you a better developer and a better teammate. You will leave this talk with the tools to implement a successful code-review culture. You'll learn how to get more from the reviews you're already getting and how to have more impact with the reviews you leave.

Breaking up with the Asset Pipeline

by Patrick Robertson

Rich client applications with complex JavaScript and CSS libraries are not going anywhere. Unfortunately, the Rails toolchain is not well suited for development in this brave new world. In this talk, we'll walk through why breaking up with the asset pipeline is necessary, alternative tooling options that will improve development speed and ease of production deployment.

April 14, 2015

Why Your New API Product Will Fail

by Scott Feinberg

Congrats! You've built the one API to control them all, and it's amazing. It's fast, well-architected, and Level 3 Hypermedia. However everyone is still using your competitors sub-par product... Why? We developers are lazy and you're making it hard for us to use. We're diving into your SDKs tests to solve basic tasks, your SDK + API errors annoy and don't help us fix our mistakes, and the lack of logical defaults leaves us playing parameter roulette. Let's explore how to build API-enabled products that fellow developers will love using with great docs, tooling, support, and community.

Ruby Science

by Richard Schneeman

Run your app faster, with less RAM and a quicker boot time today. How? With science! In this talk we'll focus on the process of turning performance problems into reproducible bugs we can understand and squash. We'll look at real world use cases where small changes resulted in huge real world performance gains. You'll walk away with concrete and actionable advice to improve the speed of your app, and with the tools to equip your app for a lifetime of speed. Live life in the fast lane, with science!

March 10, 2015

Advanced Capybara

by Eduardo Gutierrez

Capybara has allowed us to build complex and ambitious applications with the confidence that everything comes together in the user experience we're targeting. As the capabilities of the web have grown, interactions and behavior in our applications have become more complex and harder to test. Our tests become coupled to CSS selectors, fail intermittently, take longer and our confidence dwindles. In this talk, I'll go over best practices for working with a large capybara test suite and dig into APIs and options we can use to bring back the confidence Capybara initially gave us.

Don’t Worry Ruby, We Still Love You

by Chris Ball

With the rise of client-side frameworks you might wonder if your days using Ruby are numbered. You came to Ruby for its expressiveness and beauty. You don’t want to leave that completely behind. Luckily, you don’t have to. With a nod to the Single Responsibility Principle we all love, this talk looks at how to leverage a front-end framework like Ember.js to handle application state at the UI layer and leave Ruby or Rails to do what it does best — everything else. Something to keep in mind: that everything else is the heart of your entire app.

January 13, 2015


by Sarah Mei

Everyone keeps telling us that Github is the new resume. But we live in a world where there are -- literally -- millions of Ruby developers. Why do so few of them ever contribute code back? What could our community do if we moved that needle just a little bit? The gap between “Ruby developer” and “Ruby open source contributor” is still distressingly large. All our recent efforts for better documentation and friendlier maintainers hasn’t helped narrow it as much as we hoped. It’s time to look at this problem in a new way: through our code. Using the RSpec codebase as a starting point, we’ll explore the invisible forces that create and maintain this gap in the face of all our efforts to close it.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under ActiveRecord

by Pat Shaughnessy

We all know ActiveRecord allows you to perform complex SQL queries using simple, elegant Ruby code. It’s like magic, a useful magic we all use everyday in our Rails apps. But how does it actually work? We’ll find out by first exploring the shallow waters just under ActiveRecord: What is relational algebra? How does the Arel gem generate SQL strings from Ruby objects? Later, we’ll dive into much deeper waters - all the way inside the PostgreSQL database! We’ll discover what does Postgres does with our SQL strings, where our data is actually located, and how Postgres finds what we want. Join me and learn exactly how your Rails app gets the data it needs. Like the strange places and creatures Jules Verne described in his underwater adventure, we’ll discover fascinating data structures and computer science algorithms you never knew you were using.

November 11, 2014

The Soft Underbelly: The Uncommon Attack Vectors You're Not Looking For

by Scott Feinberg

We build web applications, but how do we really know they’re secure? You’re savvy, so you use SSL, bcrypt your passwords, use only key-based authentication, protect your admin passwords and accounts with solid password management, and generally follow the Rails Security Guide. So you’re safe right? Nope. There’s more. A lot more. In 45 minutes, You’ll be introduced to some of the most common attacks fraudsters and hackers use to break into your site. We’ll discuss some of the consequences of your web application being hacked and how to detect and prevent these attacks.

Go Get a Job

by Sean Kelly

Not all work can be done in-band. At some point, you need to run code asynchronously to better scale your system. There are no shortage of off the shelf job systems out there to make this easy, but they all make assumptions or have a certain view point that may not mesh well with your application. Sometimes you need to roll your own, and that isn't always a bad thing. But it's a decision not to be made lightly. In this talk, we'll go over why Tapjoy decided to skip an off the shelf solution, build something from scratch to fit their needs, and finally opening it up to share with the Ruby community at large. We'll go over the technologies we reviewed, why we settled on something custom, how we scale jobs, and some interesting lessons learned about jobs systems, monitoring, and bugs in Ruby itself.