August Meeting - Dart: Another Tool in the Toolbox!

Our next meeting will be Monday, August 4th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown.

Synopsis

Dart, a language designed by Google and recently approved by the Ecma, is build momentum as a structured and scalable web programming language. Dart compiles to JavaScript and runs across the open modern web. Nola will give an overview of the language and show how easy it is to use for console and web applications. Jesse Riggins will explain the power of the Dart VM and how he uses it at SonarDesign.

Bio

Jesse Riggins & Nola Stowe - Maybe we'll think of something clever to put here, but we are best experienced over beers (or root beer) at socialization practice. :)

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

What Excites you about Ruby?

Our next meeting will be Monday, June 2nd, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown.

Our talk this month will be from Andrew Harrison. Quoth Andrew:

Coming from 12 years of Java background, I was dropped into the deep end of the Ruby pool when I joined the OtherInbox team 2 years ago. Since then, I've been kicking myself for not learning Ruby sooner. Being able to 'code at the speed of thought', along with a great community and rich code resources just a web search away, makes coding in ruby a pure joy.

I still would consider myself a bit green, but I would like to spend this month's meetup sharing a few interesting code snippets, and then give everyone ample chance to share in their own excitement when it comes to programming in Ruby.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

RTanque Battles!

Our next meeting will be Monday, May 5th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown.

This month's meeting is going to be a bit backwards. Instead of a talk and then a kata, we will start programming from the beginning. Your mission is to install RTanque and create a tank to battle (or maybe just derp around in circles) in the AustinRB arena.

RTanque uses the Ruby 2D game programming library Gosu to enable users to write small autonomous tanks that move around and try to destroy each other. You can manually control one, or you can create rules for the tank to go out and try to smoke the other tanks. That's what we're going to do.

It might be an exciting battle, it might be a pathetic battle, but either way it will be tons of fun!

Sponsored Drinking

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street, sponsored by Rapid7.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

April Meeting

Our next meeting will be Monday, April 7th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown.

Synopsis

The SOLID principles are a good collection of general guidelines to help you build software that will be easier to maintain over time. Most of these principles can be applied as-is in Ruby, but some need to be adapted.

Bio

Louis Salin has been a software developer for more than 10 years. He spends the majority of his time rambling about the good ol' days and tries to find meaning in this age of chaos by focusing on software design and structure. His first experiences were developing desktop applications on Windows using C++. Then it was desktop applications using .Net and C#. Then Louis regressed temporarily into the world of classic ASP before coming to his senses and start working on desktop-like web applications using Silverlight. Finally, grudgingly accepting that the web was going to become self-aware and that everything app was going to be stateless forever, Louis escaped the fatal attraction of Microsoft Webforms to work on web applications using Ruby and Rails. Since then, however, web apps have become desktop applications again, except that we can only code them in one language: javascript.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

March Meeting - Becoming a Better Developer through Katas

Meeting Cancelled ... but lets meet on Google Hangouts!

Watch on twitter @austinrb for the url tonight!

Install the screen sharing app ScreenHero and we will still do a kata

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, **March 3rd**, from **7:00-9:00pm** at [Capital Factory][CF] downtown.

Synopsis

We do katas after most meetings, but what about doing them on your own? Nola Stowe will speak on how to do katas on your own and what kinds of techniques you can use to mix it up. She will also talk about some other tools and techniques for practing code!

After, we will try a new kind of kata as group. It is called a Randori. We will have one computer hooked up to the projector and two volunteers to kick it off. One is the Driver and the other is the Navigator. The Driver is typing while the Navigator is assisting and thinking outloud. If neither has any ideas how to proceed they can ask for help from the group. After 7 minutes, the Navigator is the driver and a new Navigator steps up.

Bio

Nola blogs at blog.rubygeek.com and recently started two new sites www.iheartruby.com and www.kataclub.com. She does ruby at Apartments.com and moonlighting on weekends helping teams firm up their test suites. She mentors developers and is a co-founder of www.devchix.com. She spends any free time on learning clojure.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

february Meeting - 5 Gems in 10 Minutes Lightning Talks

Our next meeting will be Monday, February 3rd, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown.

Synopsis

Instead of having one speaker this month, we opted instead to have many speakers! Each speaker will quickly cover 5 gems in 10 minutes. Come on by and learn something new! Sign up to speak here.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

January Meeting - CONCURRENCEH!

Our next meeting will be Monday, January 6th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Trevor Rosen.

Synopsis

There's a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt around concurrency in Ruby, and we're here tonight to fix that. What kinds of primitives does the language give for doing multiple things "at once"? What does a simple thread pool look like? What are some cool libraries for dealing with concurrency or for abstracting away the hard bits into patterns?

We will take a practical look at answers to these questions, touching on (MRI) Ruby's native Thread, as well as the Celluloid libraries which build on it to achieve safer, more natural concurrency patterns. While this talk will assume an intermediate knowledge of Ruby and some understanding of the basic notions of concurrency, there will be plenty of links to resources and heavily commented example code such that even a n00b should be able to find some enlightenment.

