- "How many lines of code to patch to make KRJS work?"
- "Have the
affected the codes?" "Any one here does test development? How do you manage without Hpricot Forms?" "What have you been using FX Ruby for?" "Why are we letting the Phython people sit in front?" [Laughter] "Was it complicated to understand the Flickr API?"
I would describe the participants as a group of like-minded individuals interested in learning and sharing what they know about Ruby On Rails.
One guy patiently explained, in a nutshell, what Ruby on Rails was. So now I know 'Ruby' is a programming language (like Java and C++). And Rails is a... framework.
Here's Choon Keat sharing tips on performing functional tests on code written using Ruby.
He showed lots of code.
And more code.
He ended his presentation by asking if anyone was lost. The room remained silent. I had the feeling I wasn't the only person who's lost. Heck, I wasn't even with him in the first place (I said this to Choon Keat and he laughed good naturedly).
That's the whole point of the Ruby Brigade meetups. Ruby isn't something taught in schools. At least not yet.
It's a Learning Community for people into Ruby on Rails. It's an informal classroom. It's organised by the community, led by the community, for the community.
Sausheong presented on something I didn't quite catch.
Then he showed this neat screen-saver program he wrote using Ruby. It pulls images from Flickr.com. Now that, I get! But it runs only on Windows though. :|
After that, there was the familiar networking geek-bonding sessions (just kidding).
And ideas being propagated.
Not everyone was into software development, as I learned during the self-introduction session. Not all were experts. Seven people raised their hands when Douglas asked who were using Rails full-time. The rest seemed to say they were "playing with it".
These people who have learned Java (some of them anyway) and are now adopting Ruby/ Rails.
Lets see... there was a Software developer, Systems Integrator, a few Programmers, a Web designer, an owner of a software company (who teaches inmates in Changi Prison!), someone who's starting an email portal (and considering if he should adopt Ruby), a freelance PHP programmer, one guy who's been "playing around with Ruby for three years and taking up Rails", a Java programmer, a self-confessed "recovering Javaholic", and another who said he was a "reformed PHP programmer" and passing through Singapore. One guy said he was there to see if Ruby was something he needed to learn. One fella into Jango, another guy working on internet project (not a programmer), more freelancer programmers (projects for SMEs), one full-time Rail developer (Choon Keat), and a Web developer in a design company (Douglas).
The word "guy" comes up quite a bit, doesn't it? :)
Another fella made an even deeper impression. He introduced himself as "Mohan", from Chennai, India. He arrived in Singapore only two days ago. First time in Singapore. Working for a financial company here. While in India, he was searching for information about Ruby/ Rails. Found his way to the Googlegroup, where he learned about the meetup.
Nice chap, that Mohan. He arrived early. Helped set up the notice board, and even collected it back at the end of the session. I told him about he can sign up as a library member. I think he'll get a lot out of the public libraries here.
The main question in my mind was, "Do they need the library for their activities?"
I counted about 30 people in the room. Choon Keat said they usually didn't get such a turnout. Their previous meetings were at coffee joints, so presentations like tonight wasn't possible. These guys were sharing stuff that isn't taught formally. And Ruby is something that's apparently gaining ground among developers and programmers.
I told the group there's a definite possibility that the library could work out some regular arrangement to facilitate a learning community like theirs. I'm pretty clear on how it fits the library's 2010 plans. Now I've to think of ways (with the help from this community of course) to convince my colleagues why we should do this.
Either that, or start a dating service for some of these guys! Just kidding, fellas.