Past Talks!

Here are the past talks!

Acmeism and the Ruby

An intermediate talk proposed by Ingy döt Net

Ingy created YAML, but Ruby put it on the map, and thus helped out all languages. Acmeism is the metafication of that story. Good things that span language/community barriers. Learn about Ingy's latest Acmeist adventures, including C'Dent, UniScript, TestML, Pegex, JSYNC, JSONY and more.

Ruby stdlib's Set

A lightning talk proposed by pete higgins

Using the Set class from ruby's stdlib.

A world without assignment

An intermediate talk proposed by Aja Hammerly

Functional programming is awesome

Seattle.rb May Challenge

A beginner talk proposed by Aja

I'm putting my money where my mouth is and offering up $50 to two winners of a coding competition.

EmberJS for the Rails in us all.

A beginner talk proposed by Dave Laird

The talk would be about how a EmberJS fits into your Rails application.

N Things I Learned About CoffeeScript (Where N is Bounded by Time and Interest)

A beginner talk proposed by Dean Hudson

I've spent the last year writing a whole lot of CoffeeScript and not that much Ruby. Maybe there are things I can share with you? Maybe you are interested? Or maybe you're just showing up for Free Beer...

Encouraging Girls in IT: A How-To Guide

A beginner talk proposed by Doug Ireton

We all know about the gender gap in IT, with women only holding 25% of IT jobs, but what can we *do* about it? In this session, Doug Ireton, Infrastructure Engineer at Nordstrom, and his daughter Jane, age 7, will tell their story of learning to program and creating engaging and cool electronics projects. You'll leave with practical advice on teaching programming to girls

Getting Your Foot in the Door with a Non-Traditional Background

A beginner talk proposed by Erica Melzer

The bulk of my talk would be about the concept of getting hired based on what you can do, rather than where you got your CS degree (if you have one at all) as well as the the importance of building a network, having mentors, and being a mentor. I'd also like to share a couple of anecdotal examples of developers with atypical backgrounds who've made their way as developers.

Let's Make Us Some Game With Ruby

A beginner talk proposed by "Harry" Dean Hudson

In which we cover some basics of building a simple, top-down (or maybe side-scrolling), 2D game with Gosu.

Learning Rails - Lessons Learned from Teaching

A beginner talk proposed by Ivan Storck

Lightning Talk on where people get stuck on Rails. I've now taught over 100 students Ruby on Rails. I'll share lessons learned over the last couple of years teaching in various settings.

User impersonation in Rails with user_impersonate2 and Devise

A beginner talk proposed by Richard Cook

Do you use Devise for authentication in your Rails app and do you want a straightforward solution for enabling staff/administrative access to access-controlled resources in your app? Take a look at the user_impersonate or, my fork, user_impersonate2 gem. This allows any "staff" user to act as if he/she is any given regular user. I will present a short walkthrough describing how this gem works and how to incorporate it into a simple sample app.

TDD: a Pragmatist's Guide

A beginner talk proposed by Scott Windsor

Test-Driven Development (TDD), or test-first development has existed in the industry for at least 50 years, and become very popular in the last 20. Yet at many companies, most developers still don't follow TDD. I'll explore the crux of what TDD provides you, when it works, why it works, and how to set yourself up for success (and why developers still won't write their tests first).

The Unofficial Trakehner Database

A beginner talk proposed by Susan Prestage & Nathaniel Barnes

A lightning talk or a beginner talk, I'm not sure. We are beginners and this is only about 5 or so minute talk. We will be presenting our class project for the CodeFellows Ruby on Rails Silver Bootcamp. Concept and planning happened over the last 3 weeks, off and on. Most actual implementation started Monday, October 28, just 8 days ago (as of this meet up). We will speak on various design, platform, and implementation decisions we made. As well as covering some of the challenges and nifty bits we discovered along the way.

Madscribes and Mentoring

A beginner talk proposed by Todd Lynam

I'd like to talk about some code I think is interesting from a social story game I'm working on called I'd also like to share some of my mentoring experiences and what I've found works well.

It's Magic!

An intermediate talk proposed by Aaron Patterson

Oh ho ho it's Magic! You know, baby believe it's not soooo, it's magic! You knowwww, baby believe it's not so! I built a Magic Card recognition system in Ruby. We will see how it works, and remove the magic!

What do I do with this giant pile of data?

An intermediate talk proposed by Aja

I gave this at GoGaRuCo. 30 minutes ish.

Fun with WebRTC, Web Audio, Sinatra & Twilio

An intermediate talk proposed by Carter Rabasa

You may have heard that you can use Twilio's JS SDK to turn your browser into a telephone. But did you know you can hook into the underlying WebRTC audio streams and have visualize them using the Web Audio API? You sure can, and it's awesome!