Bio

Trevor Rosen is an Austin native and longtime Ruby developer who loves tinkering with open-source tech. In his day job, he's lucky enough to work for Rapid7 on Metasploit, where he manages the commercial products development team and works with some of the sharpest developers around, building industry-leading security tools and simulating cyber criminality.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

December Holiday Party!

Not a Meeting

The next meeting shall be not a meeting, but a party! And not just any party, but an epic bash bringing together more than 25 active groups from the web and tech communities in Austin.

RSVP!

Details and RSVP are available on TicketBud

There is a suggested-donation-style admission ($5 or more). All proceeds go to charity.

Time and Location

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 Buffalo Billiards at 6th and Brazos

We’ll see y’all there!

November Meeting - Practical Pairing

Our next meeting will be Monday, November 4th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Mark Sim.

Synopsis

As developers, we often find ourselves alone. Keyboards lend themselves to single users. Screens, ideas, and configurations are all difficult to share. But ‘Pairing’ has been shown time and time again to improve the quality of code written and the skills of those involved more so than doing it alone.

But you may not be at a place where you can pair easily or readily. What if you’re a remote worker? What if your company doesn’t see the value and discourages such ‘wastes of time’? What if you aren’t even a professional developer yet… you’re just trying to learn? Where do you start?

It can be intimidating, frustrating and difficult to remote pair. This talk addresses the following issues to help everyone experience the awesomeness of pairing, no matter what situation they are in. (Detailed Outline)

Bio

Mark has been a professional developer since 1999 and a full-time Ruby developer since 2008. He has been the technical lead at two different companies and currently works at Upworthy as a Senior Engineer. He works from home full-time. Mark enjoys playing drums and guitar and hanging out with his wife and 4 kids.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

October Meeting - Treetop: Making Parsers Fun

Our next meeting will be Monday, October 7th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Patrick Ritchie.

Synopsis

Treetop is a language for describing languages. Combining the elegance of Ruby with cutting-edge parsing expression grammars, it helps you analyze syntax with revolutionary ease.

This talk will use a real world example to show you how Treetop makes writing parsers fun and easy. Expect to see lots of code in this quick introduction.

Bio

Patrick Ritchie is a Canadian expat living in Austin and currently works for HomeAway. He's been working with Ruby for 8 years at everything from early stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

Teaching with Robots: Joining the physical and digital worlds

Our next meeting will be Monday, August 5th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Mike Ford.

Synopsis

Robots are undeniably cool. As the world becomes more digital, the number of systems that can interact with their environment has exploded. This talk will introduce the Artoo interface for programming robot interfaces using Ruby. We will also explore creating autonomous processes to teach math and engineering concepts to all ages.

Bio

Mike Ford is a software engineer at Trion Worlds, where he develops tools for the operations team. He has been dabbling in Ruby for the past year. He has been working as a professional software engineer for 13 years, and has been a hobbyist developer/tinkerer since his dad brought home a Morrow MD-2 in 1983.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

July Meeting - TDD Refresh: A Small Step Forward for Test-Driven Kind, and a New Testing Framework

Our next meeting will be Monday, July 1st, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Scott Bellware.

Synopsis

This presentation introduces yet-another Ruby testing library that brings design and design principles closer to the forefront. It demonstrates techniques and principles for usage-first programming, and reinforces TDD's primary use case as a software design technique. It addresses the distinction between testing and TDD, and talks about the at-times false dichotomies of types of tests. By distilling testing and design down to the doctrine of Control and Observe, it illuminates the grey area where testing and TDD do indeed bleed over into each other, and addresses the power of leaving that grey area undefined.

Even after almost a decade and a half of the Agile era, "TDD" often remains conflated with "testing". Part of the reason is our focus - or lack of it - on design, and part of the problem is testing frameworks that can encourage undesirable design. Even test frameworks themselves have become bloated and onerous, violating the design principles that they seek to reinforce. This talk addresses the entire morass of the TDD/testing conflation, and provides some tools and techniques to navigate it, and to improve both testing and TDD practice, while improving productivity, design, and quality.

Bio

Scott Bellware was an Agile early adopter in late-2000, and has since taught TDD to scores of developers in coaching gigs, workshops, and conferences around North America and Europe, including a couple of sessions and workshops at Austin's very own Lone Star Ruby Conf. He's been a Ruby developer since 2006, and writing code since 1981. Scott is an avid student of the effect of software design on productivity, and a practiced leader in the application of the Toyota Way (a.k.a. Lean) to software development. He is the Chief Systems Officer at Aptus Technologies in Austin.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

June Meeting - Building high-performance APIs for the video game industry with Goliath, Grape, and EventMachine

Texan Rubyists (and welcome visitors),

Our next meeting will be Monday, June 3rd, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Matt Patterson

Synopsis

The video game industry frequently tests the limits of web- and service-oriented architectures. Poor-performing launches, like SimCity and Diablo 3, have made it clear that gamers expect fast, responsive services if we're going to make games that are in constant communication with centralized data networks. Having infrastructure out-of-the-gate that's quick, scalable, and tunable is a must. This talk is a brief delve into the non-blocking Ruby web framework, Goliath, and how we're using it at Gearbox Software to power numerous APIs in a service-oriented infrastructure that ties together Gearbox's game titles, players, social outreach, and internal stakeholders.

