RailsConf 2024
5 min read

RailsConf 2024

RailsConf 2024

Last week I went to my first RailsConf in forever (2010). That's a decade and a half (almost)!

I saw old friends, met more recent online-only friends (in person) and made new friends!


Tuesday morning I drove to Detroit.

3 hours is a perfect drive. No need for bathroom stops or fuel and plenty of time to listen to multiple episodes of My First Million.

By the time I arrived at high noon, I was worked into a frenzy and ready to CONFERENCE (amirite).

I met up with Garrett for the first time in probably 15 years.

not even happy to see each other

We strolled to the conference center (like to OG's) and immediately ran into Dan Morrison, who I also haven't seen in forever. We had matching whoops (awww cute).

whooping it up!

The first talk I went to was Chris Oliver's "Crafting Rails Plugins".

craft craft craft those plugins

I learned that rails plugin new is a thing. I've always used copy/paste from other projects to get starting engine stuff.

Continuing on the GoRails theme, I went to Colin Gilbert's "From Cryptic Error Messages To Rails Contributor" next. He hid golden tickets under two seats. Seeing a hundred rubyists all get on their knees and check their seat was hilarious.

I was also inspired to think more about the error messages I see and how I could make them more friendly to those new to Rails.

Next up was Garrett Dimon's "Save Time with Custom Rails Generators". Do yourself a favor and stop reading this long enough to go buy his book on generators.

glad Garrett got off on the right foot this day

Last talk of the day was Irinia Nazarova. Loved her energy and this slide.

build and earn money on it

Tuesday night I had an amazing Indian food truck meal with Ben Curtis, Josh Wood and Mike Perham.

loaded fries with crispy butter chicken

I discovered that Mike is a watch guy, so we alienated Ben and Josh for 20 minutes waxing about chamfering and the most comfortable watch bands.


Wednesday was the hallway track for me. I'm terrible at hacking on code while at a conference but I'm not bad at chatting the day away. So that's what I did.

Ben Curtis and Josh Wood from Honey Badger

Wednesday night I went on a Detroit history tour of Hamtramck courtesy of the fine gentlemen at HoneyBadger.io. It was a blast. Nice to hang with a smaller crew and get outside after 24 hours inside at the hotel and conference center.


Thursday was more of the same. I went to Cody Norman's "Attraction Mailbox - Why I love Action Mailbox", which ended up being my favorite talk.

First, I didn't realize that ActionMailbox works with the webhooks of many common email providers to make it easier to receive email.

Second, he started his truck via email + HTTParty, which led to a near standing ovation from us nerds.

HTTPartying with remote start

I also enjoyed Chris Winslett's "Using Postgres + OpenAI to power your AI Recommendation Engine". pgvector + openai embeddings are a really easy way to tinker with lower level AI stuff.

Vectors! Postgres! Recipes!

Last, but not least, was Aaron "pun king" Patterson's keynote. I loved it because, well, I love puns. The explanation of object shapes and other bits were super interesting as well.

Random puns!

My takeaway was keep writing stuff the way you do and Shopify will make it faster for you. 🤣

But seriously, my actual take away was that the same principles of fewer & faster apply, regardless of what level you work on in the stack.

Photo Dump!


RailsConf was amazing. I'm extremely glad I went and already look forward to next years (the last one). For those that I didn't get to chat with, maybe I'll see you at Rails World in Toronto. 😎🐬

P.S. - for the curious, hear are my summaries from long ago (sorry for the broken pics, RIP Flickr)...

  • 2007 - I discovered Jesse Newland is my twin.
  • 2008 - The profitable programmer.
  • 2009 - Pre conf post.
  • 2010 - Don't repeat yourself, repeat others.

P.P.S. - I made a new website about how exciting rails is.

P.P.P.S. - We recapped this and more on Founder Quest for the audio inclined.

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