Article | 2017 Australian Ruby Conference

2017 Australian Ruby Conference

Abletech developers spent a few days in Melbourne for the annual Ruby Conference. There were some good speakers and we enjoyed the chance to hang out with other Rubyists.

Over 500 people attended this year’s RubyConfAU. Fourteen of them were from Abletech.


Pat talked about our expectations with open source code. He discussed how we could acknowledge the humans behind it by allocating resources to give back. Abletechers described Pat’s talk as “wonderfully earnest, pragmatic & noble”.

Katie spoke about the history and different cultural interpretations of emoji. She discussed tools that help both client-side and server-side rendering of emoji, the Unicode standard, and emoji accessibility in web applications ✨

Hack Day at Envato

A number of Abletechers went to Envato and played around with a few new things including Elixir, Docker/Elixir and Kubernetes.


A current hot topic of conversation in the Ruby community is Elixir. It’s a language that builds upon the matured Erlang VM so there’s a wealth of tooling and libraries.

Andrew Pett likes it, “it’s highly concurrent, it’s fast and uses a functional approach”.

Ross thinks Elixir has promise but is still a bit of a corner case. “It’ll beat the pants off Rails for speed but it would seldom be worth giving up all the other advantages of Rails for it.” Ross notes the advantages of Rails include security, conventions, maturity, community and gem landscape. “If the goal of a good stack is to rapidly and efficiently meet the changing technology needs of a business, I can’t go past Rails.”

Elixir is a good choice to enhance parts of an application that require speed or concurrency. Watch this space!


There was kayaking up the Yarra River, bowling, rock-climbing, shopping trips to IKEA and the Queen Victoria Market. The coffee was strong, gelato cold and the pizzas very long.

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