RailsConf 2016


Keynotes, Sessions, Workshops, and Sponsored Parties


It can be difficult to connect the dots between what you learn at a conference and practical application. Attend one of our workshops to bridge that gap with hands-on practice and learning.

Unlike our regular sessions, workshops vary in length: from 90 minutes up to 3 hours. The length of a particular workshop will be indicated on our schedule.

If you plan on attending any of our Workshop sessions, please take a moment to register using the links emailed to you in your pre-conf attendee email.

Learn how to build an API-backed mobile app with RubyMotion

Getting started with mobile app development is now easier than ever, thanks to recent advancements in the RubyMotion community. In this session, you will learn about RedPotion, a framework known as the "Rails of iOS development", learn how to build a "mobile-friendly" API, and how to consume that API from a mobile app.

Andrew Havens

Andrew Havens is a Ruby, Javascript, and iOS developer based in Portland, Oregon. Passionate about delivering clean, maintainable code.

Understanding, Building, and Integrating Rails Engines

Want to split up your Rails app into pieces but not sure where to begin? Wish you could share controller code among microservices but don't know how? Do you work on lots of projects and have boilerplate Rails code repeated in each?

Rails Engines may be your answer.

By building a simple Rails engine together, we will better understand how this app-within-an-app architecture can help you write more modular code, which can be gemified and reused across multiple projects.

Ariel Caplan

Ariel has been hacking since he was 10 years old, building websites to promote publications and make fun of teachers. In late 2013, after a brief stint in bio research, he decided to move into programming, enrolling in the Flatiron School in NYC. Ariel works as a software engineer at Vitals.

Mastering the Product Discovery Canvas

Building successful products that customers really want and love is very hard. In fact, most product efforts fail!

In this workshop I introduce you to the Product Discovery Canvas; it applies relevant elements of Collaborative Chartering, Customer Discovery, User Story Mapping, Pretotyping and Lean Startup for product discovery and product validation. The canvas starts with techniques for narrowing ‘product ideas’ to the ‘ideal product’. It ends with techniques for you to inexpensively answer the question, “If you build it, will people buy it and use it?” or “Should you build it at all?”

Bill Allen

Bill is an agile Coach, Trainer and software developer with extensive experience guiding teams and executives in adopting and adapting agile practices for positive outcomes. With a pragmatic perspective, he guides teams towards a common vision, strengthened collaboration and improved product delivery.

When he is not coaching, husbanding, fathering or biking he is writing. Bill is working on his first book entitled "Teaching Coaches to Hang Glide / Being Fearless for Your Team".

Your Code Breaks a Lot(&That's OK(But Here's How to Fix It))

Software development means letting an idea flow from your mind through your fingers into concise, expressive, flawless code - if you're Tony Stark. The rest of us have to spend a lot of time fixing bugs. This workshop will give participants the chance to practice using the tools and techniques Ruby and Rails make available to identify and fix broken code, and to develop a mindset that keeps discovering bugs from being a soul-crushing experience.

Brian Gates

Brian Gates has been a biotech analyst, a high school teacher, and a software developer. His favorite job ever is his current one, in which he gets to teach software development. He's made a lot more mistakes while writing code than he can talk about in just one workshop, and he's better for it.

Rails on Google Cloud Platform

In this workshop, you'll go from 'rails new' to a fully functioning Rails app on Google Cloud Platform. We’ll connect to hosted MySQL, Google authentication, and other Google Cloud Platform services to build a scalable non-trivial application.

Jeff Mendoza, Aja Hammerly

Jeff Mendoza is a Developer Relations Engineer on the Google Cloud Platform. He is a long time FOSS enthusiast, and is currently most interested in container technology. He spends his days making the Kubernetes development experience smoother, and his nights playing games of various media.

Aja lives in Seattle where she is a Developer Advocate at Google and a member of the Seattle Ruby Brigade. Her favorite languages are Ruby and Prolog. She also loves working with large piles of data. In her free time she enjoys skiing, cooking, knitting, and long coding sessions on the beach.

Bring Lean UX to Your Product and Engineering Cycles

Too often, silos show up in engineering teams. This destroys both the formal Agile development process as well as the informal "develop with Agility". Great agile teams are often blended. Traditional hierarchies go away and "pods" organize around problems. The experience of a great product is everyone's responsibility and in this workshop, we'll learn some basic tools and techniques to enable anyone to contribute to a product's design.

John Athayde

John Athayde is a designer and developer who spends a lot of time fighting bad coding practices in the Rails view layer. He is currently the VP of Design for CargoSense, a logistics product company. Prior to this he was the Lead for UI/UX and Front-end Development–Internal Apps at LivingSocial.

Let's Write a Web Server!