Bio

Matt Paterson has been building web applications since 1998, when he started with ColdFusion and PHP. In 2006 he started learning Ruby and playing with the then-1.0 Rails framework. Over the past 7 years, Matt has worked with a variety of Austin startups and established companies, spanning the gamut from hardware developers to network security to corporate intranet apps to data mining. Today, he operates as a full-time independent software consultant, with a focus on troubled codebase refactoring, and on building high-performance Ruby-based software to solve challenging infrastructure problems. He also consults on team-building, Agile process, and UI development with responsive, semantic CSS and HTML5. Outside of his role as a software engineer, Matt is a published author, with two horror novels on the shelves and a sci-fi adventure out later this year. He blogs (infrequently) about software at http://code.digimonkey.com, and about writing and his novels at http://mepatterson.net.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at HandleBar on 5th street.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

May Meeting - Neural Networks with RubyFANN

Texan Rubyists (and welcome visitors),

Our next meeting will be Monday, May 6st, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Ethan Garofolo

Synopsis

Neural networks (NNs) not only sound really cool, but they can also solve some pretty interesting problems ranging from driving cars to spam detection to facial recognition.

Solving problems with NNs is challenging, because actually implementing a NN from scratch is difficult, and knowing how to apply it is more difficult. Fortunately, libraries, such as RubyFANN, exist to handle the first problem. The second problem comes from experience.

This talk will show a few different approaches to applying NNs to Tic-Tac-Toe, comparing the results. It'll also consider how NNs might be applied to other more practical problems as well.

Bio

Ethan Garofolo is the owner of Big-Oh Studios, a Round Rock-based development company that does web application and game development. He has been a Ruby fan for 6 years, and also enjoys working in JavaScript and C#. Despite being disappointed in college when he learned that AI is nothing but math, he has a sweet spot for such a dream-inspiring subdomain of computer science.

Kata

Afterwards, we will pair up and work on a Kata.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at a location TBD on Dirty 6th.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

April Meeting - Offensive Ruby 1.5

Texan Rubyists (and welcome visitors),

Our next meeting will be next Monday, April 1st, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Tod Beardsley the Engineering Manager of the Metasploit Project on "Offensive Ruby 1.5."

Synopsis

We all know that Ruby is a great prototyping language. It's easy to pick up and quick to turn out proof of concept code. This facet of the language makes it ideal for turning out exploit code - small programs designed to take advantage of security vulnerabilities.

This is an update of Offensive Ruby 1.0, delivered at LSRC6. This version is broken up into four to five lightning talks (depending on time), detailing the background, usage, and current state of development for a handful of security-specific Ruby projects -- not just Metasploit! It's also intended to encourage the Ruby community (that's you guys) to jump into this niche development community and discuss what you can do -- right now -- to advance the state of the art in Ruby-based, open source security tools.

Bio

Tod Beardsley is the Engineering Manager for the Metasploit Project, the world-renowned open source penetration testing platform. He has over twenty years of hands-on security knowledge, reaching back to the halcyon days of 2400 baud textfile BBSes and in-band telephony switching. Since then, he has held IT Ops and IT Security positions in large footprint organizations such as 3Com, Dell, and Westinghouse. Today, he is passionate (some might say militant) about open source software development, open source security research, and data liberation, and can often be found on Freenode IRC as "todb."

Kata

Afterwards, participants will play hacker -- you will be given a target system on the local network to compromise, and you must use Ruby in some way to do it.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at a location TBD on Dirty 6th.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

Mentoring office hours at Cafe Bedouins

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of helping out at the Rails Girls ATX workshop. The experience was amazing and exhausting and uplifting and every other positive adjective I can imagine. For a bit of context, Rails Girls is an organization whose aim is to provide tools and a community to women to understand technology and build their ideas (stolen shamelessly from railsgirls.com).

Afterwards, I felt like we'd given the attendees a great start but that we'd left them a bit on their own. There wasn't a clear direction on where to go next or how to keep things rolling. A brave few began attending our weekly Cafe Bedouins meetup and a plan began to emerge. Then, just today, ONE OF OUR OWN asked for mentoring help and that was the last straw.

So, instead of using Cafe Bedouins to work on my projects or socialize, I'm going to open that time as office hours.

  • Wanna pair on something?
  • Need an extra pair of eyes to help debug a ruby installation problem?
  • Got some questions about Rails or a gem or git or whatever?

Come on down to Houndstooth Coffee from 8-11 every Tues night and look for the dude in the Phillies cap and I promise I'll do my best to help. And I don't want to speak for the rest of austin.rb, but I'd bet good money that I won't be the only person there willing to lend a helping hand.

