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GoGaRuCo 2013: The Community Has Grown up

Many voices were heard at the 2013 Golden Gate Ruby Conference proclaiming it to be the best ever. Time will tell, but it was an outstanding conference, both technical and social. Ruby has come of age; Rails saw its 4.0 release this year. What can a conference add when many of the tricks have been found, tools have been built, adventures have been told? Well, GoGoRuCo 2013 had some good answers in store.

Engaging People Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Unlike the 1.6 billion people who have seen “Gangnam Style” on YouTube, a lot fewer have seen the documentary Half the Sky. Even fewer know about the themes the documentary explores: sociocultural barriers and institutional misogyny in the developing world, where girls may be sold into brothels, boys get an education but girls often don’t, and domestic violence is prevalent.

Using GitHub Issues as a Data Source

On a recent MVP, we needed a way for a client to maintain some simple information about several sponsors, like a name, an image, and a url. The client didn’t want to commit to a backend server this early in the game, so we needed a cheap but effective solution to store this data.

Security Is Hard, but We Can't Go Shopping

Security is a hard topic. It’s an especially hard topic in the Ruby community, where the security situation has historically been so great that hardly anyone has had to care about it. You may not know this, depending on how long you’ve been a rubyist, but Ruby security issues usually only come up once or maybe twice per year. They’re usually relatively benign, as those things go, so everyone updates as soon as it’s convenient, and life goes on.

Open Source the Bio Lab—Make a Difference in Malaria Research

Malaria is a disease that most of us are familiar with because of its devastatingly high death toll. According to the CDC, in 2010 an estimated 216 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 655,000 people died — that’s approximately 1,550 people every day. While many groups are valiantly working on treating malaria or searching for a cure, they haven’t been consistently working together, which means many lab experiments are redundant.