Euruko 2009 reviewed

11 May 2009 – Barcelona / Plane home

Euruko 2009 in Barcelona has just ended and I’m going home. It’s been only a few days, and Euruko 2009 in Barcelona were probably some of my best days this year, but I’m already starting to miss home. Guess it’s a good time to summarize and review the last days on the best Ruby conference under the Sun.

To start with: the initial doubts about spanish Ruby community and how they’ll cope with organising Euruko turned out to be worthless. The Euruko 2009 team did a great job, hands down. If I had to be on one Ruby-related event this whole year, I wouldn’t need even 3 seconds to decide.


Together with my girlfriend and my mother (they both always wanted to visit Barcelona) we arrived at the airport on friday evening, having the time and strength only to reach our hotel and go to sleep. It turned out I’ve booked a room in Campanile Hotel that’s on the other side of Barcelona to where the Euruko was held — I heard about Campanile hotel being the hotel of choice for many attendees (and organizers aswell, as most of them were from Madrid), but haven’t taken into account the possibility of having two Campanile hotels in Barcelona (and of course choosing the “wrong” one). Well, unlucky (or: dumb) me. I still had a single fast train from near the hotel to Cornella (near the Euruko venue), so that wasn’t that of a problem.

From now on I’m going to focus on the talks and conference itself. Really, I could probably write a book about all the people I met and all the talks we had during this Euruko, but that’s not the point.

Saturday — Day One

The venue was great, sandwiches in catering were good, weather was wonderful and everyone was in good moods — it was time to start the Euruko!

1) Matz’ Keynote

This time Matz gave a review of evolution of computers and their power with software and its complexity, what it meant for programmers and how it related to dynamic languaged like Ruby, Python or Javascript. There were a few funny moments, but I definitely liked Matz’ keynote from the last year more. Fortunately the following Q&A session made attending the keyone really worth it (and Matz is a uber-great guy to talk with, while being our god at the same time).

2) Ruby In Systems Testing

Great topic, well-thought and prepared presentation, but Stephen wasn’t at the peak of his performance. Probably that was just an early-speaker stress, as he was cool guy to talk with a few hours later. “Weight” of the topic (serious QA and enterprise stuff) and Stephen’s not-the-best performance marked two talks in a row that were a bit below expectations and some people were actually worried about the following ones.

That lasted for about 10 minutes, until Javier Ramirez started his

3) Having fun with Ruby using Gosu

And that was definitely the best talk of the whole Euruko (oops, spoiled the review!). Really, why say anything else? Great from a technical standpoint and Javier is a simply perfect speaker. Just wait for the videos from Euruko to pop up. Half the tweets following this talk were like “OMG I’m so going to hack some game in Gosu ASAP” and that speaks for itself.

4) Creative Image Manipulation using Ruby

I had to take a break, so will have to see this one on the videos.

5) Cooking with Chef

Good speaker + good topic + good presentation (movie FTW!) == really good and inspiring talk. Joshua (from 37signals) showed how to use Chef for offloading some chores related to project bootstrapping, deployment and managing installation in general. Will try Chef soon!

Realizing the possibility of getting audio + video on the talk made me change my talk a bit, to incorporate some new media.

6) Software Craftsmanship

Didn’t attent this one — I was a bit tired and that combined with “fuck fluff, give me crunch” attitude made me spend this talk on grass outside, having some great talks. I’ll gladly watch it on video though.

7) Lightning Talks

There were a few really worth seeing ones (actually some guys claimed that Lightnings were the best part of Euruko). I really enjoyed Bragi’s about parsing and evaluation (and Treetop), Dira’s about vimmish and creating grammars. I actually decided to give one myself about Jekyll, so that my mate Peter could switch to a decent blogging engine, but he didn’t come to the Lightning Talks finally (you owe me one, man).

Amongst the things worth highlighting this are definitely lunch at the shopping mall and discussions on the grass outside the building, including Mislav showing some parkour on the venue after being asked about it.

