BTV Ruby Conf Redux

The deadline for submitting talks to the 2014 #btvruby Conference was this past Monday (Mar 17th). It feels a bit early to be talking about an event that’s happening in August, but then again we’re nearly a third of the way there. Since attending the conference last year, a number of things have changed in my life. Among others, I’ve moved out of state and been working at a startup in the Boston area. I haven’t written a line of Ruby in at least 6 months, having instead spent all available mental resources very busily adapting and learning for the new job. Despite this, I’m still hoping to attend in early August.

The specifics of the conference have long since faded from memory. My own notes, which I thought were structured in such a way as to be easily adapted into a blog post, have proven to be completely incomprehensible. Each paragraph is less legible than the last, a zeno’s paradox of increasingly terse recollection. The final talk notes contains a mere three words, “functional reactive programming”. Thanks, past-me!

The non-technical aspects have proven to be the more memorable part of last year’s event. The underlying current of enthusiasm and passion on display for the craft of software development. A talk on healthy lifestyles, addressing stress and burnout. The gist being, there are very real biological consequences to your ability to do work and think clearly when not taking care of yourself. Another on the challenges of maintaining tech communities, be they open source projects, user groups, etc. Perhaps my favorite talk, the one concerning the painful, awkward process of salary negotiation.

It seems to me we have a lot to talk about in this field, and not just hyped up buzzwords or incomprehensible technical jargon. I’m hoping the organizers for the #btvtruby Conference realize this as well, and once again schedule a healthy mix of non-technical as well as hard technical talks.