Claudio Baccigalupo: Ruby is the only language

Open Source - the object of envy for other professions. 
07 June 2017   1102

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.

N. Sutterer: "Ruby is dead. Long live Ruby!"

Creator of Trailblazer that introduces several new abstraction layers into Rails, Rails contributor and gem author, speaker at Railsclub
15 January 2018   377

Nick Sutterer at RailsClub 2017
Nick Sutterer at RailsClub 2017

Hello! Please, introduce yourself in few words.

My name is Nick Sutterer, I’m developing software for like 22-25 years and I work like a consultant of my open source project for different companies. Sometimes I give presentations at conferences.

Is it your first time in Russia, Moscow, RailsClub?

It is. Everything for a first time. I’m blown away!

How do you like it?

Great! It’s amazing! Since I arrived, people care about me, people take me out, people show me the city, people give me history lessons. It’s amazing. Great food. We go to places and have a drink. I go to hotel, sleep, and everything starts again. That’s amazing! I’m really enjoying it.

Can you tell us about your report in few keynotes?

My talk was about the lack of innovation in Ruby language and about innovations that is happening in frameworks, that use Ruby. I’m just showing what we have. I try to inspire people and Ruby core team to pick some ideas from other technologies and make Ruby even better.

Your talk is called “Ruby is dead”. If Ruby is dead, what’s alive?

Ruby is dead. Long live Ruby. I’m trying to be provocative with my talk. I’m still coding Ruby everyday, I’m still traveling to all conference because I still believe that Ruby is an amazing programming language. There’s languages, showing up recently. Elixir or Golang for example. They have completely different way. They deal with problems and they are way more innovative. But they are brand new. I, actually, don’t think that Ruby is dead.

What you don’t like in Ruby the most?

I hate that we keep thinking in really old way. We reject innovation. It is especially due to frameworks like Rails. I would love to the more development of Rails, with all it’s huge audience. Ruby is lacking a lot of features that a lot of other languages have, like pattern matching and method overloading. The problem is that sometimes I feel that we are behind the innovations that happen to other languages. Specifically features, that make other languages amazing. We don’t have them, and it’s very sad.

What is your way to improve Ruby?

Every time is meet Matz at conference, I tell him for few hours what should be done to improve Ruby. Without any providing any help. It’s all about innovations. I try to innovate in my own framework, Trailblazer. So we can put the way we write business code to new level. I try to inspire people with my library code they use new concepts in Ruby that never been there before. I think that helping them to write the applications.

How do you see the world of programming in 10 and 50 years? And will Ruby and Rails have place in this future?

I don’t think Rails will have place. I really love Rails community and people in Rails Core. But I don’t think that Rails will be a thing in 10 years. But I think Ruby will still be around. It all depends on what is going to happen with Ruby 3.0. When it will be released and what features will it bring. I think Ruby will still be there. But I can’t tell you what will happen in 50 years. Because in 50 years there won’t be a need to program anymore. We will probably just write diagrams on the air.

In your opinion, what technologies are the most hypest today?

Craft beer and coffee, haha! Everything that hipsters do! Now everything is switching from OOP to FP. We are trying to avoid to have unwanted side effects in order to not let users to screw up internal state. Functional programming makes it impossible to users to do stuff in wrong order, for example. Like problems that we have in Ruby. I see a lot of development in functional languages because they are also way easy to paralyze and they have a lot of advanced features.

What advice can you give to average programmer to stand out the crowd?

Important thing in IT is that you always need to play with new tools. Even if you are not a super programmer, you have to look at the community and check what’s going on. It is really important to keep moving. Otherwise, I see that my current job at the police is really slow. They using very outdated technologies. A lot of people are affected. It is non productive. It’s good because a lot of people are keeping their jobs . But it is important to adopt new technologies. I’m not saying be a coding hipster and change your framework everyday. But a lot of new things in last 10 years make sense. People should use it and not just sit there and enjoy excellent job. They can get fired tomorrow.

What makes you excited about your job?

That’s beautiful question. I think that idea of open source is that you expose code that you think is helpful and people will tell you that it really is. This is what keeps me programming. When I write something and I see that a lot of people use it and they say like “It is so much better that I used before!” It’s great! This is making my day. It’s all about what comes back. I also program my own stuff and sometimes I think: “Yes!” But mostly I like when something what I do is helpful to other people.

Do you have any plans on writing a book?

I have already wrote one book. Two years ago, it took like 16 months. I was writing and inventing at the same time. That was a huge mistake! I was keeping updating my book with changes in my library code. It was massive. I plan to write more books, because it was fun. It has to be with the right timing. I’m not gonna write a book about, for example, a new version of my framework now because it’s still changing. I’m not gonna make this mistake again. It’s so much work! Unbelievable.

Do you have any nightmares, related to you job?

I used to have those kind of dreams few years ago. Sometimes I still have them.You always imagine software as something visual. Brain just does that. My dreams about those thing and passing the objects. And it’s always the wrong object! It’s the only nightmare that I have. I was able to have good work\life balance. So I have very rare the bad sleep. Even if I don’t look like it.