February Meeting - Building API Client Gems

Texan Rubyists (and welcome visitors),

Our next meeting will be next Monday, February 4th, from 7:00-9:00pm at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Ben Hamill of Return Path on Building API Client Gems.

Synopsis

There are a lot of great services on the internet, these days. Most commonly, they’re accessible by making HTTP requests and parsing the responses. But building requests up, then parsing and reifying the responses can be a pain and, honestly, isn’t what a service’s consumer developers should be spending their time doing. So people write and share libraries to handle interfacing with a remote service. This talk is a collection of lessons learned and opinions formed based on writing one such gem. We’ll talk about how to decide what kind of API gem you’re writing, why you should separate your API access logic, some of the things to consider about documentation, and several other topics.

Bio

@benhamill has been playing with Ruby for about five years now and one day plans to have some kind of idea of what's going on in the world around him. He recently wrote and released the contextio gem, and helps maintain a few other libraries. By day, he works at Return Path making email awesome, and by night does a lot of game playing of all sorts. He's got a degree in Linguistics and would love to discuss English etymology with you. Ben is a Pepper.

Kata

After the presentation we’ll be pairing off to work through a brand new code kata. You’ll definitely want to remember your laptop.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at a location TBD on 6th.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

January Meeting - The 12-factor App

Fellow Rubyists,

Our next meeting will be on the new and improved first Monday of the month: January 7, from 7:00-9:00pm (new time) at Capital Factory downtown. Our talk will be from Richard Schneeman of Heroku on The 12-factor App.

Synopsis

Heroku has deployed millions of web apps. When you’ve run that many applications, it’s hard not to notice when frameworks and developers do things wrong, and when they do them right. We’ve taken a look at the most common patterns and boiled down the best of our advice in to 12 simple factors that can help you build your next app to be stable, successful, and scaleable. After this talk you’ll walk away with in depth knowledge of web framework design patterns and practical examples of how to improve your application code.

Bio

Richard “@schneems” writes Ruby at Heroku at teaches Rails at the University of Texas. When he isn’t obsessively compulsively playing Starcraft 2 he writes such gems as Wicked, Sextant, and oPRO. Before working as a programmer, Richard was a waiter at Outback Steakhouse where he learned the difference between a bloomin’ onion and an awesome blossom.

Kata

After the presentation we’ll be pairing off to work through a brand new code kata. You’ll definitely want to remember your laptop.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at a TBD location on 6th.

Location

Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month’s meeting! You can find them on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre business tower, downtown at 701 Brazos Street.

We’ll see y’all there!

November Meeting - Learning Lua

Synopsis: As a modern developer, it's getting harder to ignore the fact that the Lua programming language has been popping up everywhere. From powering scripting engines in Nmap and Redis to providing a high-level language for multi-platform game development frameworks to being used in embedded systems beyond count, Lua is handling some very interesting use cases.

Where did this language come from? How is it structured? What makes it cool? This month at Austin.rb, we will answer these questions by exploring Lua from the Rubyist's point of view, diving into this small-but-powerful tool and learning enough to get started using and enjoying the language. We'll play with lots of working code along the way, so make sure to bring your laptop!

Bio: Trevor Rosen is an Austin native and longtime Ruby developer who loves tinkering with open-source tech. In his day job, he's lucky enough to work for Rapid7 on Metasploit, where he manages the commercial products development team and works with some of the sharpest developers around, building industry-leading security tools and simulating cyber criminality.

Location: Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month's meeting! You can find them in the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel, downtown at 701 Brazos St.

We’ll also be pairing off to work through a code kata. You’ll definitely want to remember your laptop.

Beers and socialization practice to follow at a TBD location on 6th, sponsored by Rapid7.

October Meeting - iOS development with RubyMotion

Austin Startup Week: The October meeting will be part of Austin Startup Week. Check out their site for other great tech events happening in Austin.

Synopsis: RubyMotion has been climbing the charts in both new developers as well as established companies taking it on for their iOS development needs. The speed of development, growing community surrounding it and the ever expanding list of gems developed to supplement RubyMotion makes this alternative to the standard Objective-C method for iOS development a real contender. In this talk, we will see the pros and cons of adopting RubyMotion for your iOS development needs as well as take a walk through the creation of a real RubyMotion application exploring various tools that make development even easier.

Bio: David Brear is a Rails developer at Spiceworks and, as an avid opponent of anything relating to Objective-C, has been dabbling with RubyMotion since it first came on the scene. David splits his time between RubyMotion, Rails projects and fiddling with algorithmic puzzles in Python.

Location: Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month's meeting! You can find them in the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel, downtown at 701 Brazos St.

We’ll also be pairing off to work through a code kata. You’ll definitely want to remember your laptop.

We'll be heading to 6th Street afterwards for socialization practice. See y'all there!

