Tomorrow I’ll be hopping on a plane to Las Vegas for RailsConf ‘09, which comes at an interesting time for the community. The sagging economy, rise of alternative Ruby-like dynamic languages, and recent furor about sexism (about which I and many of my colleagues are pretty upset) make for a challenging set of obstacles for the technology that we all love. I’m curious about what the general mood will be, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I don’t know about other companies, but I know that ThoughtWorks has scaled back our involvement in RailsConf rather considerably this year, not because we don’t still like Rails but because sending people to Vegas in the middle of the week at the expense of billable or otherwise productive work is a luxury that all too few companies can afford these days. I’m glad I get to go and hope to repay our investment by blogging frequently about the sessions and sharing my thoughts on the goings-on. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear about, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. You can also follow me on Twitter.
In particular, if you’re interested in hacking on Ioke while you’re there please do let me know. I think it’s too late to suggest a BOFS session, but I may try to put something together anyway.
As for the recent controversy, my own feelings are perhaps best captured by Martin Fowler’s commentary, who reminds us yet again why we value his advice so much. Liz Keogh’s post is also fascinating. I could go on with more, but so many others have already said it better than I can; suffice it to say that I’m disappointed, and admire the creation but maintain my doubts about the creator.