Last week I was at RubyFuza. Hats off to Marc for another excellent conference. The talks, and the people there, gave me a lot to think about. I got lots of ideas for things to do at, or improvements for, RailsBridge and for things I want to do at work.
I can’t remember exactly which talk (or talks) it was, but I was reminded of the importance of network connectivity, especially for South Africa. This mostly make me think of performance concerns: data is money. When people view your site on their phone, they are paying to do so. They’re paying for every extra 1mb png of someone smiling at a salad that you add to your site.
Another theme I picked up on was “other people.” Pair programming came up in a couple of the talks, and I was reminded of how much I like pairing. I want to investigate how I can bring it into my current job, especially into the design and UX side of things. Where can two people working together on one thing, even for a short burst, add value for a client and for the designers?
Another part of it was about code quality. Writing and maintaining modular code is not just about the reusability, but about sharing it. Other developers should be able to pick up your code and continue where you left off. They shouldn’t have to do that by reading through a huge trail of comments: methods should be well-named and short enough that they can understood quickly.
I like attending conferences. Although I love my job, time away from the office can be useful. Just like when I’m on holiday, I find that my brain unhooks, de-clutches a bit, and I can think about problems from a different angle, or I come up with new ideas that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
It’s also great to see some familiar faces in a different environment, and to meet new people. I have to admit that I was a bit anti-social at this one: I stayed around the people I knew, and I should really have made more of an effort to talk to new people. I hope I’ll do better at the next thing I go to. ScaleConf, anyone? I bought my ticket today.