RailsConf 2014 - Day 3

Part 3 of 4


Baratunde Thurston (Twitter, Company Twitter)


Another fantastic keynote to watch again.

Wrote "How To Be Black". - "If you don't buy this book, you're a racist."

Front-End: Fun, Not Frustration

Roy Tomeij

Some useful tips, but mostly basic things I already knew.

Elements of Design: A Developer's Primer

Jenn Scheer (Twitter)

Seven Priciples

  • hierarchy
    • blur vision to emphasize hierarchy
  • contrast
    • use line shape color texture pattern
    • contrasting typography
    • explore non-defaults
    • using something like bootstrap is okay, just don't look like you did (so much)
  • repitition
    • use a grid
  • proximity
    • using space to associate and distance elements
    • keep groups no bigger than three to five items
  • flow
    • across multiple pages
    • on a single page
    • stick to a single page to follow
  • typography
    • don't use too many font faces
    • long lines of text are difficult to read
    • lines should be 35-65 characters long
    • ideal font-size:line-height ratio: 1:1.5
  • color
    • consider a bold color that pops to make a part of your branding

Sketchnoting: Creative Notes For Technical Content

Jessica Eldredge (Twitter)

see photo for more resources

Sketchnoting is visual notetaking. Notes are handdrawn and incorporate graphical elements and illustrations alongside actual notes.


analog is inspiring
focus - especially if done on paper
improves memory - dual inputs (audio and visual)


  • heavy plain paper (moleskin et cetera)
  • multiple pens for variety


  • about listening, not drawing
    • save emotional reactions for later
  • follow the speaker, not the slides
  • listen for key points
    • don't worry about capturing everything
  • be astonished - the notes are primarily for the notetaker
  • capture what stands out to you
  • create a visual language
    • speech bubbles
    • large question marks
  • share your notes - blog, twitter
    • attribute the speaker - speakers will appriciate


  • get comfortable
    • aile is good for elbows, not good for no interuptions
  • find good lighting
  • get in early to capture speaker and talk info
  • slow down
  • play with layouts - paper is free-form
  • decorate last
  • embrace mistakes
  • practice with pre-recorded media

Effectively Testing Services

Neal Kemp (Twitter)


Testing HTTP network connection to endpoints not in the current repository

what is different about services

  • over a network
  • don't own the code

Running tests in "airplane mode"

  • don't test against test-only API endpoints
    • recording responses for later is okay though
  • built-in stubbing
    • typhoeus
    • faraday
    • webmock (just use this one)
    • another approach to mocking network requests is with sham_rack which allows inline Sinatra blocks to respond to external requests
    • puffing-billy


  • Chrome dev tools
  • Postman - Chrome plugin
  • HTTPie - cli, easier than curl
  • Charles - stand-alone
    • allows hooking into to phone's requests

Software Development Lessons From The Apollo Program

Julian Simioni (Twitter)

Apollo computer

  • 2Kb memory
  • never hit an unknown bug
  • never failed


  • handle failure gracefully
  • don't fail big when you don't have to
  • unit test prove your code
  • integration tests prove your communication
  • test off-nominal cases