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RailsConf2022 Speaker Spotlight: A Tech outsider’s picks

RailsConf2022 boasts an exciting variety of tracks and talks that highlight the creativity and interdisciplinary nature of the Ruby community. As a tech sector newcomer, I thought it would be fun to curate a series highlighting talks that immediately captured my curiosity, and get to know their respective speakers a little better. Read on for today’s speaker spotlight…

Title of Talk:

Don’t Touch That!

Speaker:

Adam Cuppy

Adam Cuppy Presenter Headshot - Adam Cuppy.jpg

How Did you get into Ruby?

I came from acting/arts and not from computer software engineering. In 2008 I was working in marketing and moonlighting as a PHP software developer. From the outside, I was continually inspired by how many problems good software could solve. However, programming is such an abstract art form. For that reason, it’s hard to get involved. But then, I saw David’s video “Build a blog in 15-minutes with Ruby on Rails,” and I was blown away.

It was impressive that Rails could do what it does, but that the Ruby language was so elegant and intuitive - in Ruby talk, it was “developer-friendly.” I. Was. Hooked.

Since that video, I got more involved. By 2011 I had started my first software development agency. Our company leaned on Ruby and Ruby on Rails because it’s effective and well supported. We didn’t need a degree. We didn’t need a certificate. We just needed a code editor. Within a few years, we built new careers for ourselves and found a path to a new life.

I can thank many content creators for giving so much back to my professional life; however, nothing compares to Ruby and the Rails community. While I don’t appreciate all the strong opinions of David and others in the community, I can’t deny their impact on my life.

What’s your favorite part about working on Open Source Software?

The community, and that it’s free. Money is a huge barrier for most projects. I understand why it’s important at some point, but for new people - going into anything - free matters.

What’s your least favorite part about working on OSS?

Nothing. It’s fantastic.

What inspired you to give this talk?

The students of LEARN academy (code school in San Diego).

What do you want people to take away from it?

Never forget that experimenting, breaking, and putting things back together is how the best discoveries are made. Don’t play it safe while you’re learning. Get messy.

What are you most looking forward to at this conference?

Seeing people. I’m an extrovert. Being around others is a big part of why I attend conferences. I’ve made so many friends in this community, and seeing them sans the virtual background is very exciting after two years.

Do you have any other plans in Portland during conference week that you’re excited about?

I grew up in Portland, so seeing the city I love again. AND EATING THE FOOD! The best town for breakfast foodies.

Thank you, Adam, for sharing a bit of your story. See you at RailsConf2022!