Why Jruby

An intermediate talk proposed by Chris Ochs

Thought it would be fun to share my experiences using jruby at one of the larger social game companies. Lots of useful info on what worked, what was problematic, why you should or should not use jruby and when. Real world data on how jruby/rails performs at hundreds of millions of requests per day. Why having a real memory model with real threading can matter. And of course a bit of ranting about all of the threading bugs that supposedly never existed in rails:)

Cancer Research Connect

An intermediate talk proposed by Dan McKeon

I just graduated from Dev Bootcamp and for our final project, we created a platform called Cancer Research Connect to help people who have cancer access clinical trials: We'd love to present it at the next Seattle.rb monthly social on June 6. Any chance there is space available?

Fun with the Leap Motion

An intermediate talk proposed by Dean Hudson

Finger detection in the browser on commodity hardware–that sounds fun, right? Let's hijack the Leap Motion's frame data and pipe it into OSC messages (for music) and web pagez!

The History of Women in Programming

An intermediate talk proposed by Elise Worthy

I'm going to talk about the history of women in programming.

An Incremental Migration from "Monolithic" to SOA on Heroku w/Barrister RPC

An intermediate talk proposed by Erin Swenson-Healey

As our Rails applications grow in size, developers struggle to maintain the velocity experienced in the early stages of a project. As increases in build time, test time, and the mental demands of understanding a large codebase all conspire to grind feature development to a standstill - good developers start looking for a way out. By cleaving functional portions of your application into standalone services, test times decrease, developer specialization is enabled, and performance can be controlled with a high degree of granularity not easily achieved in the traditional "monolithic" Rails application. In this presentation, I'll demonstrate how to build a simple, multi-service architecture using Rails, Barrister RPC and a single Heroku dyno. I'll explain the role of Barrister RPC in enforcing client / service contracts, and demonstrate how it reduces boilerplate client creation-code, avoids transport lock-in and increases API legibility and portability. Finally, I'll show how this architecture scales across multiple dynos or Heroku applications with minimal code changes - so you can grow up fast if you need to, or keep it trimmed-down if you don't.

Applying Functional Programming Principles to Your Rails Codebase

An intermediate talk proposed by Erin Swenson-Healey

All the programmers around me seem to have very strong opinions about functional programming. The Internet certainly loves to talk about it. Some of the concepts are interesting – but many of them (at first) don’t seem to apply for those of us writing database-fronting web applications. What can we apply from a world in which side effects are shunned if the majority of what our application is doing is getting stuff out of a database for display on a web page?

git-hub -- GitHub from the command line

An intermediate talk proposed by Ingy döt Net

Do you love GitHub, but hate doing everything from their web UI? Imagine adding the same 5 collaborators to 10 repositories. Ingy döt Net has recently written the 'hub' command for git. Now you can write commands like this: for repo in $(git hub repos -q -c 10); do git hub repo $repo trust tenderlove zenspider drbrain bleything ingydotnet; done This `git-hub` command exposes much of GitHub's v3 REST API, in the simplest way possible from the command line. It supports a plugin system so that you can easily write your own `git hub` commands. Finally, the command was written entirely in *Bash*, but ended up being an amazingly clean library, almost on par with *Ruby*. Ingy will show you the basic commands, how to install and setup your own copy, the basics of a git extension, and how to write your own plugins.

Your own personal gemserver

An intermediate talk proposed by Jack Foy

Serve your own gems and protect your deployments from Rubygems hiccoughs using Geminabox, Nginx, and Guard. - changing the world with Ruby on Rails

An intermediate talk proposed by Jeremy Stone, built on Ruby on Rails, is transforming computer science education and getting computer science into all schools for all kids. started from humble roots of passionate volunteer developers sleeping under desks to achieve ambitious goals. We chose Ruby on Rails as the tech stack in order to be able to move fast and iterate quickly. has since scaled to a successful nonprofit organization of over 50 people serving over ten million students and hundreds of thousands of teachers worldwide with a RoR tech stack to match. This is the story of growing up and going big on Ruby on Rails.

Building iOS Apps With Ruby(Motion)

An intermediate talk proposed by John Moody

In this talk, we'll build a native (yes, native) iOS app using everyone's favorite language (and I'm not talking about Objective-C!) Learn how the RubyMotion libraries let you leverage all of that Ruby metaprogramming goodness to write top-quality apps for fun and profit!

If Eigen Do It, So Can You!

