RubyConf*MI, OSCON, and "Ruby for Rails"

by Pat Eyler

Coming off of a big week at OSCon it's time to announce RubyConf*MI, the first regional Ruby conference. It's being held in Grand Rapids Michigan on Aug 26th. It looks like a good conference, David Black will be speaking (the word is he'll be presenting a day of training through Ruby Power and Light ahead of the conference as well). I'm going to be speaking there too, along with several local Ruby hackers. You can see the speaker list or register for the conference at their website.

If you missed OSCon, there are a lot of places that you can find good coverage. Some of my favorite talks included:

  • Jim Weirich — on Test First and Design by Contract
  • Avi Bryant — on Seaside and 'web heresies'
  • Amy Hoy — on user interface design
  • Karl Fogel — on developer community tools that we really need
  • FOSCon — not really a talk, but it was awesome

Outside of conference news, I also wanted to tell you about a great Ruby book. I just picked up a printed copy of Ruby For Rails (I've been working from a PDF up to this point). I can't say enough good things about it. While it's meant mostly for Rails hackers, to help them build up their Ruby skills, it also works well for plain Ruby hackers. At this point, it's one of three books that I think belong on every Rails hacker's desk (it's also one of a different three I'd recommend to every Ruby hacker).

Ruby for Rails looks at how Ruby works, building up objects from scratch, explaining inheritence and mixins, and exploring how a thorough knowledge of Ruby will make your Rails code better (or your Ruby code for that matter). One of my favorite chapters is the last one, Techniques for Exploring the Rails Source Code, which looks at reading the Rails source code as a way to improve your knowledge of both Rails and Ruby. This is a technique that can be expanded to many other collections of Ruby source.

If you're doing Ruby or Rails Hacking (or just getting started), and you don't own this book, go buy a copy now!