EuRuKo 2019 has been shipped, sealed, delivered

Jul 6, 2019 · 8 min read

It’s weird. The event you’ve sacrificed countless evenings for is officially over. The pictures have been published (day 1 | day 2), volunteers have been thanked and thanked again, videos are released, and the last invoices have been paid. Time to reminisce. Right?

Day 0 / Rails Girls Rotterdam

Let’s start from the top.

We hosted a Rails Girls workshop in Rotterdam the day before the conference. BEEQUIP generously hosted us, even though it was just a regular Thursday and we must have been quite noisy. The participants enjoyed the luxury of almost 1-on-1 coaching because many of the speakers of EuRuKo, as well as EuRuKo participants who arrived in Rotterdam early, decided to lend their help.

GitHub supported the event as well, and their Developer Program Manager for GitHub Education Lieke Boon introduced the participants to the wonderful world of web development.

After lunch WeTransfer’s Arno Fleming talked about ethics, and (not) relying on software to make the right decisions. And Jan van der Pas effectively proved that programming can be for everyone by a show of hands: the majority of the Rails Girls coaches didn’t have a Computer Science degree.

#fridayhug, a Rails Girls tradition

At wrap-up time every participant had at the very least completed the first guide, and plenty of them were able to deploy their apps. Maud de Vries promised us that learning to program might seem hard now, but that it will get better when you accept that you’ll need to “learn to read again”.

More EuRuKo speakers joined the coaches and students for the hilarious Pub Quiz by Ivan Zarea. Unbeknownst to the participants they were competing with and against the likes of Matz and Eileen — the very people developing the languages they just worked with that day!

Megin Zondervan did an amazing job capturing the workshop (pictures). And BEEQUIP had a camera team record the end bit of Rails Girls and then the EuRuKo speakers taking a water taxi to get to the speakers dinner.

EuRuKo Day 1

Day 1 of the conference and *some* of the ~500 attendees arrived well before registration time. When doors finally opened, attendees could compete in the Bug Hunt at AppSignal’s booth, and claim a Nintendo NES Classic Mini or a nerf gun.

At the GitHub’s Speakers Lounge attendees could indulge in board games, LEGO, a round of build-your-own-Octocat, and later in the day meet with the speakers also to ask speakers about their talks.

Ruby tattoos by Nick Visser. Model: Ivan Zarea.

Via Twitter we found out that there were some public viewing parties in several offices all over the world:

Time for Matz’s Keynote. In Functional (Future) Ruby, Yukihiro Matsumoto talked statical typing, the state of Open Source software, and … the ability to feed his family.

Kaja Santro shared her lessons learned building “Monsterservices”, in From multiple apps to Monolith. Transferring 5 of Absolventa’s public Rails apps to 1 big monolith, Kaja noticed that while all five of them are job boards with seemingly similar logic, historically grown exceptions and weird peculiarities make uniting those systems quite the challenge.

In Surrounded by Microservices Damir Svrtan explores how to architect an app that consumes endless data sources via various different protocols. Find out how Netflix Studio supports easy swapping of data sources and tests with confidence:

What causes Ruby memory bloat? The million dollar question, with Hongli Lai, author of the Passenger app server. With Fullstaq Ruby, Hongli released a new distro at EuRuKo, optimized for server production workloads:

Studying the most common code smells in Ruby and their fixes, exposes a pattern that is similar to how the game mechanic in the popular video game Pokemon works, says Melanie Keatley. In It’s very effective; using Pokemon to catch all code smells Melanie groups together bad coding practices and explains the way to beat them:

Constructing robots with LEGO is fun, programming them using Ruby is even better. Torsten Schönebaum encouraged everyone in the room to start with MRuby:

Ashley Jean walked us through what data trees are, how to work with them and why they’re useful in such a manner that everyone in the room learned something new:

In The Miseducation of This Machine Laura Linda Laugwitz stressed that while machines continue to learn with more sophisticated algorithms and larger amounts of data, humans need to understand how such learning works in order to take its results with the proper grain of salt. Noteworthy quote (by Lauryn Hill): “Consequence is no coincidence. Be the human that reflects.”

Day 1 concluded with a party on the boat, and refreshments on the deck. Howard Komproe and Gilton Franklin took care of the musical entertainment.

Party on a boat

Also, never seen before material of Matz dancing:

EuRuKo Day 2

Day 2, WHAT? Where did Day 1 go?