An intermediate talk proposed by Kai Curtis

Learn the fundamentals of matrix math and get exposure to many of its uses, some more familiar, some less! (Warning: current format is an hour long; working on a slimmer version.) No code, but the math may be daunting for some, despite attempts to keep it accessible.

Pry for fun and profit!

An intermediate talk proposed by Leigh Caplan

Like, IRB, Pry is a REPL for Ruby. It has some great features, such as syntax highlighting, automatic pagination, code introspection, and runtime invocation, and it can make your life easier. I'll show you a few of my favorite features.


An intermediate talk proposed by Leigh Caplan

Recently, I had to fix a pernicious encoding bug in a Rails app I work on. Along the way, I learned a lot about string encodings, how they work, *why* they work, and how Ruby handles them. Join me as I share the fruits of my journey of discovery with you!

TBD Machine Learning Topic

An intermediate talk proposed by Matt Kirk

Regular Expressions in Ruby: Moving beyond sub and gsub

An intermediate talk proposed by Nell Shamrell

Many of us approach regular expressions with a certain fear and trepidation, using them only when absolutely necessary. We can get by when we need to use them, but we hesitate to dive any deeper into their cryptic world. Ruby has so much more to offer us. This talk will showcase advanced regular expression techniques include grouping, lookahead and lookbehinds. Are your regular expressions greedy, lazy, or possessive? Learn how to change their behavior for the better. You will walk away with tools and techniques to harness the power of Ruby regular expressions and bring beauty and elegance into your code.


An intermediate talk proposed by Seattle.rb


Writing Shitceptions - Doing things you shouldn't

An intermediate talk proposed by Seth Vargo

Ruby is an awesome language. One of the main reasons is because of it's ability to dynamically define and change class behavior at runtime. But with great power comes great responsibility. Shitceptions was written on a plane ride from Pittsburgh to Chicago by a sleep-deprived me. It serves no purpose but to demonstrate something cool with Ruby. Learn how to extend the Ruby core classes, and then let me explain why you never should :)

AWS Flow Framework in Ruby for Distributed Ruby Applications

An intermediate talk proposed by Sunjay

When developers build applications that process information through multiple steps and across multiple machines, it becomes important to coordinate and track these steps in a reliable way. The AWS Flow Framework is a Ruby framework that uses the Amazon Simple Workflow APIs to coordinate units of work, modeled as Ruby classes and methods, across distributed machines. The framework provides an easy way for developers to build a state machine that knows what's happening across these distributed units of work and to know what steps need to be processed next. The framework also provides easy-to-use abstractions for many core distributed computing patterns, like parallel execution of work, exception handling for asynchronous code, and exponential retry of failed work. On top of that, the Amazon Simple Workflow service helps audit and maintain the history of work that has transpired across many different machines and makes this information available at any time for debugging the distributed application. Using the AWS Flow Framework in Ruby, developers can execute distributed Ruby code asynchronously without building complicated abstractions that are hard to implement and difficult to debug. In this session, we will walk through a use case to show how to solve difficult distributed systems problems using the AWS Flow Framework in Ruby and Amazon Simple Workflow. You will walk away from this session with an understanding of how to code straightforward distributed Ruby applications using the framework and how you can use Amazon Simple Workflow as a tool to bring resiliency, concurrency, and auditability to your applications.

You're Killing Me

An advanced talk proposed by Aaron Patterson

Ruby is famous for a technique called metaprogramming. This technique can be used for good, or for eval. In this talk, we'll explore ways to leverage metaprogramming, as well as how to deal with code that is out of control. We'll use examples of Metaprogramming Gone Bad to study techniques for dealing with legacy code, and discovering the most effective way to harness the power of code generation without the maintenance nightmare.


An advanced talk proposed by Dmitry Polyakovsky

Scaling Rails apps with Redis for caching and background jobs

Containers and Kubernetes

An advanced talk proposed by Julia Ferraioli

Rails Security

A lightning talk proposed by Aaron Patterson



A lightning talk proposed by Aaron Patterson

Talk about Rails Security

RTanque event?

A lightning talk proposed by Aja

Just read about this project on Ruby Weekly: Seems like it would make a fun nerd party to have people battle their tanks. I'll try to hook up a demo or something.

RTanque round up

A lightning talk proposed by Aja

Results from our Tanquesgiving

Why TDD is awesome

A lightning talk proposed by Aja Hammerly

Not enough people do TDD. It is awesome and more people should do it.

Ruby and the Rising Sun: Japanese Grammar and How It Shaped the Ruby Language

A lightning talk proposed by Amanda Spiegel

The language and the culture you come from can have a huge influence on how you envision and develop artificial languages. Take five minutes with me to find out how, using Ruby and Japanese as an example!