September Meeting - Front-end Web Development with Ruby

Synopsis: While Ruby came to prominence with Rails as a solution for quickly and elegantly building full stack web applications, the past couple of years have seen an explosion of the number of Ruby projects catering to the needs of front-end web developers specifically. From using Middleman or nanoc to manage the process of building a static site, to using Compass to bring sanity to our stylesheets, to building custom gems to simplify JavaScript development workflow, this talk will cover several scenarios in which developers can bring the ease and simplicity of Ruby to bear on time-consuming or otherwise frustrating front-end problems. We will also cover using one of the new Backend as a Service providers to build a dynamic website entirely on the client side, radically simplifying the process of deployment.

Matt gave this talk at LSRC last month and it went over quite well (at least he likes to think so). If you missed it there, be sure to join us this month to learn how to tame your markup with Ruby!

Bio: Matt Buck has been bouncing around a number of local Austin startups since he graduated from UT six years ago. Currently he makes Internets for Mass Relevance, and he couldn't be happier with how that's going. If he isn't staring at a lightbox, he's probably enjoying the great indoors in some other suitably sedentary fashion.

Location: Thanks again to Capital Factory for providing the space for this month's meeting! You can find them in the 16th floor of the Omni Hotel, downtown at 701 Brazos St.

We'll be heading to B.D. Riley's afterwards for socialization practice. See y'all there!

July Meeting - HACKATHON!

Sad News

With LSRC right around the corner, we've decided to take this month off and focus on the conference.

I know, I know - I'm sad about it too. But, we do have some happy news to go with the sad!

Happy News!

Instead of the meeting, we're going to participate in Context.IO's awesome overnight hackathon! Drinks, food, open APIs, good friends and late-night hacking - if that doesn't sound like a rad Saturday night, dear reader, I don't know what does.

It starts the evening of 8/11 (directly after LSRC) at the super-sweet Capital Factory space on 7th and Brazos. If you're interested, register up (totes free) and join us.

See y'all there!

July Meeting - Testing Assembly with Ruby

Please see NEW LOCATION!!!

Synopsis: Writing assembly code is a challenge to even the masters of the art. These days most programmers professionally write assembly only when they must have the most optimal execution speed of a specific routine or create the smallest code possible. Doing so will also typically prevent the application from being portable. On the other hand, some of the more masochistic programmers out there like myself like to write assembly code every once in a while just for the fun of it.

One of the biggest problems with writing assembly code is the readability and maintainability of it. Almost every instruction written can have very specific or very subtle meaning. Even with code comments on every line and a paragraph explaining what a particular section does, it can still be extremely difficult to remember exactly why a particular section was coded in a certain way. This talk is about bringing one of the best techniques about Ruby that has made it so successful, to what some people might call its antithesis; writing in assembly. Automated testing has allowed Ruby to proliferate with very high code quality and maintainability.

Writing tests for assembly code in Ruby is now easy and fun for the whole family.

Bio: Ethan Waldo has been writing in Ruby and the framework that must not be named for many years now. Although most of his extra curricular time is occupied by a 6 month old, he also likes to experiment with other languages excluding java and python currently. Whenever free time presents itself Ethan also likes playing his PRS SC 58 or the latest blockbuster video game.

Thanks Capital Factory for sponsoring this months meeting with food and space!

New Location:

Capital Factory Omni Hotel / 701 Brazos Street / 16th Floor

As is our custom... we will head to B.D. Riley's for socialization practice afterwards!

June Meeting - Making Gems

Synopsis: If you've used Ruby, you've probably used a gem or two. Ruby's gem system has worked out pretty well as a way to share code with other people or between your own projects. But how to actually make a gem is not quite widely known. It's not that the process is actually difficult. It's just the documentation isn't so clear. Many different methods have popped up over the years for making gems, and we'll take a look at a few of them. We'll also look at how to make a gem with native code bindings.

Bio: Ethan is a professional software developer of 7 years and has been working with Ruby for 5 of them. He currently works at GameSalad and runs Big-Oh Studios doing iOS development and some consulting gigs on the side. Ethan enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and is a candidate for US Congress in Williamson and Bell Counties.

Sponsor: GameSalad will be the sponsors for Cospace. They are an Austin based game tool company to allow you to make games without programming. They have a mac version and the newly released Windows version. You can publish your game on mac, iphone, ipad, android and html5 from the same project.

Customarily, after our meeting, we’ll head over to Sherlock’s Baker Street Pub for refreshments and conversation.

We’ll see y’all there!

May Meeting - Saving Energy with Ruby and Friends by Michael May

Fellow Rubyists,

Our next meeting will be on the new and improved second Wednesday of the month: May 9, from 7:30-9:30 at Cospace. Our talk will be from Michael May of Power Smart Labs.

Happily, CabForward will be sponsoring our April meeting. They are a Ruby on Rails design, development and training company located in beautiful Austin, Texas.

After the presentation we’ll be pairing off to work through a brand new code kata. You’ll definitely want to remember your laptop.

