Ryan Carmelo Briones

mostly harmless

Speaking at OSCON 2008 March 20, 2008

So as the geekier of you reading this might know I started out my career of computer programming using Perl. Being a young programmer with no formal training, I immersed myself in the Perl community as much as possible. Perlmonks. Magnet and DALnet #perl. But once a year there was the mecca of Perl community events that I so wished I could attend. The Perl Conference that took place as part of O'Reilly's Open Source Conference, or OSCON. Back then there was never any chance I'd get to go.

Fast forward to the 2008. I had already decided that I didn't really want to go to RailsConf again. RailsConf 2007 was a bit of a disappointment for me in many different ways. After having attended Codemash 2008 in January, my itch to be involved in things that broaden my "software development horizons" had become much itchier. What could scratch this itch for me? OSCON 2008 maybe? "No way!", I said. "I couldn't come up with the money to attend this conference, much less travel to Portland, OR." Luckily Joe O'Brien was there to offer me some good advice. "Submit a proposal to OSCON. If it gets picked, you'll probably get free registration to the conference." It sounded like good advice at the time, anyway. So, I put together two proposals for OSCON and submitted them right at the Feb. 4th deadline. I don't think I could have squeezed another one out, but the idea is the more proposals you produce, the better chance you have of being accepted. And then there was waiting.

Until Mar 17th...

We were just talking at the office that morning RailsConf and if I was still going to go to Portland. ENTP is hosting an "unconference" (CabooseConf) during the same time as RailsConf in Portland, and I thought it would be cool to go. It would have to be dependent on whether one of my talks got accepted for OSCON, though. I would only have enough moola for one of the conferences. Later that day I happened to be checking Twitter when I saw that Jay Fields had his talk on Adhearsion accepted for OSCON. "When am I going to find out whether either of my talks were accepted!?" I thought. Annoyed, I brought up the OSCON proposals dashboard when I saw something odd. Two things required my attention. Not to be distracted, I soldiered on to the proposal status page and that's when I saw it; both of my talks had been accepted. A rush of excitement rushed throught my veins! I announced to the office that I had been accepted. Cheers all around. After I sat back down, I looked at the page again and another emotion rushed my veins: fear. Both of my talks have been accepted for OSCON! This will be my first conference speaking engagement. Yikes.

So I'm both excited and fearful. This is a big step for me and I will finally get to attend OSCON, a dream not forgotten. At any rate, here are the abstracts I submitted and hope that if you can attend you will come and see me!

An Introduction to Ruby Web Frameworks

The Internet is changing at an exponential rate. Yesterday’s web pages have effectuated today’s web applications and the fresh, fertile soil that it brings is manifesting itself in a new crop of web frameworks that are driving this new frontier. The Ruby community isn’t holding back either. They’ve got the power and simplicity of the Ruby language on their side. They’re opinionated and pragmatic. And most of all, they’re having fun.

In this talk we’ll take a journey into the world of Ruby and take a look at what’s making waves in Ruby Web Framework development like Convention over Configuration, Domain-Specific Languages and focus on Test-Driven Development. We wouldn’t be well-rounded if we didn’t take some time to address some of the criticism that Ruby has received and admit that it has shortcomings. Throughout this talk we’ll cite examples from a few Ruby Web Frameworks, like Rails, Merb, Camping and Sinatra, talk about how they’ve changed the world for others and how they might change your world too.

Commanding Your SSH Universe with Capistrano

What could be worse than having to manage and maintain application servers for a team of agile developers? Being on that team as a developer AND the systems administrator. A setup for one application might included a development server, a staging server, a cluster of production servers and one or two servers for version control and continuous integration. The fuse is burning at both ends for you and there is never time to waste. Meet Capistrano. Capistrano enables you to automate your many system administration tasks harnessing the ubiquity of SSH and the simplicity of a Ruby DSL configuration.

During this talk, we’ll take a look a some of my real world usage of Capistrano in my job as a web application developer and system administrator. I’ll demonstrate how to free yourself from the monotony of login-execute-logout method by creating a few simple Capistrano tasks, covering the basics of configuration and usage. We’ll also examine how Capistrano runs a task in parallel on multiple remote servers by creating a simple Rails application deployment using a standard Apache Proxy/Mongrel Cluster setup and touch on a few “advanced” recipes.