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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:

Browser History Confessional: Searching My Recent Searches

Speaker:

Kevin Murphy

profile_photo - Kevin Murphy.jpeg

How Did you get into Ruby?

My manager bet me that I could write a basic application we were responsible for in Rails, when I had no prior experience with either Ruby or Rails, faster than I could using our existing Java toolchain. I took him up on it, and I’ve never looked back.

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

Learning from the contributions of others.

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

Figuring out how to sustainably contribute in a productive way.

What inspired you to give this talk?

I thought it might be funny to come clean about some real things I had to search for recently to successfully do my job. Then the Program Committee selected my talk, and it got less funny - but hopefully people still enjoy it.

What do you want people to take away from it?

We have a lot of tools at our disposal to do our jobs, and searching for external knowledge is one of them. That doesn’t mean it’s one we should reach for all the time, but when we do, we should do so intentionally. If we understand why we’re using the tool of search, we can better control the strategies we take to get the resolution we want. It doesn’t always work out that way, but that small amount of pre-work can save you some time in the end - or at least put you in the right frame of mind.

What are you most looking forward to at this conference?

Reconnecting with old friends and meeting some in person for the first time.

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

If my plane is on time, I’ll have all day Monday to explore the city, but have no plans. I’ve never been to Portland before - I’ll accept any tips or suggestions!

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