dira ⋅ geek ⋅ girl

2012 at a glance

dira

Work

In the first 9 months of the year I worked with an american company in the health industry, developing a custom CMS tailored to their specific needs. It was an interesting project from which I learned a lot on a wide range of topics, from Rails specifics to using MongoDB to store a hierarchy of document types, smartly indexing data with ElasticSearch allowing for flexible searches, integrating video processing services, generating PDF's from html pages or customizing the CK Editor.

In October a startup company asked me to integrate my open source S3 proxy in their rich single-page application. I continued working with them, developing new features. I led the team in refactoring the application to apply MVC better, use Backbone effectively and simplify the code.

Conferences

Enjoyed the pink, bubbly Railsberry conference in April. Lots of interesting talks, met old friends and got to know new interesting people. Gave a lightning talk about tzigla, about the fun of personal projects and pixel drawings.

While in Cracow I also took part in hackkrk #4. There was speed dating, where I shared some ElasticSearch wisdom, and learned some cool command-line tricks. On the code retreat I paired with two Java developers; one important lesson was that none of us had a simple project setup ready and that wasted a lot of time.

Euruko started with a hackday, in which I teamed with a group of german developers and tried to fix a mongoid bug. Learned that we heavily depend on the internet for our work; that the bug was fixed a couple of days before; and how to use git bisect to find which commit changed something in the repo (in our case, which commit fixed the bug). Also found out about konacha as an alternative for Guard::Jasmine.

Eurucamp was a mix of interesting workshops, interesting talks - from practical command line tools and scripts to more general best practices. There was plenty of time for socializing and I enjoyed talking to people about ruby, single page apps, and contracting.

While in Berlin I gave a talk on javascript testing at the Berlin Javascript Applications Meetup. It was very well received and a lot of people had questions about the tools and processes they should use to introduce testing to their JS projects. I actually wrote a test-driven Node app that takes a markdown presentation and creates a web page with the contents - which are about testing JS code. Meta is fun!

In September I volunteered as a couch for Railsgirls Cologne. I enjoyed explaining Ruby, Rails, developing web applications and the ecosystem of tools and systems involved, and seeing 'my' girls learning, and tinkering with the application. Memorable takeaway: one attendee said 'done? the app is never done'. There's always room for progress, for improving 'the app', your skills, your life.

Rupy was very dynamic, with short talks on two different tracks. Lots of different subjects, ideas, problems seen from different angles: modularization and decoupling in JS and Rails, AngularJS, command line tips, abstracting production, API design, scaling and availability.