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RailsConf2017: Watch videos from our favorite talks (including the one we gave!)

Published July 7, 2017

Samson and Hilary pose with the RailsConf sign.

It's everyone's favorite time of year: RailsConf talks are up!

Ten Forward president Brian Samson and software dev Hilary Stohs-Krause made their way to gloriously hot Phoenix this past April for RailsConf, the largest gathering of Rubyists and Railers in the world.

In addition to making new #rubyfriends from Agape Red, 10 Pines and Glassbreakers, eating pasties and trying to figure out what planet these trees came from, we saw a ton of funny, engrossing, enlightening (and even moving) talks, some of which are listed below. 

First, check out Hilary's talk from day one of the conference, looking at the history of women's role in tech, followed by some other talks we enjoyed (in no particular order):

We've always been here: Women Changemakers in Tech

"Steve Jobs. Linus Torvalds. Alan Turing. Been there, done that.

The interesting stories often aren’t the ones we grew up with; they’re the ones we’ve left behind. When it comes to tech, that means its women, and especially its women of color. And while there’s been a greater emphasis lately on rediscovering women’s contributions to technology, we need to expand our focus beyond just Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace.

From Radia Perlman to Sophie Wilson to Erica Baker, let's explore both tech’s forgotten heroes and its modern-day pioneers, and help end the silent erasure of women in technology."


In Relentless Pursuit of REST
Derek Prior

"'That's not very RESTful.' As a Rails developer you've probably heard or even spoken that proclamation before, but what does it really mean? What's so great about being RESTful anyway? RESTful architecture can narrow the responsibilities of your Rails controllers and make follow-on refactorings more natural. In this talk, you'll learn to refactor code to follow RESTful principles and to identify the positive impact those changes have throughout your application stack."

Keynote
Marco Rogers

Marco Rogers, engineering manager at Clover Health, gave a moving talk about what it's like to be black in tech. Sincere and, at times, emotional, with a good-natured charm, Rogers didn't back away from the hard-to-hear parts, especially for a predominantly white audience (which he acknowledged in his talk). He received a deserved standing ovation.

Uncertain Times: Securing Rails Apps and User Data
Krista Nelson

"It’s what everyone is talking about: cyber security, hacking and the safety of our data. Many of us are anxiously asking what can do we do? We can implement security best practices to protect our user’s personal identifiable information from harm. We each have the power and duty to be a force for good.

Security is a moving target and a full team effort, so whether you are a beginner or senior level Rails developer, this talk will cover important measures and resources to make sure your Rails app is best secured."

Whose turn is it anyway? Augmented reality board games.
Dave Tapley

"Board games are great, but who has time to keep track of what's going on when you just want to have fun? In the spirit of over-engineering we'll look at PitchCar -- probably one of the simplest games in the world -- and see how far we can go with web tech, image processing, and a bunch of math. Expect to see plenty of code, some surprising problems and solutions, and of course: A live demo."

Keynote: Gen Z and the Future of Technology
Pamela Pavliscak

This talk from Pamela Pavliscak was engrossing and eye-opening. Pavliscak is the founder of Change Sciences, a design research company that "researches our conflicted relationship with technology." She spoke candidly and methodically about how Gen Z interacts with tech and tech products. It's an entertaining presentation full of "Huh! I didn't know that." moments.

Is it Food? An Introduction to Machine Learning
Matthew Mongeau

"Machine Learning is no longer just an academic study. Tools like Tensorflow have opened new doorways in the world of application development. Learn about the current tools available and how easy it is to integrate them into your rails application. We'll start by looking at a real-world example currently being used in the wild and then delve into creating a sample application that utilizes machine learning."


The Effective Remote Developer
David Copeland

"Being on a distributed team, working from your home or coffee shop isn't easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Making it work requires constant attention, as well as support from your team and organization. It's more than just setting up Slack and buying a webcam. We'll learn what you can do to be your best self as a remote team member, as well as what you need from your environment, team, and company. It's not about technical stuff—it's the human stuff. We'll learn how can you be present and effective when you aren't physically there."