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Past presentations ~ RSS

December 10, 2013

Babies vs. Zombies

by Wyatt Greene

Does the code you write have a bright future? Or is it destined to rot and turn brains to mush? Find out how to keep your code from getting infected with the zombie virus of entropy and kept fresh and alive using insights from cognitive psychology.

InfluxDB - An Open Source Time Series, Metrics, and Analytics Database

by Paul Dix

In this talk we'll introduce InfluxDB, a distributed time series database we open sourced based on our backend infrastructure at Errplane. I'll talk about why you'd want a database specifically for time series and cover the API and some of the key features of InfluxDB

November 12, 2013

RailsBridge Boston

by Melissa Xie

With 14 months and 6 workshops down, RailsBridge Boston has taught Ruby and Rails to over 200 women. What's making these workshops so successful? Why do people keep coming!? All sources point to our TAs. In this talk, we'll take a look at what they're doing and how we can do the same to better foster our community.

Reinventing Yourself

by Michael Denomy

Are you new to the world of software development, trying to find a way to break in? Are you an experienced developer from the .NET or Java world trying to find a way to break out? Two years ago, I was in a management role with a medical device company, moving slowly away from something I love, writing software. My experience was heavy on the embedded and desktop side, primarily in C#, with little web experience. I loved TDD and agile, but didn't find much love for XP practices in those communities. I had heard a lot about how these ideas were valued in the Ruby community but how was I going to break in. This talk will go into some of the things I did to gain a toehold. Along the way, we'll talk about fear, imposter syndrome, leveling up your skills, and getting involved in the community. We'll also talk about some of the roadblocks you will face and some unspoken, and not so unspoken, negative aspects of the industry.

October 8, 2013

Debugging Ruby With Pry

by Luke Bergen

In this talk, we'll take a look at Pry. We'll see how to debug a ruby program using the core of the library and take a look at the rich plugin ecosystem that surrounds this amazing tool. We'll also spend a some time looking into some of the other lesser known features that often get overlooked including configuring a .pryrc file, custom pry commands and more.

Why BDD Is our BFF

by Matt Daubert

As projects grow, managing an acceptance test suite often means making a distressing discovery: unanticipated technical debt. Find out how we overcame painful testing practices of the past and fell in love with behavior-driven development. We’ll speak in depth about powerful techniques that bring your acceptance tests back to first-class status and ensure that their value exceeds their cost, regardless of your framework.

September 10, 2013

Restructuring Rails

by Eric Marthinsen

The Rails way isn't always the best way. What's great for rapid application development is sometimes bad for a long-lived application. In this talk, we'll learn how the codebase of was refactored to make it faster, easier to modify, more testable, and ready for the long-haul. We'll see how it's CodeClimate score was increased from a 2.78 to a 3.51 and how you can apply these same principles to your own apps.

A Big Look at MiniTest

by Mark Bates

With Rails 4 supporting only Ruby 1.9 and above it can fully embrace the MiniTest library that ships with Ruby 1.9. What does this mean for Rails developers? Let's find out. In this talk we'll look at using MiniTest in a simple, non-Rails, project and then work up to using it in a Rails application. We'll look at both the TestUnit and RSpec style syntaxes that MiniTest offers. We'll also learn to write custom matchers, run specific files, and much more. Testing is important to all Ruby and Rails developers, and with such a powerful testing library already bundled with Ruby, shouldn't we learn how to use it?

August 13, 2013

Giving Cucumber a Little Love

by Rob Park

I often hear when around devs a bashing of sorts of Cucumber. The norm generally seems to be a preference for rspec/capybara. But when dealing with a larger client or organization or team it can provide a lot of value, so thought I could mention a couple things around how to utilize cucumber and possibly try and break a couple myths I hear a lot on the subject.

I Will Survive

by Liana Leahy

Liana sings of her love for Ruby on Rails and the BostonRuby community

First Symbol in MRI Ruby

by Octavian Neamtu

What is the first symbol in MRI Ruby


by Patrick Robertson

A talk on how to use Rack middleware to enable your API to be used by other originating domains.


by Doug Yun


Ohloh for OSS Developers

by Peter Degen-Portnoy

An overview of how Ohloh can help open source developers.

Lessons I Learned The Hard Way

by Myke Cameron

Myke shares some lessons he has learned along the way.

Imposter Syndrome

by Mike Munroe

A presentation on what imposter syndrome is and how to overcome it so that developers may be more open to contributing to OSS work.


by Dave Jachimiak

Fuci is a gem that allows you to run CI failures locally from the output of your CI agent.


by Michael Denomy

Are you a Ruby on Rails developer who is curious about RubyMotion. In this talk I will go into some of my experiences getting started with RubyMotion. We'll take a look at a few gems that can make the experience of developing iOS applications with RubyMotion more "Railsy".

Giving Cucumber a Little Love

by Rob Park

I often hear when around devs a bashing of sorts of Cucumber. The norm generally seems to be a preference for rspec/capybara. But when dealing with a larger client or organization or team it can provide a lot of value, so thought I could mention a couple things around how to utilize cucumber and possibly try break a couple myths I hear a lot on the subject


by Thijs de Vries

Missingly is a gem that helps remove some of the boilerplate needed to use method_missing safely

July 9, 2013

Rails Engines

by Kevin Incorvia

In this talk on Rails::Engine you will become a Rails mechanic by learning how Rails::Engine, Rails::Application, and Rails::Railtie interact, giving you much of the power you associate with Rails. Blueprint in hand, we will cover typical Rails::Engine setups, discussing full vs isolated engines, configuration paths, initializers, testing, routing, and middleware stacks. You'll be ready to build your own Rails::Engine as soon as you get back to your own garage.

Memory Issues in Ruby Applications

by Joe Ferris

As Rails applications mature, they frequently run into performance issues. One of the most common problems that plague middle-aged Rails apps is running out of memory. Unfortunately, the causes of most memory issues are the tools that make applications so easy to write, such as ActiveRecord and Enumerable. Although these tools make it easy to navigate your data, they also make it easy to continually use more memory as your data grows. During this talk, you'll learn about different memory problems, such as leaks, bloat, and churn. You'll learn some common causes of memory issues in Rails applications, and you'll see how to use streams to improve performance and trim down on memory usage.

June 11, 2013

Three Client-side Web Apps

by Brian Kaney

Brian will dive into three recently released, client-heavy JS web applications. All use Ruby on the server; two of them use Backbone.js and the third uses Ember.js in the browser. Each project has is fair challenges, from scaling to security to development process and devops. We will look at a few of these challenges and how they were overcome.

Hardware Hacking and M2M Websites with Ruby

by Steve Morss

We will go over some interesting devices for hacking using Ruby (Arduinos, XBees, others). They have open source code available and good documentation. Next, we will demonstrate a website written in Sinatra which gives complete control over the devices, and which can configure them into some interesting systems. Systems include a motion detector which sends text messages or email, a system which controls LEDs and relays using text messages or email, and a system which measures temperature and water/moisture and sends warning messages and status. We'll also demonstrate some low cost, hockey puck sized Linux systems (Raspberry Pi, others) functioning as a larger M2M system.

May 14, 2013

Writing a Programming Language in Ruby

by Goose Mongeau

Ruby is an amazing programming language and it allows you to express complex concepts with simple code. Come learn how to utilize ruby in order to write your own programming language. Matt "Goose" Mongeau will talk about the tools involved in the writing of a programming language. This talk will give a general overview of the tools involved and present you with the knowledge to be able to tackle the problem on your own. This talk will not be overly complex and will instead focus on breaking down each part into easy to learn pieces.