Belfast Ruby A First Time for Some

February 4, 2014

Tonight I attended my first Belfast Ruby event, I had started following the group since the end of 2013 and was very interested in making an appearance at one of their event. Tonight the event was being hosted by the local web development company Rumble Labs in their Hill Street office. The event was a composition of talks networking and troubleshooting, the talks composed of three talks held by local ruby professionals.

The first talk was by Nicklas Persson who gave a very interesting a strong introduction to Ruby and Ruby on Rails explaining that it is not only easy to learn but a very natural language. With his recommended list of tools the most important of course the terminal where everything gets started. Nicklas talked though the starting of a project with making an empty template Ruby on Rails project how to get this running on a local server and where to start when trying to make changes to this, all done with a very little number of commands. 

Up next on the rumble stage was rumbler Melissa Keiser, who did an introduction into the very popular and in the field of Ruby has almost 100% coverage git source control. Melissa talked about the use of git in not only software development but in any workflow that requires version control. A very real and live demonstration on how to use git allowed Melissa to show the crowd the A to Z of git from creating a repository (repo) on Github then initializing this repo locally, walking throw the many processes of using the version control tool including editing files, adding files, committing, committing to a remote origin and merging branches.

The last talk of the night was from the local entrepreneur Kieran Graham from the well know brewbot which nicely provided custom brew for the night “ruby on ales” which i must admit was a great taste for a great night. Kieran talked about experiences of development with ruby and how it is a very easy language to pic up and learn compared to other languages. In Kieran’s examples he used Objective-C as a language comparison to show of the syntax of ruby reads to the human eye. From blocks, loops arrays and models, which with my little knowledge in ruby showed that I could in fact put my hand to ruby and have something to show for it. Kieran shared some tips and tricks to getting the best out of a ruby development environment and some practices such as using iTerm (mac only) for a better terminal experience sublime text for a smooth quick powerful code IDE and to be careful of the system installed ruby instance with regard to versions of mac os. Ending the talk with the best message of learn ruby by porting an existing project you have developed in another language into ruby to give a full learning experience.

It was great night had by all a big thanks to the sponsors Rumble Labs, Brewbot and ShopKeep POS for the free beers, pizza and knowledge, the next meetup will be posted on the Belfast Ruby site soon so give them a follow and check out their site for more ruby related information.




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  • Andrew McDowell

    I’m a little bit jealous I’ve missed this! Sounds like Ruby is something we need to get stuck in to!