In Yes, I test in production… And so should you Charity Majors calls BS on the people that claim you can test everything before you ship. In modern complex systems, failure is a constant. So how do you test safely in prod, and how should you allocate your scarce engineering cycles between prod and staging?

Bilawal Hameed is invested in making tech documentation better, easier, and less boring. Engineers optimize for scale. We think about writing the “best” code, designing non-flaky tests to give us confidence, and adopting the latest and greatest — but why do we still fail to write, maintain, and improve our docs?

In A Plan towards Ruby 3 Types Yusuke Endoh shares the work that’s been put in by the Ruby Core team to come up with a static analysis tool that imposes no change to the Ruby programming experience we know and (mostly) love.

Lightning Talks! Lightning talks are a tradition at Ruby events, and EuRuKo was no exception.

Miriam Tocino writes adorbs childrens books about computer science concepts: Zerus & Ona, Adventures in the Binary World.

Norma Miller (White Coat Captioning), with a (hilarious) *Splash* Course on Live Captioning.

Benjamin Vetter (@mrkamel) maintains search_flip: a full-featured, fun and easy to use Elasticsearch Ruby client with a chainable DSL.

Julik Tarkhanov on tests, sleeps and eventual consistency with S3 buckets and Ruby.

Stripe’s Madison White (@madisonsmumbles) lightning-talking about Super-powering your editor with Sorbet Typer for Ruby.

Jan Krutisch entertained us with his talk, The musical Ruby. After some tinkering with SonicPi, Jan explained the basics of digital sound synthesis, shared a tiny bit of music theory, and created a very danceable tune using nothing but pure Ruby.

There were impromptu Polaroid photoshoots:

Pitching for the honor (and hard work) of becoming the host city for EuRuKo 2020 were Melbourne (yes, really), Hamburg, Helsinki, Barcelona and Newcastle. Helsinki won. Yay!

Aaron Cruz fed a neural network 100’s of Ruby talks from over the last years. As a result, Steal this talk is part introduction to ML, part generated speech:

Your app is slow. It does not spark joy. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Active Record Allocations Richard Schneeman used memory profiling tools to discover performance hotspots with a real-world application and many, many props.

In The Past, Present, and Future of Rails at GitHub Eileen M. Uchitelle provided us with a behind-the-scenes of GitHub’s story, their Rails upgrade, and how cumulative technical debt can stifle development.

Day 2 concluded with #RubyKaraoke at Salon Tropica. Songs were sung. Some people were more talented than others.

Day 3, EuRuKo City Tour
Who knew we’d regret promising a city tour starting on a Sunday at 10am? ANYWAY. The “Aaron Cruise Tour”, by Aaron Cruz, was a great success, with a respectable following, fake facts, and Dutch “cuisine”.

Erasmus bridge!

Just look at those happy/exhausted faces…

One last time, a *big thank-you* goes out to the people behind the scenes:
Captioning by White Coat Captioning
Livestream by
Pictures by Megin Zondervan
Design by Nick Visser
Roy Tomeij who led speaker comms
Our Code of Conduct Team mates Piotr Szotkowski & Mislav Marohnić
And all the lovely volunteers, under the inspiring leadership of Tom de Bruin

The sponsors that kept EuRuKo 2019 afloat:


Stripe | Phusion | InvoiceFinance | Young Capital | Catawiki | WeTransfer | nexmo | adcombi

salonized | SuperSaaS | Taktsoft | balsamiq | | GitLab | BEEQUIP | Buildkite | bitcrowd | | Honeypot

Papercall | O’REILLY | | Stickermule | Cookpad | Depfu | Spotify | Heroku

Shout out to WeTransfer, Stripe and Balsamiq, who were all diversity sponsors, and for helping us with the selection ❤

Some random things you might have missed, but we feel very strongly about:
- we installed a ‘Swag Drop’ to put any unwanted swag in, so that we could recycle those items. One unexpected outcome: there were plenty of participants diving into the swag bag (aka Floor’s laundry basket) to grab seconds or thirds for the offspring.
- we explicitly instructed all speakers to refrain from hiring pitches. You’re hiring, we’re hiring, everybody’s hiring, now let’s move on.
- we did not offer alcoholic beverages during the event.
- we didn’t do Q&A, because more often than not people don’t actually ask questions but dump comments. Also: it takes so.much.time.

Thank you for the fish,
Rayta & Floor


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Stuff from the 2019 EuRuKo Rotterdam conference (and, eventually, EuRuKo editions to come).

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