I had a great time at Railsconf. I got to meet up with a lot of coworkers I haven't seen in a while. The buzz around the conference was energizing. It definitely feels like the community is maturing. There were a lot of people there using rails for their day to day business. I also was happy to see how a lot of the sessions were very ruby focused. The Rails and Ruby communities felt like they were coming together.
On Thursday I went to see Neal Ford and Pat Farley's metaprogramming tutorial. Now I may be a bit biased but I thought their talk was great. I also heard good things from random people I talked to. After that I went to the Refactotum talk put on by Relevance. Thanks to them, I submitted my first patch to CruiseControl.rb!
I enjoyed Nathaniel Talbott's 23 Hacks talk. Its easy to forget to keep programming fun! Justin Gehtland's Small Things, Loosely Written and Written fast was also a great talk. Great ideas and an entertaining presentation. Philippe Hanrigou's talk on troubleshooting Mongrel processing was great, too. It was pretty hardcore and narrowly focused, but the people that were there seemed to get a lot out of it.
All the upcoming ruby implementations are pretty exciting as well. They all look to be progressing well and each has their own niche. The Rubinius demo of browseable backtraces was awesome. After hearing Kent Beck's comment on using Ruby tools to develop Ruby, I think Rubinius in particular has great promise as a Ruby development platform. I could see some powerful IDE's taking advantage of all the internals exposed by Rubinius. A lot of people have commented on it already, but Maglev looks interesting. As a consultant, a platform like that could allow us to use Ruby in places beyond traditional web apps.
Its great to be around a large group in the Rails community. It looks like the excitement isn't dying down anytime soon!