After Railsconf

Posted by Tom on 2007-09-24

So that was Railsconf. By far the biggest takeaway for me was very simple: Hobo needs docs! Of course we knew that already, but it was really hammered home by meeting a bunch of people who have tried Hobo and are now waiting in the wings for it to become easier to use.

The Hobo talk was fairly well attended, which was great – many thanks to everyone that showed up.

I really enjoyed Dave Thomas’ keynote – engineering is art. His quote from the famous “Mythical Man Month” by Fred Brooks is so wonderful I think I’ll add it here in more than full.

The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. Yet the program construct, unlike the poet’s words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separate from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be.