Claudio Baccigalupo: Ruby is the only language

Open Source - the object of envy for other professions. 
07 June

Claudio Baccigalupo

Claudio Baccigalupo

Ruby contributer with more than 100 commits, member of a Rails Issues Team, organizer of Ruby/Rails LA meet-up and author of weekly mailing "This week in Rails", speaker at RailsClub. 


Biggest Russian Ruby on Rails event

At RailsClub 2015 he spoke about features and changes in Rails 5.

We've managed to ask Claudio few questions.

How have you became a Ruby developer? 

During my Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence I decided to build a web radio in order to study machine learning in musical preferences. The first version was in Perl and PHP, and the code was a big mess. By chance, I found a book about Rails in the library, I read it on the way home, and the next day I decided to re-write the web radio in Ruby. It took me two weeks and… I never went back to Perl or PHP! 

What are you working on right now? 

I'm working at Fullscreen helping talents and brands make money on YouTube. Specifically, I built Channel+ — a website used by talent and sales coordinators to optimize YouTube presence. Although the access the website is restricted, you can get a sneak peek in this presentation.

What’s your favorite programming language besides Ruby? 

None. I'm serious. I have recently built an iPhone app and I'm proud of it but… every time I open Xcode and look at Swift code, I cringe. Ruby is the only language that can keep me focused and happy for hours.

What is Open Source for you? 

Open Source is the blood of computer programming. It's the envy of any other profession. Only programmers are encouraged to share their findings and technical achievement in the open with their peers. Doctors, producers, investors, magicians… they can only show the «final product» but are not allowed to reveal their «secrets».
Open Source enriches us all. We learn by reading actual code written by great professionals, and we learn to give back. I am very thankful to Fullscreen for letting me release three open source projects in the last year: Bh (Bootstrap Helpers), Yt (YouTube API client), and Squid (a library to plot charts in PDF files).

Favorite resources (blogs / sites / twitter channels) on web development and programming topics?

I watch the Confreaks videos, I read the Signal vs. noise blog and I listen to the Bikeshed podcast. 

What’s your advice to the developers, which want to be successful?

Have something good to build. Coders are writers: we spend our days typing on keyboards. If we don't have a good story to tell, neither the syntax nor the cover image will cover for that.

Not tired from programming? 

When I feel tired about working on a feature… I simply stop. Nothing good will come from working when you are tired or bored. I take a break either working on something else (my open source projects, Rails contributions) or by doing something completely different (playing piano, studying Japanese). After a while (maybe an hour, maybe a couple of days), the inspiration will come back, and I will be excited to work on that feature again.

Who you wanted to became in childhood?

I wanted to be a wizard. I mean, a «magician» wizard. Then at 5, I started coding in Basic and… slowly became a «programming» wizard.

What report would you like hear at RailsClub? 

All of them, of course! Funny note about the language: my grandfather was Russian, and he taught me how to read the cyrillic alphabet.

What do you expect from the conference and from the Russian-speaking community?

I'm excited to see the loving side of the Russian culture, all the good people, places and experiences that do not make it through the daily news. Traveling is the best way to make up your mind about a place, the more you travel, the better person you become.

RailsClub conference on which we managed to communicate with Claudio will take place this year in Moscow 23th of September.

Get your ticket here.

A. Davidov: "I like when my work is helpful for people"

Software developer. Open source enthusiast, Hanami core, Ruby Hero 2016, speaker at RailsClub 2017
18 October

Anton Davidov
Anton Davidov at RailsClub 2017

Software developer. Open source enthusiast, Hanami core, Ruby Hero, speaker at RailsClub 2017

On the RailsClub 2017, we’ve managed to talk with Anton about his report, his job and future of programming.

What's your name? Where do you work, what do you do?

My name is Anton, I work at the American start-up. We are developing a healthcare application to help people in America buy and receive the right medicines. There are some issues with it in US. Unfortunately, we are not yet released, so I can not name the place where I work. But if you ask me about this in a month or two, I'll say. At work, we use full dry stack (dry web and rom), also we have several services on hanami.

How do you like RailsClub?

This is my fourth RailsClub. I am very happy to come every year, see many new faces, communicate with old friends, learn something new, discuss problems, and have fun.

Tell me about your report.

In my report I will motivate people not afraid to code in open source, because I believe that there are some problems in the community and by my report I want to try to solve them. This is absolutely not a technical report. Its main goal is motivation. I will be very happy if after today, at least one or two people will stop being afraid to make a mistake and do something. I will tell you about my mistakes and problems, about other people's mistakes. It is important for me to convey that the errors is normal.

What do you think are the most popular technologies?

If to speak in general - machine learning is still in hype, and people are trying to do something on it, at least in Russia. A lot of people talk about the blockchain, trying to mine Ether, buying farms for millions. And if we talk about programming and about Ruby in particular, this is an interesting question. We can say that the functional languages ​​are in hype, but it seems to me that this is far from being the case. There is a cult around functional languages, and people are just trying to be involved in it. Also, now it is a trend (like 10 years ago) the problem solutions. I mean - people have a problem that they are trying to solve it. That's the way dry, rom, hanami, trailblazer appeared; that's the way other programming languages like Crystal appeared.

How do you see the programming world in 10 and 50 years and is there a place for Rail and Ruby?

The world of programming in 10 years I see as my place of work in 10 years - I mean, I can't see it. But if I fantasize, I'd like to see something like cyberpunk from the novels "Neuromantic" when people directly connected to the computer through a neural interface with full immersion. I would like to see that people will go somewhere in this direction.

What advice would you give to an average programmer in order to stand out the crowd? 

The first advice - do not be afraid to talk about problems. People everywhere face problems, and in IT too. If a person tells about his problem and how he solved it, other people can get benefit from it. The second advice is to solve problems not only at work, but also in the community - to engage in open source, to do conferences, to speak and write good articles.

People in other spheres, for example, in aircraft building, feel great joy and enthusiasm after the end of the big project. What in your job brings such feelings?

This is a funny question for me, not even in terms of the question itself. While studying at the institute, I was practicing at an aircraft plant in the department of indestructible control. I've seen that atmosphere and people are not always happy when they make big planes. They usually have problems like that the spare part for a million rubles came with micro cracks and somehow it needs to be used, so as a result the aircraft does not fall apart.
I really like it when I get a good feedback. When my work was useful for someone. Then I feel the excitement. Speaking more broadly - all my work is aimed at getting a good feedback and solving people's problems.

Do you have nightmares related to work?

I have one nightmare related to my work - I start Rails coding again. Seriously, for almost a year I have not touched the Rails at all. And I grew a big beard and hair on my head, I began to sleep better.

Do you have plans for writing books?

Fortunately, no. I have dyslexia, it is difficult for me to write texts sometimes. The biggest thing that I have is a channel in a telegram where I write large messages by the standards of telegram channels. I had an idea to try to collect this all in a heap and make a huge collection or a reference book, there are many related topics. But in general, I do not see myself as a writer. At school, I had an assessment between 1 and 2 in Russian, so for me it's really difficult.

As far as I know, your report was last at Rails Club for few times already. Why is it so and how do you feel about it?

I was the last in 2015 and 2017. In 2015, I had a lightning talk, it just turned out to be the last of 3. This year I specifically asked to put me in the end. I will not have a technical report and I will be able to motivate someone. The idea is that people will get tired of listening to some complicated technical things and think with their heads for 8 hours in a row, it's like a working day. At the end of the day, people want some kind of show, and just my report will be that show. And, secondly, I would be pleased if people leave the conference with a feeling of excitement.