What happens when a highly visible and successful developer announces to the world that they plan to transition from male to female?
In August of 2013 I stood with friends on the stage at a Ruby conference and told the world that I am transgender. I began the long process of my personal, social, professional, and physical transition from male to female.
I would like to share the lessons I'm learning, the perspective I'm gaining, and the inspiration I'm finding through the experience of living and working in two genders. How is this change impacting my career as a developer? Interactions with my peers? My relationship with the development community? Is it influencing how I create and appreciate code? My hope is to spark conversations and create opportunities for shared learning and growth by exploring the intersection of gender and technology.
Have you ever cursed at the symbols on a washing machine, puzzled at the pictorial navigation of a website, or panicked at that inscrutable symbol on the car dashboard that's flashing red? I have. Especially the last one. (I eventually discovered that I'd been driving with the parking brake on.)
All this has happened before, and all this will happen again. (Except for me driving with the parking brake on.) Throughout history, humanity has faced the challenge of putting complex and abstract concepts onto paper or clay or rock or skin or whatever. It usually starts out in the same way, but the end results have been very varied: We've ended up with alphabets, abjads, abugidas, logograms and syllabaries. Oh, and the symbols on modern industrial devices.
I'll describe the history of some of the more interesting writing systems and explain how Chinese works, that Japanese can be really hard, and why you should be really glad you're not an Akkadian. I hope that it will be enlightening and fascinating, but I also hope that it will help to inform the way that people approach pictorial communication in the future. I also hope that it will go some way towards explaining why there are so many hamburger menus, and inspire people to do better.
Many incredible people have given many amazing talks at Ruby or Rails conferences over the years, and we’d like to take a look back at some of the best. From _why the Lucky Stiff to Sandi Metz, from Matz to DHH, from Tenderlove to Jim Weirich, we will be giving you a whirlwind tour through the conference ages. You’ll learn where those important ideas you take for granted got their start. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry as you experience how the Ruby Community has grown over the years and how we’ve connected through our shared conference experiences. Rain ponchos recommended for the front row. This talk features creations by Brenna Flood.
An exploration of the forgotten and dusty corners of Ruby, including a tour of some very unusual behaviors from threads, loops, exceptions and procs. This is a technical deep dive into some obscure features of Ruby that may someday crawl out from under your bed, and when they do you'll be glad you were prepared for the fight.
As developers, we spend more of our time writing than we do thinking about the nuances of computer science. What would happen if we approached code like a writing exercise instead of a technical pursuit? What if we applied patterns from elegant prose instead of Gang of Four? Let's try it!
We'll take some smelly Ruby and refactor it using only advice from Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style", the canonical text on writing beautiful, understandable English. You'll come away with a new approach to your craft and a new appreciation of the similarities between great writing and great code.
During the 1960's, computer scientists at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ explored the limits of computers through art and music. Some worked by themselves to discover push the boundaries of computer animation, others brought in visual artists and composers to collaborate on art experiements on Bell Lab's equipment after the work day.
In this talk, I'll talk about some of the experiments of computer scientists and artists during this time. We'll look at their influence on how we use computers today, and why we should embrace the spirit of experimentation and collaboration.