Topic: What Would You Like to See in a Rails Presentation

I've recently been asked to give a "poster session" about Ruby on Rails for the 2006 HighEdWebDev conference this fall. For those of you who don't know, a poster session is similar to an expo (grown-up version of a science fair smile), so I will be set up at a table, with a laptop & some matte board that will serve as my stage.

The audience is a wide-range of web professionals who work within higher education institutions. I originally submitted my proposal as a one-hour presentation with the title "Before You Ride The Rails" with the intent being a introduction, so that will be the primary focus.

So my questions for you is what would you like to see in a demonstration of this format? I'll be able to have some one-on-one conversations, give quick demonstrations and answer questions. The time frame is about an hour in length.

Some of my basic thoughts:
* Express the concept of Agile Development
* Discuss what makes Rails stand out (MVC, ActiveRecord, etc...)
* Demonstrate how quickly a Rails app can be developed

Please, any suggestion is a good one so do not hesitate to respond.

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Re: What Would You Like to See in a Rails Presentation

I think it would be good to put an emphasis on the philosophy of rails.  When you start talking about tech with non-railers, they say, "but this framework can do that too".  But rails isn't just about tech, it's about how to make your framework keep you in check.

I also think that you should emphasize that Rails is not a technical revolution.  It's based on sound paradigms like MVC and ORM.

But definately wow them with some badass rails kung-fu.

Re: What Would You Like to See in a Rails Presentation

Getting past the "wow, crud is so easy to do" stage.. cause it's like that. It's like super yummy candy untill you hit the gross limabean core.

what helps a beginner 'past' the first stage of tutorials. Cause most tutorials on the web and in books are the same thing,, "look how easy it is to do crud"

Re: What Would You Like to See in a Rails Presentation

thabenksta is right. I think the philosophy is on of the most important parts. Another thing would be "Convention over configuration". But this would be more relevant if your audience has some experience with other web dev frameworks.

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Re: What Would You Like to See in a Rails Presentation

For me the whole concept of keeping your code DRY was an important feature. Rails hints at a much cleaner,less bloated way of writing code and I'm sure academics will find that appealing. You may also want to emphasize Ruby's natural language syntax like:

3.times { puts "hello" }

Explain how ruby makes programming seem natural and the whole happiness craze.

Re: What Would You Like to See in a Rails Presentation

Three things l would desparately like to see in a tutorial or presentation.

1. Defining login security within a rails app, user, group, settings etc.

2. How to integrate into an actual site.

3. How to get the concept of themes happening, i.e a site visitor can use a drop down box to select look and feel. Not sure if l have explained that correctly.

4. And for the heck of it, integrating a couple of apps into a web site. Have this feeling l'm going to muck that up. - Reviews, Box Office, Chat from downunder. Now with added RoR goodness, beginner stuff. - Invision skins, graphics, i-Tab revolution.