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Sessions at Frozen Rails 2012 on Thursday 20th September Day One

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  • Keynote: What is a developer?

    by Jeff Casimir

    At 10:00am to 10:45am, Thursday 20th September

  • Mind Your Metaphors

    by Amanda Wagener

    Software development as engineering. Real world situations as objects. Development periods as sprints.

    Metaphors are a powerful tool, and generally a positive one, allowing us to disregard some complexity in favour of focusing on the current situation. However, this reduction of complexity can blind us to other ways to discuss or approach a problem. Choosing the wrong metaphor can be dangerous; choosing a simplistic metaphor can be limiting.

    This talk will encourage thinking about the metaphors behind the concepts we use, and what other metaphors could be considered in their place. Being aware of metaphors, consciously choosing which we use, and re-evaluating regularly will improve both our code and our discipline.

    At 11:00am to 11:30am, Thursday 20th September

  • ZeroMQ: scriptable sockets

    by Lourens Naudé

    ZeroMQ is a socket abstraction and concurrency framework that's changing the way we think and reason about distributed systems. Mailboxes, atomic message delivery and swappable transports allow for fast, flexible and resilient network topologies. It's I/O model also sits very well with all Ruby implementations. In this talk we'll discuss :

    • What's wrong with socket I/O ?
    • Supported messaging patterns
    • Transport agnostic messaging
    • Resiliency (operations and upgrades)
    • Building out topologies just in time (interjection principle)
    • Performance and throughput
    • Mongrel2 Ruby adapter
    • How to use it from Ruby
    • Small case study

    At 11:30am to 12:00pm, Thursday 20th September

  • Designing Hypermedia APIs

    by Steve Klabnik

    Rails did a lot to bring REST to developers, but its conception leaves the REST devotee feeling a bit empty. "Where's the hypermedia?" she says. "REST isn't RPC," he may cry. "WTF??!?!" you may think. "I have it right there! resources :posts ! What more is there? RPC? Huh?"

    In this talk, Steve will explain how to design your APIs so that they truly embrace the web and HTTP. Just as there's an impedance mismatch between our databases, our ORMs, and our models, there's an equal mismatch between our applications, our APIs, and our clients. Pros and cons of this approach will be discussed, as well as why we aren't building things this way yet.

    At 1:00pm to 1:30pm, Thursday 20th September

  • "Fighting Code Smells", Ruby Code Analysis Tools

    by Dennis Ushakov

    Nobody likes when their code smells. To help avoid it, dozens of special tools and approaches have been designed. Efficient coding tools, refactorings, code metrics, code analysis, code testing and debugging are all crucial for creating quality, maintainable code. During this talk we’ll show you how to efficiently detect code smells, eliminate them using refactoring, and validate the changed code. By the end you’ll have a ‘swiss army knife’ full of techniques for making better code.

    At 1:30pm to 2:00pm, Thursday 20th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • The Tale of a Server Infrastructure

    by Ville Lautanala

    This talk will explain how we got drunk and lost track of our servers, how we sobered up and still had a hard time administrating them, and how we finally managed to get on top of our server infrastructure and transform the architecture into the shiny majestic thing it is today. It is a survival story of sorts, where a Zookeeper and a Chef comes to the aid of a young newcomer trying to make it big in the bustling scene of startups.

    This talk will discuss the architecture of our app and server infrastructure at Flowdock. We will talk about importance of decoupling in order to:
    * ease development and maintenance
    * scale your app
    * maintain high-availability
    * impress your friends with your architecture layout
    * keep a zoo

    At 2:30pm to 3:00pm, Thursday 20th September

    Coverage slide deck

  • Off The Tracks - Challenging The Rails Mindset

    by Nick Sutterer

    Rails - a word that stirs programmer's blood. It brought us testing, easy web app building, database abstraction and hundreds of extension gems. Why not take it to another level and discover how Rails turns into a real OOP framework? By exploring chosen gems let's discuss what MVC really is and how it boosts your AJAX user interface, how to apply patterns like DCI, dependency injection and POROs to your database layer and how to expose your Rails system through a real RESTful API. Also, have you ever tried using Rails helpers outside of Rails, maybe in Sinatra? Let's do it and learn about some refreshing aspects of this framework.

    At 3:00pm to 3:30pm, Thursday 20th September

  • Post-Rails? Composable Apps with a First-class API

    by Brandur Leach

    Rails is the best framework for building web apps in the world, but is there a way we can get even greater leverage of Rails' strengths while producing a more maintainable system? Brandur talks about lessons learnt while separating API from the web, and how this pattern can be reused elsewhere for the greater good:

    • More manageable codebases and healthier developers
    • Using Rails for what it's best at—building web apps
    • Keeping designers happy by giving them well-constructed APIs and saving them from constant operational load
    • Using ActiveModel to face back onto your own platform
    • Building self-service APIs for customers, but which are also reused by any number of internal components
    • Opening the gates for the rest of the software ecosystem—Backbone apps and iOS

    At 4:00pm to 4:30pm, Thursday 20th September

  • Deploy, Scale and Sleep at Night with JRuby

    by Joe Kutner

    Your website has just crashed, and you're losing money. The application is built on Rails, runs on MRI, and is served up with Mongrel and Apache. Having this kind of infrastructure means that you're managing more processes than you can count on two hands. It will take a while to get back online because there are so many components in your system; including resque, monit, cron, Ruby Daemons, and more. But the website has to get up and running if you are going to stay in business.

    The problem I've just described is all too common. It has happened to everyone from small start-ups to large social networking sites that use Ruby to serve millions of requests. But the recent growth and increased adoption of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) as a platform for Ruby applications means that this is no longer the only way of doing things.

    In this talk, I'll discuss the new architecture and deployment strategies that JRuby enables, and why they're better for your Rails applications. I'll talk about what makes JRuby more scalable and show some benchmarks that prove it. I'll also discuss three deployment strategies that can be used with any Rack-based JRuby application, and provide an overview of how each one works. I'll focus on the technologies that make them possible, and when it's appropriate to use each strategy. They include:

    • Warbler: a gem can be used to create a self-contained web application archive file.
    • Trinidad: a light-weight web server for creating flexible, modular deployments that still feel friendly and familiar.
    • TorqueBox: an all-in-one environment that includes built-in support for messaging, scheduling, daemons and clustering.

    Choosing the right JRuby deployment strategy will not only provide a powerful and reliable platform -- it will help you get more sleep at night.

    At 4:30pm to 5:00pm, Thursday 20th September

    Coverage slide deck

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