Ruby, Lakeside

How many Ruby conferences are held on the shore of beautiful Lake Champlain? Just one.

If you weren't at Burlington Ruby Conference last weekend you missed one of the most intimate and interesting conferences I've had the pleasure of attending. It was a nice break from the usual roundup of Ruby and Rails conferences, set in a small but gorgeous venue on one of New England's most beautiful lakes.

Along with a change in scenery Burlington Ruby Conference also offered a welcome change in their lineup of presenters. Unlike many larger conferences that rotate the usual round of suspects, BURUCO featured thoughtful presentations from a fresh crew of experts.

I especially enjoyed Scott Tadman's talk on asynchronous applications and Alex Maccaw's related talk on asynchronous user interfaces – something I'm a fan of designing for and building. Alex presented a number of useful paradigms for keeping the user interface responsive while user input is processed asynchronously. I really think that most web developers have something to learn from his presentation. See the slides here.

In between great talks we enjoyed delicious food, including a memorable beach-side BBQ as the sun set against the calm waters of Lake Champlain. Since the conference was small everyone had easy access to talk to speakers in either a technical or social setting. There were plenty of opportunities to share information among peers.

Intridea sponsored this event, but I was also there as a presenter, and I have to thank the organizers of BURUCO for going above and beyond for their presenters. They were in touch with the speakers throughout the entire process and went to great lengths to make sure we were comfortable and prepared. This was their first conference, and they knocked it out of the park.

I delivered the last presentation of the event and gave tips on building location based applications. Despite presenting on a Sunday morning no one had cleared out yet and my talk was fully attended. The audience had a lot of great questions and feedback for me.

Overall this was a well organized conference, set in a beautiful spot, fueled by bright presenters and attended by intelligent and interesting developers. I'm looking forward to heading back to Burlington next year for another round of BURUCO.

The beautiful photo of the harbor in Burlington, Vermont shown in this article is being used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. The original photo is available here