A retrospective of problematic projects (Rubyconf Brazil 2012)
I am currently a student at The Flatiron School, learning how to develop for the internetz in Ruby on Rails. We were given an assignment to check out a Ruby-related slide deck on Speaker Deck and drop some knowledge via blog. Here’s mine:
My deck of choice was a presentation by Daniel Lopes at RubyConf Brazil 2012. As a university student, I ventured to Brazil for a six-month immersive experience. I thought it would be interesting to test my Portuguese in relation to the Ruby language.
You may ask, what drew me to this presentation? Well, I’ll ask you a couple questions in return… What are problematic projects? What is it like to read a technical presentation in Portuguese? What is RubyConf Brazil? Here’s a brief overview of what I gleaned from this presentation:
Daniel’s slides from RubyConf Brazil 2012 focused on common project issues, good workflow and best practices. I definitely had to Google a bunch of the aforementioned buzzwords. But, I think it’s great to start thinking about how other developers work in groups and how product is created seamlessly. Here are a few of my takeaways:
Takeaways (Slides Only)
Three control levels exist: we have control over things as individuals, as a team, and sometimes we have no control at all. It is important to be congnizant of these control levels and to behave accordingly. As developers, the most control we wield is in the individual scope.
It is Daniel’s view that there can be too much DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and Automation, when done without vision and specificity. In the future, I’d like to know more about automation in this context.
What Should I Test? This was probably the most helpful section for me. There are some great quotes from Kent Beck in the slides to illustrate this point:
“…my philosophy is to test as little as possible to reach a given level of confidence…” -and- “If I don’t typically make a kind of mistake, I don’t test for it…”
Essentially, there can be too much testing. Testing should be focused and principled.
Ruby Conference Brazil is the largest Ruby conference in Latin America, with more than 750 attendees and almost as many online participants. Many influential speakers from the international Ruby community like Chad Fowler and Yehuda Katz have made the journey. It is on my radar to attend this conference in the future.
Ruby is a beautiful and universal language. Reading this presentation with my intermediate Portuguese skillz was a pleasure. Major props to Daniel, for making it interesting and for writing some of the difficult concepts in English.
Helpful diagram from the slides to illustrate the effects of excessive DRY & Automation:
Make yourself useful.