SunnyConf: Southwest Regional Ruby Conference

Regional technical conferences are something I have come to appreciate over the last five years.  It is a great way to meet new people and learn new technologies.  These regional events have for a large part launched the hallway track and unconference movement that is so prevalent.  It seems like a decade ago that I attended the first Ruby on Rails Conference in Chicago, IL.

I am excited to finally see a regional Ruby Conference in my own backyard after years of traveling the US to attend other national and regional Ruby events.  The line up is great and you should join us.  SunnyConf register TODAY.

Keynote — Jeremy Ashkenas: Code is a Commons

Isn’t it strange how with open-source code, the more you give away, the more you have? Writing software is qualitatively unlike any other field of human endeavor. We’ll explore how open-source projects can avoid the tragedy of the commons, parallels to drafting legislation, and if it makes any sense to treat works of code as literature.
Les Hill & Jim Remsik on How to Build a Team

Hashrocket began as a small four person shop aiming to build products and get rich doing the same. Something happened along the way and we wound up with a small principled consultancy that works hard and plays harder. Listen in as we share how we keep the culture, quality, and cohesive bond that makes Rocketeers love working for Hashrocket.

We will cover hiring, communications, methodology, environment, culture, and community:

* Hiring: getting the right people is critical to building an awesome team
* Communications: openess and transparency are essential to keeping focus and attitude
* Methodology: being Agile takes discipline and practice. It requires more than desire and reading a book
* Environment: being in an environnment that is pleasant and enjoyable enhances productivity
* Culture: a shared set of values builds and keeps the team bonded
* Community: you are not isolated, participation and giving back are core values of the large Ruby/Rails and OS community
Charlie Nutter on JRuby: The Way to Enterprise-Friendly Ruby

You know that JRuby is Ruby for the JVM. But did you know you can deploy Ruby applications anywhere Java applications can go? Did you know that all the amazing profiling and debugging tools for the JVM work great with JRuby? Did you know that the entire world of Java libraries are available to Ruby users?

In this talk, we’ll show how JRuby is bringing Ruby to a wider world, making it possible to build Ruby apps for Java enterprises, for Android phones, for Java-based clouds like Google’s AppEngine, and much more. We’ll play with some of the amazing JVM tools like VisualVM, which allow you to monitor performance and memory use of live applications. We’ll see how easy it is to use any Java library from Ruby. And we’ll talk about strategies for getting Ruby into organizations that only allow Java or JVM-based deployments.

Blake Mizerany on Sinatra Extensions

Sinatra extensions. Learn them. Love them.

We’ll get intimate with how to create simple to advanced Sinatra extensions, and all the cool little secrets about Sinatra you probably should have discovered a long time ago. At the end of this talk, you’ll be able to take your favorite plugins from other frameworks, do them the Sinatra way, and leave the bloat behind.
David Keener on Leveraging Rails to Build Facebook Applications

This talk is a distillation of some of the practical tactics that Dave’s development team at MetroStar Systems has used to create highly successful FaceBook applications using Rails, including real-life systems like PollCast and Iran Voices. Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 400 million members. The talk also discusses the ramifications of the latest game-changing announcements from Facebook’s F8 Conference and how these changes are affecting Facebook development.

Biography: David Keener is a solutions architect for MetroStar Systems, a fast-growing consulting firm in the Washington DC metropolitan area providing services to government agencies, non-profit organizations and the commercial sector. Dave has over 23 years of experience, specializing in Ruby, Rails, social media and (sometimes) even Java. He is a frequent public speaker at user groups and conferences, as well as a founder of the RubyNation Conference. He also blogs regularly on Internet-related subjects at
Andre Arko on Bundler: Painless Dependency Management

The new Bundler being released alongside Rails 3 has been designed to fix all of your dependency problems. It makes using dependencies easy and reliable at the same time. Bundler can handle your Rails gem plugins, your application’s dependencies, and even your dependencies’ dependencies, all automatically. It even has built-in support for multiple environments, like development, testing and production.

In this talk Andre will walk through why Bundler was written, and why you should be using it for all of your applications. He’ll talk about how it makes dependency management painless, and how to use it effectively in common scenarios. He will cover using the Bundler with Rails 3, Rails 2, Sinatra, and any generic ruby application. He will also talk about about his experiences helping maintain the project, how to resolve the most common Bundler issues, and where the Bundler is headed in the future.
Luigi Montanez on Civic Coding

How can Ruby change cities, states, and countries for the better? Last year, we saw an explosion of interest around government transparency. The Open Government movement, spearheaded by open source developers, seeks to make government more accountable and responsible by turning open government data into citizen-focused, civic-minded applications.

This talk will guide you through the Gov 2.0 landscape. You’ll learn about the data sets and APIs freely available for your use, the tools and skills you’ll need to be a successful civic hacker, and you’ll get a thorough overview of the current civic apps out there. Civic hacking will enhance your open source portfolio while making a difference in your community and country.

Alex Sharp on Refactoring

This talk will focus solving difficult refactoring problems in a real world codebase. I will show actual code and demonstrate specific refactoring techniques to show how specific problems were solved. This is not a conceptual talk, and thus we will look at LOTS of real code. You’ve been warned!

In this session, we will cover the following:

1. Educate audience on core principles of refactoring
2. Present conceptual framework for approaching large refactorings
3. Demonstrate common refactoring techniques, such as extract method, deprecate method, and characterization testing
4. Identify common anti-patterns in web applications and specific refactoring strategies

Attendees should expect to learn core refactoring strategies and techniques, as well as techniques that can be frequently applied in refactoring web applications.
Brian Bommarito on Testing

This talk will be a technology agnostic discussion on testing web applications. We will learn how to create a testing workflow for a development team, the basics of unit testing, using a continuous integration tool, and dealing with broken tests during feature development.

This talk will also include a demo on how to test a Sinatra application with RSpec, Cucumber and Hudson—a continuous integration tool.