Here’s Michael's talk synopsis:

Data centers use lots of energy. Unfortunately, large amounts of this are wasted by servers not doing any useful work. Power Smart Labs is an early stage startup that makes software to reduce data center energy usage. In this talk I will be showing off our technology stack.

Along the way we will encounter things such as: Sinatra vs. Rails, using Active Record with Sinatra, executing time-based jobs with Ruby, and optimizing optimization algorithms.

Customarily, after our meeting, we’ll head over to Sherlock’s Baker Street Pub for refreshments and conversation.

We’ll see y’all there!

April Meeting - SNMP Device Emulation & Ruby with Brian Gugliemetti

Fellow Rubyists,

Our next meeting will be on the new and improved second Wednesday of the month: April 11, from 7:30-9:30 at Cospace. Our talk will be from Brian Gugliemetti of Spiceworks, who is going to regale us mightily with tales of SNMP Virtualization with Ruby. It may or may not create entirely new neuronal pathways in your gray matter.

Happily, Spiceworks will be sponsoring our April meeting. They do great things for IT with Ruby right here in our very own Austin, Texas.

After the presentation we’ll be pairing off to work through a brand new code kata. You’ll definitely want to remember your laptop.

Here’s Brian’s talk synopsis:

One of problems with writing code that manages a group of devices is having a wide variety of devices to test against. Even if one has budget, space quickly becomes an issue. Spiceworks wrote a SNMP device emulator to use for both product support and regression testing. The emulator allows Spiceworks to use a single server to create multiple virtual SNMP devices from user-submitted SNMP walks to resolve support issues. Learn how to use Ruby to dynamically manage multiple ethernet aliases and services on a single machine.

Customarily, after our meeting, we’ll head over to Sherlock’s Baker Street Pub for refreshments and conversation.

We’ll see y’all there!

February Meeting - Charles Lowell & Ruby CI With Jenkins

Good news! Our next meeting will be on Tuesday Feb 21 from 7:30-9:30 at Cospace. Charles Lowell is gonna ROCK OUR FREAKIN' MINDS WITH HIS CRAZY JENKINS KNOWLEDGE! WOOOOOO!

We're also completely stoked that The Frontside is sponsoring our February meeting - if your backside is strong but your frontside is weak, call The Frontside today!

After the presentation we'll be pairing off to work through a brand new code kata. Be sure to bring your laptop!

As is our way, after the pairing we will head for drinks at Sherlock's Baker Street Pub.

And straight from the Charles' mouth about his talk:

Over ten years after Martin Fowler first coined the term, continuous integration isn't something controversial. Like testing, it might not be something we always do, but it is something we almost always know we should. How then, do we as Rubyists turn this inclination into practice?

Enter Jenkins, the highest power CI server out there.

In this short talk, I'll compare Jenkins to some other CI solutions before showing you some great ways you can use it to supercharge both the development AND deployment of your Ruby projects. Finally, I will demonstrate how you can extend the Jenkins CI server (which is written in Java) with nothing Ruby code.

If you aren't getting the most out of your CI tools, or you aren't using a CI tool at all, then it is important that you attend! Implementing a proper CI is a game changer to the way you and your team develop software.

Charles Lowell is a founder and UX developer at The Frontside in Austin, Texas where he slings code for money and spends way too much of his free time contributing to open source projects such as The Ruby Racer and Jenkins.

Ruby is a passion, but he always makes sure to pack his toothbrush and JavaScript wherever he goes.


See y'all there!

January Meeting - Matthew Swain & Intoduction to Chef

Good news! Our next meeting will be on Tuesday January 17 from 7:30-9:30 at Cospace. We're excited to have Matthew Swain give us an introduction to keeping our environment dependencies managed using Ruby with Chef. We're also excited to announce that our January meeting will be sponsored by OtherInbox! Afterwards we will head for drinks at Sherlock's Baker Street Pub.

After the presentation we'll be pairing off to work through a brand new code kata. Be sure to bring your laptop!

Anyway, let's hear more about Matthew's talk, eh?

Today's applications can be quite complex with many external dependencies. In addition to our ruby environments, often we find ourselves setting up a patchwork of tools like memcached, node, mysql, redis, cassandra, mongo, and nginx. Keeping our development and production environments up to date can be quite the chore. Thankfully, we can automate the process with Chef.

Chef is a ruby framework that can ease the burden of managing all of our applications' dependencies. Whether we're dealing with a development workstation, a single application server, or hundreds of EC2 slices; Chef makes it easy to keep everything under control. In this talk I'll cover the basics of the framework, including how to get in installed and configured to get you cooking quickly.

Matthew Swain keeps the lights on at PeopleAdmin.


See y'all there!

The Future of Austin.RB

Hey there, this is Mattt. I'm breaking from my standard persona as the 3rd-person voice of Austin.RB to speak personally for a bit.

Come January, I will be moving to San Francisco to start my new job at Heroku. As such, I will be unable to continue my role of organizing and running Austin.RB month-to-month.