We all use web servers. We kind of understand how they work, but few people have actually looked at what it takes to implement even a basic, functional web server. Ruby makes it easy to build a simple web server, and there is considerable value in delving deeply enough into the issues networking and the basics of the HTTP protocol to be able to write something with just enough capability to serve static files, handle a few common error cases, and maybe even be able to serve Rails application requests.

Kirk Haines

I started using Ruby back in the Ruby 1.6 days, and I have used it in my daily professional life ever since. I'm fascinated by issues of application design, distributed architecture, and making hard things easy. For entertainment, I like to run and bicycle long distances. This year will include my first 50k and 50m races. And in between it all, I am fathermother to four great kids.

REST API Workshop

Building a REST API is easy, but building an API that is designed to last - well that's another story. In this workshop we'll cover everything needed to design and build an API that is flexible enough to evolve over time, including design best practices, a dive into hypermedia (and the specs out there), and a look at community tools designed to make the entire process (this includes testing and documentation) more efficient. Each participant will also receive a complimentary copy of "Undisturbed REST," the book we'll use during this workshop.

Mike Stowe

Mike Stowe is a Software Engineer with over 10 years experience building applications for law enforcement, the medical field, nonprofits, and numerous industrial companies. Over the last two years he has been focused on APIs and ways to improve industry standards and efficiency. He now works for MuleSoft, a company on the leading edge of API development and management, as well as SOA/ ESB architectures. Follow him on Twitter @mikegstowe

Awesome Extractions Done Quick

You've got code in your Rails app. You'd want it outside of your app, fast. Perhaps it should go in another app, or you'd like to open source it on GitHub, or you just know it deserves a better home elsewhere.

We'll go over practical, real-world examples to get your code out of your Rails app and into something more generic, extendable, and reusable. And we'll do it quickly!

Nick Quaranto

Nick is a maintainer of RubyGems.org, and part-time GIF sommelier. He is learning how to play piano and can probably do a few scales. He plays Minecraft too much. He is a short, sturdy creature fond of industry.

Keep Rails Upgraded

Lucky you, it's time to upgrade Rails versions! I know, you just upgraded your app a few years ago, but it's time again. The good news is that you've got a team of "professionals" to help make the process a bit smoother. In this workshop we will work through upgrading an existing Rails 4 application to run on Rails 5 together. We will highlight some common pitfalls and if you finish early there's time at the end to kickstart your own app upgrade. Why suffer alone? Join us for this Rails upgrading workshop!

Richard Schneeman, Caleb Thompson, Derek Prior

Richard writes Ruby at Heroku and maintains codetriage.com. When he isn't obsessively compulsively playing Starcraft 2 he writes such gems as Wicked, Sextant, and oPRO. Richard is a proud graduate of Space Camp and enjoys the fine art of weiner-dog walking.

Speaker, developer, painter, gamer: an eccentric eclectic. Caleb is currently coding mostly in Ruby and Go. He has braved the wintry tundra of Alaska and the harsh deserts of Arizona. He has fired a Mosin-Nagant without blinking, fought the Red Menace, built Battleship Couch, and killed a bear and wore its pelt. He enjoys fine wines, craft beers, and punching comets.

Derek has been doing professional web development for over 15 years, is currently a developer with Thoughtbot and is a co-host of The Bike Shed podcast.

Easy Rails Development & Deployment with Otto

Rails is amazing, but Ruby isn't always the easiest tool to get set up for local development. Vagrant continues to be a great tool for automated and reproducible development environments, but it often falls short of real production scenarios. Otto, the successor to Vagrant, encompasses the entire workflow managing local development environments, infrastructure creation, and application deployment in just three easy commands. You can have the Heroku-like workflow while maintaining full control over the stack, without all the overhead. Come meet Otto!

Seth Vargo

Seth Vargo has been a member of the Ruby community for 5 years. He is an author, magician, and professional toy-tinkerer. When he is not writing code, Seth enjoys blogging, jogging, and creating unfinished lists. You can find him anywhere on the Internet under the single moniker "sethvargo".

Collaborate on a Surrealist Rails App

Surrealism is an artistic practice in which mundane but dissimilar ideas are juxtaposed to create surprising or nonsensical ideas. This has interesting results when applied to startup culture. In this workshop, rather than finding a market niche which can be exploited for fame, revenue, or power, we will be using our skills as Rails developers to create products with no practical use whatsoever. We will use a variation of the surrealist game Exquisite Corpse to create collaborative Rails apps, then present them to one another in a mockery of venture capitalism.

Terian Koscik

Terian Koscik is a Rails developer at Kongregate in Portland, OR, and the co-organizer of Django Girls PDX. She loves to make useless software like Twitter bots, and teach beginner programmers how to come up with their own useless ideas.



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