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JAOO 2007 - Day 1

24 Sep 2007 . tech . Comments #jaoo #ruby

I’m just taking the time to catch my breath a little after the sessions of day 1 here at JAOO.

It’s been a day packed with interesting talks, and when I have the proper time, I will do more detailed write-ups of my thoughts, but for now a summary is the only thing I have time for.

The day started with a keynote from Robert Martin, talking about craftsmanship and professionalism in software development. I very much adopt Bob’s views, and I will do a detailed post about the points in his keynote. The main message however is that we need to take our craft seriously, and be professional when we develop code. Don’t write bad code and write your tests.

After this I went to the Real-world Ruby track, and there were quite a few interesting talks there. First up were the JRuby guys - Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo. They talked about the possibilities created by a Ruby implementation on the JVM. Quite a few things there really struck a chord with me, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this in a later post.

After this, Marcel Molena, who is on the Rails core team, talked about beauty in code and what that means. Not really about ruby or rails, but it demonstrates an attitude of the ruby and rails communities which I really like.

Then I went out of the Ruby track and into the languages track for a talk about Scala. I haven’t done a post about Scala, but I’ve fiddled around with it a little bit. In this talk, however, I realized how little I’ve really understood about the language. Again, a topic for a later post. Brace yourselves, this is only day one.

After this, Rich Kilmer, back in the ruby track, did a talk on domain specific languages and ruby, showing how well ruby lends itself to creating domain languages, in the sense of programs that are readable to domain experts.

The final touch of the day was a chance to listen to Charles Simonyi talking about his experience as a space tourist. Charles is a remarkable man, and the father of Word and Excel. He is now a multi billionaire, who lives on his yacht with a crew, and the developers of his company, Intentional Software. His is the origin of the language workbench concept that Martin Fowler is talking so much about these days. Anyway, the talk was about space travel, and it was really great to see, first of all a man who has lived his dream, but also the process of how it all came together. He showed many pictures spanning from the start of the training to the actual mission itself. Great stuff.

Well, that’s day one. I’ll be back tomorrow with more great stuff. Stay tuned…