I missed the saturday party, as the whole excitement tired me (plus it’d be quite hard to return to my hotel at nigh other way than taxi) and evening with my significant other was a much more tempting perspective.

Sunday — Day Two

I missed “Ruby DataObjects” talk because of some train confusion (stepped into wrong train, realized that about two stations after forking, rebase took some time and I’m an hour late) and I miss it. Waiting for the videos!

2) Adhearsion

That one was funny for me. is a very good speaker and delivered a definitely encouraging talk, but I haven’t joined the crowd tweeting “I’m going to do some Adhearsion”. Despite project’s and talk’s high level, I’m still put off trying due to my hatred towards calling and answering machines. Paul Klipp wouldn’t have closed his deals on second call max if he had to do them with some phone-bot ;)

3) Crossplatform Mobile Apps in Ruby using Rhodes

Wow, this one was so great everyone felt sorry for Adam not having the time to show a live demo of Rhohub, a service his company created to aid developers in development and building of Rhodes applications. Tweeter was getting hot from tweets like “I have to do some Rhodes app” during and after this talk. Now if we could only see a live demo… read further.

4) Archaeopteryx

I’m a musical geek, there were some girls in bikini on one slide… what more can I say? This is a must-hack for me! Oh yeah, and Pablo is a very good speaker. I’ve been thinking about hacking some midi with Ruby and that was something just for me.

5) Quality code with Cucumber by Aslan

I really wanted to see Cucumber well-presented, as a fellow developer in Aenima has started using it a few weeks ago and is all hyped (I’m oldschool, staying with Test::Unit and Shoulda), while I didn’t have time nor motivation (RuDy!) to investigate. And Aslan delivered. He stretched his talk (to more than 1 hour) and there wasn’t a simple complaint, it was that good. I’m definitely going to write Cucumber tests in one of projects to follow.

6) my talk on RuDy

I think it was better than my last year’s, from both technical (I think RuDy is a cool project, but hey — author’s bias!) and “speaker” standpoint (people were laughing sometimes, right?). I’m not the one to judge, though, so you should check other reviews. If you’re looking for materials (slides, links, movies even) they’re here .

7) Rhodes / Rhohub demo

Because there was 1h15m window for my talk (+break) and I’ve already told the organizers that I’m going to fit in a 30-minute window (as I was asked to when my talk was accepted), the organizers made a (great!) decision to squeeze in between the Rhodes/Rhohub demo that didn’t fit with Adam’s talk on Rhodes. It turned out it was a perfect idea!

Now, I was so hyped after my RuDy talk that I spent first few minutes in the first row chatting with a programmer from Poland and that interfered with the talk. Accept my apologies, Adam — I really wasn’t aware that we were screwing your efforts. After I’ve realized that we’re messing up with ‘s talk we both shut up and watched the demo — and damn it was worth it! "I’m so going to hack some mobile app using Rhodes" was the preminent theme of attendees’ tweets once again.

8) Lightning Talks 2

Two moment that got my attention: Mislav had a cool topic (Rspactor for automated test creation) but didn’t fit in the 5-minute window, Paul Klipp showed no slides but managed to give an inspiring talk in less than 3 minutes about selling software and Agile philosophy (wow, he really deserves the AgileActivist title!).

Discussion about next year’s venue.

“There were rumors about Poland/Krakow already being decided as the place for Euruko 2010. These are not true, we are going to decide as the Euruko community. So, are there any other countries/cities besides Poland/Krakow? [silence] Guess not. It’s Poland then”.

Fuck yeah!.

I just hope we’re going to live up to the expectations (Euruko 2008 and 2009 raised the bar really, really high) and maybe even exceed them. See you people next year in Krakow!

Congratulations once again to Spanish RUG for giving the european Ruby community such a great Euruko. You rock, fellows!

That’s all for now, folks. I’m waiting for the videos.

For people interested in Ruby beyond what’s on Github, here’s how it started, here are my thoughts about RuDy the day before Euruko and, of course, here are the resources from the talk.