I had never had the opportunity to attend Goruco in New York City before, not because I couldn’t make it but rather because I wasn’t fast enough to get a ticket before the conference sold out. Now I can understand why it sells out so fast, it is a fantastic conference run by a great group and organized with precision.
I decided to make the trip from CT to NYC the same day as the conference and return the evening after it ended, making for a long day indeed. Getting up at 3:30 AM seems almost unnatural to drive an hour to meet a friend to make the trip by train from New Haven and arriving at Grand Central Station just after 7:30 AM with my friend and fellow Rubyist, Mike Morris of RecDesk (great software for your recreation department, by the way).
A short trip by subway to lower Manhattan put us at Pace University with plenty of time to settle into the conference.
Pace University is the host for Goruco and has been in the past. Since it is a university and setup to handle students, it makes a perfect back drop to spending the day talking about Ruby. The setting in downtown Manhattan is a great place in a wonderful city.
Just a short walk from Pace visitors are treated with the new World Trade Center under construction.
The Lineup of Talks
Whenever I attend a conference there are always talks that stand out for me, either because the content is great or the topic is something I am working on or interested in at the moment or maybe both.
As you can see here, Evan Phoenix waves to the crowd while demonstrating some sleight of hand.
There were 7 talks plus RejectConf and of the seven, Jeremy Ashkenas’s talk titled Coffeescript for the Well-Rounded Rubyist and Evan Phoenix’s talk, Build it and they will come (Rubinius Edition) were the two talks that stood out. Jeremy is the creator of CoffeeScript and Evan the creator of Rubinius and this fact alone makes their deep knowledge shine through. When a speaker knows a subject as deep as these two, it’s obvious in the delivery and the their ability to answer any question in great detail.
Engine Yard has been 100% committed to Ruby and the development of Rubinius for a long time and this level of commitment has piked my interest over the past several months. I have spend time with Rubinius, testing my applications and using it for new development. It has been very stable and performant and I look forward to the day it supports 1.9.x. I think once we see version 2.0 will be the time to start moving Rubinius to production. So this talk was important to me and Evan did not disappoint. He laid out a clear roadmap for the product with a call to action for developers to use it, report bugs and help fix them.
The other 5 talks were also really good, along with the end of day lightening talks made for a day of learning.
I met up with a lot of folks who I only knew from Twitter, blogs or some other way. I always find it interesting to walk around and try to catch a glimpse of people’s name badges to see if they are familiar. It’s also interesting to try to match a Twitter avatar to a real face.
I am glad for the opportunity to meet these people finally face-to-face.
The conference organizers planned for a cruise on the Manhattan water which included dinner and drinks but our lack of planning left us to only watch as others sailed off. After a dinner and a couple cold beers we headed back to CT. The trip home seemed like a longer journey than our arrival, finally getting in at 2:00 AM.
I would have liked to spend the entire weekend in the city and attend all the activities the organizers planned but timing didn’t work out. I am sure everyone had a great time.
It was a great event covering a great day. I plan to be back next year but I will be spending the weekend in the city and hopefully there will be another cruise at Goruco 2012.
If I had one suggestion to make to those planning Goruco next time, I wouldn’t mind seeing this as a two-day event full of talks.