But Austin.RB won't be going anywhere—not even close.

It is as remarkable and wonderful as it is totally unsurprising the way that our community has already stepped forward after mentioning my move at the last meeting. I am thrilled to say that of the 10 scheduled meetings for 2012, the first half of them are already accounted for. My sincere thanks go out to Tim Tyrrell, Mando Escamilla, Brad Fults, Robert Rasmussen, Nola Stowe, and Rob Mack for volunteering to head up those meetings. I have the fullest confidence that each of you will do an amazing job (and to be honest, I'm really bummed that I'll be missing those, now).

If you are also interested in taking charge of a meeting, just follow the instructions on the wiki page.

It's been my distinct pleasure to build Austin.RB with all of you, together. I think we finally hit our stride in the last couple meetings, and I'm genuinely excited to see where you take things over the coming months.

There is something truly wonderful and unique about this community, down here in the heart of Texas. For 2 years, Austin has been my home. So much of being able to call this place home has come from the friendships I've made with y'all. Thank you.

— Mattt

November Meeting - Trevor Rosen & Making Dashboards with Redis

Good news! Our next meeting will be on Tuesday November 15 from 7:30-9:30 at Cospace. We're excited to have Trevor Rosen presenting a "code-along adventure" about creating dashboards with Redis. We're also excited to announce that our November meeting will be sponsored by Spiceworks! They'll also be buying drinks at Sherlock's Baker Street Pub after the meeting.

And since it was so successful last time, we'll be pairing off to work through a brand new code kata. Be sure to bring your laptop!

Anyway, let's hear more about Trevor's talk, eh?

By now, most people have had to make some kind of dashboard. They present some interesting challenges.

We will be imagining that the fictional business of Rufus' Pig Foot Emporium has hired us to create a dashboard for their flagship OinkBot Global Pork Statistical Service™, because it gives us an opportunity to create a lightweight gem making use of Redis. We'll put together a library called RedisCacheable to add Redis-backed caching behavior to arbitrary Ruby classes in an organized and direct way.

Along the way, we'll have a practical look at/touch on:

Redis, an excellent and simple data store
• Some metaprogramming techniques used for mixins
• Basics of gem structure and construction:
• Using Bundler to make gem stubs
• Creating config objects available in base classes
• The virtues of namespaces
• Test-driven development with RSpec

Trevor Rosen is a software developer and Austin native whose meandering journey of coding and interactive design has taken him through politics, advertising, consulting, and several startups. As a developer working full-time on Metasploit, he's thrilled to spend his days with some of the best hackers on the planet, helping to keep you from getting pwned.


See y'all there!

Oh, and thanks for your patience as we try to figure out a consistent meeting time--we'll have that figured out soon.

October Meeting - Top Down/Bottom up

tl;dr Our next meeting will be on Monday October 17 from 7:30-9:30 at Cospace. Be sure to bring your laptop!

The theme for October's meeting, "Top Down/Bottom Up", comes courtesy of this month's speaker Chris Continanza. His talk will show us how to build a Heroku Add-On--and we'll get to that in just a moment--but first I'd like to talk about this theme in the context of Austin.RB.

It's time for us to re-evaluate Austin.RB from the top down and bottom up. Austin.RB was founded with the vision of learning from each other how to be a better programmer, as well as a better communicator. Being a hacker is, after all, about two things: programming and communication. .

Getting back to those roots, I'm excited to announce a change in venue and format. For our October meeting, we'll be meeting at Cospace. I fell in love with this venue at the last Friday Night Hacks; it's more intimate than the "conference talk" setup, and that's perfect for the new format.

In the first hour, we'll be flexing our coding chops as we pair up to work through a code kata. I think there's immense value in the focus of katas, as well as the experience of working with someone (especially for the first time).

And--as mentioned previously--in the second hour, we'll have the distinct pleasure of welcoming back Austin's prodigal son, Chris Continanza of Heroku. Here's a look at what's in store:

In this talk we'll take a look at how to build a Heroku Add-On from the top down and bottom up. We'll start by going over the general design and strategy of how an add-on works. We will then see how the the kensa gem allows you to test a local add-on you can develop in any language, like Ruby. Bring your laptop and you'll walk away with a working prototype in Sinatra.

Chris Continanza is a member of the Heroku Add-ons team and loves a good pull request.

If you haven't been to an Austin.RB in a while, now would be a great time to check back. This will surely be an evening to remember. I hope to see everyone there.

September Meeting - Drinkup

Rather than our regularly-scheduled meeting, we'll be meeting at Ginger Man tonight, starting at 8PM. There's a lot to talk about, what with RubyConf around the corner, as well as the future of Austin.RB as a group, and what that should look like.

It'll be real. Hope to see you there.

July Meeting - Gem Show-and-Tell

In these dog days of summer, at the peak of conference season, with heated deadlines for Fall project releases, let's relax this month. July's meeting of Austin.RB will be a "Show-and-Tell" of all of the cool gems you've come across recently. Come up and share your experiences with your new favorite library, framework, script, or what have you. Nothing fancy—just ~5 minutes, fireside-chat -style.

