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March 11, 2014

Raspberry Pi on Rails: A Burning Man Love Story

by Benjamin Guest

People don't typically think of Ruby when it comes to embedded Linux development boards like Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone, but it is indeed possible to run the full Rails stack on such systems and use that micro server to interact with the physical world. In this talk I'll show how Rails and Raspberry Pi are being used to create a simple interface for a Burning Man art project. I'll cover the pieces I used to get rails running on Pi, contributions to the pi_piper gem, software design decisions, hardware design and interaction, issues, and possibilities for improvement.

Timezones - There, Here, Then, Now, and Back Again.

by Joel Oliveira

Many of us have crossed the rubicon and tackled the tricky (and sinister) issue of handling timezones in our code. For those of you who haven't, or to varying degrees, this talk is for you. Why is this an issue? What tools are available to us? In my talk I'll share the challenges I've run into and share some code that makes it a little easier.

February 11, 2014

Value Add Refactoring for Rails Applications

by Jason Nochlin

Refactoring is an important part of maintaining a large codebase. However, for many developers, deciding when and what to refactor can be stressful. As an individual or team, its easy to fall into a trap of refactoring too little, which can result in large amounts of technical debt or a trap of refactoring too much, which slows forward progress. In this talk, we'll explore a framework for determining when, what, and how much to refactor a growing Rails codebase. Examples will be provided for each concept and you'll walk away with a number of questions to ask yourself and your team along with a number of Rails-specific tricks and techniques.

Service Oriented Architecture in the Ruby World

by Eduardo Gutierrez

As your application grows in complexity, breaking it up into independent components that communicate over a stable API contract can reduce that complexity into smaller maintainable concerns. Instead of deploying multiple Rails applications, there are leaner alternatives in the Ruby ecosystem such as Middleman and Grape. We'll take a look at these tools and strategies for managing configuration and compatibility between different components of a service-oriented-architecture (SOA). Additionally, we'll cover exactly when SOA is beneficial and how to determine if you should switch to it.

January 14, 2014


by Bob Breznak

Devise is pretty widly used, but have you ever needed more out of it? With the recent release of 3.1.0, Token Authenticatable has been dropped; how can you replace it securely? This talk will quickly go over the basics of Devise, dive into its core use of Warden and we'll write a few new custom strategies. Developers walking into the talk without any previous exposure to Devise will get a quick intro, casual users will get a better understanding of how its innards work, and the seasoned will get to see how one group addressed api authentication token generation while avoiding the timing security issues that had previously existed.

Threading and Concurrency in Ruby

by Tim Raymond

Rubyists generally tend to shy away from multi-threaded code. Cognitive overload, horror stories of threading bugs, and MRI's lack of native threading support are probably the reasons, but these are powerful constructs that every developer should understand. We'll tour the basic synchronization primitives that Ruby provides, and I'll show you where each is appropriate, covering potential pitfalls and hazards along the way. We'll see the strengths and limitations of the way MRI, Rubinius, and JRuby run our multithreaded code, and the implications that that has on our code's progress.

December 10, 2013

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

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.

November 12, 2013

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.

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.

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 Sortfolio.com 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


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".


by Doug Yun


Ohloh for OSS Developers

by Peter Degen-Portnoy

An overview of how Ohloh can help open source developers.

I Will Survive

by Liana Leahy

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

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.

First Symbol in MRI Ruby

by Octavian Neamtu

What is the first symbol in MRI Ruby

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

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 Thijs de Vries

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


by Patrick Robertson

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