Our San Francisco Wrap Up
We had a very exhausting but incredibly useful day last Wednesday. After being invited to give a talk at Pivotal Labs, so we planned a quick trip to San Francisco and arranged other talks with various Ruby developers. We arrived in SF a couple hours before our first meeting, so we headed to a coffee shop to grab some breakfast. We booted up 15 servers so we could do a live demo of Devver. Then we headed out to meet up with Aman Gupta from Kickball Labs (no site yet). Aman contributes to various projects including EventMachine and Ramaze. We ended up discussing distributed Ruby messaging systems and Ruby web frameworks, which seemed to be a shared interest.
Next we headed over to Pivatol Labs to prepare to give our demo. Pivotal has an awesome setup so it was cool just to check out their office. I particularly liked the flat screen displaying the current status of all their projects and the Wii/Rockband setup. Pivotal recorded our entire session, so we will link to the video when they put that up on the web. I think this was the best session we have had yet talking with developers about Devver. The group asked a lot of questions, and really shared what the pain points are for their teams in terms of Ruby development. We are hoping to get a few things finished and then be able to find some more time to talk with the Pivotal Labs teams. Thanks again to Pivotal for inviting us out in the first place.
While at Pivotal, we got a chance to talk to some people from other Ruby shops around SF and a friend of a friend Todd Sampson from MyBlogLog. One person we got to talk with was James Lindenbaum from Heroku. Heroku is also working on some awesome things in Ruby, like the Rush Ruby shell. We are also a fan of Heroku because they are also a big proponent of Ruby testing, so it was cool to hear their thoughts on what we were up to.
We grabbed some lunch provided by Pivotal and started running over to Yahoo’s Brickhouse for our next talk. We met up with the FireEagle team, which is working on some cool location based stuff in Ruby. FireEagle is the largest Ruby team within Yahoo, so it was great to get to hear their opinions on Ruby development and their team’s process. We sat around talking about current Ruby tools, and what kinds of tools and code statistics they would like to see. Seeing more overall statistics on a project seemed like a minor but important theme of our SF trip.
The last part of our SF trip was a happy hour with the SF Ruby Meetup Group. Unfortunately, due to some poor planning on my part, it fell apart. Some Rubyist from the group recommended meeting at Thirsty Bear. The bar happened to have a private party that night. I arrived about 10 minutes before we were supposed to meet, with no real access to email. So I left information at Thirsty Bear about heading to the nearest bar, hoping some Ruby users would find me… only one person from the Ruby Meetup managed to find me, John Mount of Venue Software. So I guess I might have to try this again next time we visit.
Thanks to everyone we got to chat with, we had a great and fast visit. We learned so much we actually have had to take a step back and really think about the best direction to pursue. I think the information we learned during our brief trip will help shape some of our decisions for a time to come.