Erik Michaels-Ober: I expect great performance improvements in Ruby

Erik Michaels-Ober named his perfect gem
07 June

Erik Michaels-Ober

Erik Michaels-Ober

RailsClub

Biggest Russian Ruby on Rails event

Ruby Hero 2014, works at SoundCloud, took part in a lot of Open Source projects, such as RailsAdmin, Thor and Twitter gem. Speaker at RailsClub 2014.

At the conference he spoked about the ways to write Ruby code fast.

We managed to ask Erik few questions after the speech.

How and when have you became a coder? 

I started programming in BASIC when I was about 10 years old. My first program just made the computer «beep». I’ve been hooked since then.

What are you working on right now? 

I am currently responsible for SoundCloud’s public API as well as our Ruby, Python, and JavaScript SDKs. I also work on a variety of open-source Ruby projects, including RailsAdmin, Thor, and the Twitter gem.

What's the best part of your job? 

The best part of my job is getting to travel around the world. I’m very excited to be visiting Moscow for the first time.

What's your main achievements at the moment?

The greatest honor of my career was receiving a Ruby Hero Award at RailsConf earlier this year. It was very meaningful to me because the winner is chosen by the other Ruby Heroes, who are all heroes of mine.

On your opinion, how will Ruby and Ruby on Rails develop in the future? 

I’m looking forward to more performance improvements in Ruby, both MRI and alternative interpreters such as JRuby. I hope future versions of Ruby will include better concurrency primitives, like Actors and Futures, and an ahead-of-time compiler, for creating easy-to-distribute binaries and better.

What's the main problem which Ruby society faces at the moment?

I believe removing the global interpreter lock is the biggest challenge for the Ruby community. JRuby and Rubinius have already solved this problem, but there is still a lot of existing Ruby code that is not threadsafe.

What's your favorite gem? 

I am quite proud of the code in the Twitter gem. The library has 7,000 lines of tests for about 2,500 lines of code with 100% c0 code coverage and 3.9 Code Climate score. No code is perfect but this is the closest I have come.

Do you read any Ruby\Rails blog? 

I highly recommend subscribing to the Ruby Weekly and This Week in Rails newsletters. I also read the blogs of James Edward Gray II, Aman Gupta, Sam Saffron, as well as Avdi Grimm’s Ruby Tapas screencasts.

What do you like to do when not coding? 

Coding is one of my biggest hobbies. When I’m not coding, I like to be outside: walking, hiking, riding my bike, playing sports. Pretty much anything that involves movement and sunlight

RailsClub conference on which we managed to communicate with Erik will take place this year in Moscow 27th 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.