MountainWest RubyConf 2009: What The Ruby Craftsman Can Learn From The Smalltalk Master

Posted in Conferences, Development on March 29, 2009

This session will highlight some of the most fundamental and timeless best practices described in Kent Beck’s book “SmallTalk Best Practice Patterns” in the context of Ruby development.

The Ruby community has fostered a great pioneering spirit at its core. Rubyists eagerly investigate new tools, approaches and programming techniques to unleash Ruby’s full power and expressiveness.

Sometimes however, this pioneering spirit often comes at the expense of learning from previous collective knowledge in the developer community. We do not have to rediscover all classic edge wisdom on our own. There is much to learn from best practices documented by the Smalltalk community which had a very similar dynamic to our own, and which attracted the best programmers of their generation:

“I always knew that one day Smalltalk would replace Java. I just didn’t know it would be called Ruby.” – Kent Beck

Philippe Hanrigou has over ten years of experience developing enterprise software and web applications. As a ThoughtWorks consultant, he focuses on designing enterprise software — understanding what makes a good design and implementing practices that encourage it. For the last 3 years he has enthusiastically embraced Ruby and used it to deliver large enterprise systems.

Philippe continually seeks ways to improve the state of the software craft and has found agile methodologies to be especially efficient and rewarding for developing enterprise software. He spends much of his time sharpening his expertise in this area and advocating agile methodologies.

Philippe is the author of Troubleshooting Ruby Processes, an Addison-Wesley Ruby Professional Series shortcut, that introduces key system diagnostic tools in the context of Ruby development. Philippe is also the principal developer and author of Selenium Grid, a tool that transparently distribute your web testing infrastructure so that you can run Selenium tests in parallel.

Author: Philippe Hanrigou

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Tags: Conferences, Ruby, Smalltalk, Confreaks, MountainWest RubyConf 2009