Why DataMapper Sucks

A lightning talk proposed by Cassie Schmitz

I will explain the many reasons why you should not use DataMapper.

Secret Project

A lightning talk proposed by Elizabeth

A presentation of my favorite extracurricular project at Ada yet.

You can read the source.

A lightning talk proposed by Ezekiel Smithburg

Two things in one: 1) Encouragement that you, no matter how experienced you are(n't), can benefit from reading the source. 2) How I approach this in Ruby, and how to do it in general.

Dynamic Programming, or: Why Aaron Patterson should give me $50

A lightning talk proposed by Hsing-Hui Hsu

How I learned about other approaches* to solving Project Euler problems that didn't involve recursion. Can be applied to problems like the maximum sum path and the coin change problems. *Okay so it was just one other approach.

SN*SPing with FizzBuzz

A lightning talk proposed by Ingy döt Net

Ingy would like to follow up on Scott's FizzBuzz talk, with one of own. See the craziest FizzBuzz implementation every written (think 2 dimentional BrainF*ck) and run inside a 2D terminal visual debugger!

Rails fragment cache debugging

A lightning talk proposed by Jeff Ching

How I track down fragment caching issues stemming from cache_digests/rails 4 caching.

Abstractions: A two-edged sword

A lightning talk proposed by John Moody

Programming abstractions are what make us all productive programmers, and we're glad to have them. But sometimes it's useful to look behind the curtain to understand what's going on deeper in our technology stack, because too much abstraction can be more of a curse than a blessing.

Git Bisect: Your New Favorite Debugging Tool

A lightning talk proposed by Leigh Caplan

Have you ever tried to track down a bug that stubbornly eluded your every effort at pinning it down? You know that somewhere along the line this bug was introduced, but you have no idea when. git-bisect can help with just such a situation. You don't need to use it very often, but when you do, there's nothing else like it.

irb tricks

A lightning talk proposed by Mike Mondragon

fun and useful mods for your irb (Interactive Ruby Shell)

I have zero fucking clue at this point

A lightning talk proposed by Mike Thompson

Debugging with Rubinius. How to set break points, step into and out of functions and inspect variables with Rubinius.

Tracking down a memory leak in Curb under Rubinius

A lightning talk proposed by Mike Thompson

I am currently tracking down a memory leak in Curb under Rubinius. I just wanted to show how I started out finding it, and where I am at having just proved it exists

Quick and Dirty Fixture Data with Storable

A lightning talk proposed by Mike Tierney

Sometimes you need to create fake ruby objects using YAML (or JSON, CSV, or even TSV) when starting a project. Using Storable makes this possible, and reasonably easy.

Hipster Animals

A lightning talk proposed by pete higgins

Cats are played out, I want to talk about some cite animals your friends have never heard of.

Ruby stdlib's OpenStruct

A lightning talk proposed by pete higgins

Using the OpenStruct class from ruby's stdlib.


A lightning talk proposed by pete higgins

Using the WebMock gem to test outside HTTP stuff.

Ruby Benchmark

A lightning talk proposed by Pete higgins


Protect yourself with the Figaro Gem

A lightning talk proposed by Robin Swenson-Healey

Many folks start right away developing a Rails app and pushing to Github without considering their secrets. Lets not share our secret tokens or other credentials. Instead, obfuscate with Figaro.

Lightning Talks

A lightning talk proposed by Ryan Davis

All about Lightning Talks

Minitest 5

A lightning talk proposed by Ryan Davis

Minitest 5 is here! I'll go over some changes.

Realm of Racket Recap

A lightning talk proposed by Ryan Davis

I'll go over what we did for the Seattle.rb Study Group over the last 3 months.

Study group

A lightning talk proposed by Ryan Davis

Thinking about doing NAND to Tetris or realm of racket

What Sounds Interesting?

A lightning talk proposed by Ryan Lonac

Why en.yml is the best friend you didn't know you had When You Can't Use Texticle, consider using IndexDen - or why as much as i love Sphinx, I got tired of Rebuild Failures 5 Little Sass Tricks Why We Start with Foundation and then Mix in Booststrap

ActiveModel Serializers

A lightning talk proposed by Scott Windsor

Quick talk about hypermedia, APIs, JSON, and how JBuilder is the root of all evil.

F*cking with FizzBuzz

A lightning talk proposed by Scott Windsor

Interviewing is hard. Interviewing developers is harder. I decompose one of the most classic interview questions and show some of my more robust solutions, none of which should really be used in an actual interview setting.

yaml_db Gem

A lightning talk proposed by Todd Lynam

Sorry if this is too entry-level. yaml_db is a gem that allows dumping and loading of database-independent yaml files in the db directory.