Some Ideas: Ohm, Resque, Fog, Hashie, HTTParty, Spork, Guard, Event Machine, Capybara, Time Cop, Keytar.

Tweet @austinrb if you have a Gem in mind, and we'll save a slot for you.

Same time and place as always: Norris Conference Center from 7 - 9. We'll be taking the party to Sherlocke's Baker Street Pub afterwards. Looking forward to seeing y'all there!

June Meeting - Ruby Implementation Showdown! Brian Ford on Rubinius & Mattt Thompson on MacRuby

Our June meeting of Austin.RB is June 16. As always, we'll be meeting at Norris Conference Center, and talks will start around 7PM.

You'll definitely want to make it for this one, since it's going to be all about the new and exciting things happening in Ruby implementations. It's a showdown, folks! Brian Ford of Engine Yard will be joining us to talk about Rubinius, and Mattt Thompson will be giving a tell-all about MacRuby.

And if that weren't enough, Engine Yard will be sponsoring socialization practice afterwards at Sherlock's Baker Street Pub. Come on out and let EY Buy UA Drank (shawty).

Anyway, you want some talk abstracts? You got it, chief!

Rubinius is a completely new implementation of Ruby featuring a custom virtual machine, garbage collector, and JIT compiler, and true multi-threaded concurrency. The Rubinius core library is written in Ruby with supporting primitives from the VM. The bytecode compiler is also written in Ruby. Rubinius is bring the past 30 years of dynamic language implementation to Ruby using modern technology like the LLVM project. I'll take a dive into the architecture and goals of Rubinius. I'm interested in hearing about Ruby pain points and what Rubinius can do to help.

MacRuby is another implementation of Ruby, built on top of the Objective-C runtime and JIT compiler. It harnesses Grand Central Dispatch to take advantage of multi-core CPUs and GPUs to offer unparalleled multi-threaded concurrency performance (get it?). But performance is just the beginning: with MacRuby, you have full access to some pretty amazing Apple Frameworks, like Foundation, CoreAudio, and Accelerate. And the best part? You get all of this and still get to program Ruby. Think of this as your introduction to Cocoa, without the dangerous square-bracket edges of Objective-C.

See y'all there!

May Meeting - Charles Lowell "The Ruby Racer: embedding V8 Javascript interpreter into Ruby" & Bill Doughty "Typhoeus: idiomatic parallel HTTP request execution"

We'll be having our May meeting of Austin.RB on May 19, with the same time and venue as last time--Norris Conference Center at 7PM. Our speakers are Charles Lowell and Bill Doughty.

Charles will talk about The Ruby Racer, a slick gem that lets you embed Javascript in Ruby in elegant fashion:

Have you ever had to implement the same validation logic twice: once in JavaScript for the browser and once in Ruby for the server? Has there ever been a JavaScript library like handlebars.js that you'd love to use server side, but can't because well... it's in JavaScript and not Ruby? Or perhaps a time or two you've been tempted to eval() some anonymous Ruby code, but you didn't dare because it's an unspeakably dangerous thing to do?

The solutions to these and many other problems are suddenly and elegantly within your grasp when you've got the power of a JavaScript interpreter right there with you in your ruby process.

Sound crazy? difficult? It's easier than you might think. This talk will focus on The Ruby Racer: a gem that brings the superb V8 interpteter to Ruby. We'll see how to call JavaScript functions directly from Ruby; how to call Ruby methods directly from JavaScript; how to extend Ruby classes with JavaScript; how to extend your JavaScript objects with Ruby, and a slew of other ways of managing their interaction that will bend your mind

Next up will be Bill, presenting on Typhoeus, a library named after the mythical creature with 100 serpent heads, that manages the execution of parallel HTTP requests like a champ.

Typhoeus leverages a standard Unix tool (curl) to overcome one area where Ruby is inherently deficient (concurrency) within a specific application context: HTTP client networking. What's more, it does so in an idiomatic way. In short, Typhoeus provides a great example of how to effectively leverage a ubiquitous yet powerful native library in a transparent and Ruby-friendly way.

Afterwards, we'll be heading to Sherlock's Baker Street Pub for socialization practice.

Thanks again to everyone who came out last month! Really hope y'all will be able to come out this time. And to all of you RailsConf folks, safe travels and see you in June.

Austin.RB Inaugural Meeting

Austin.RB will have its inaugural meeting on Thursday April 21, from 7-9PM at the Norris Conference Center. It will feature "Ten Weird Things About Ruby", a talk by Brian Bommarito. Afterwards, we'll meet up for drinks at Trudy's North Star. Hope y'all can make it out!

Update (4/21): Our speaker tonight has cancelled, so we'll be doing Lighting Talks instead. Got a favorite Ruby project of the moment? Come up and tell us about it. Just 5 minutes, no biggie. It'll be a blast--can't wait to see what everyone presents on!