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:

Computer science you might (not) want to know


Andy Andrea

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How Did you get into Ruby?

As I was finishing up school, I got lucky enough to land an internship at a great company that primarily used Ruby on their various projects. Since then, it’s been my language of choice.

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

Open source software is one of the greatest melting pots of the digital age: so many people with so many different backgrounds are teaching, learning and creating all at once, and the output ranges from useful to artistic to ridiculous.

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

In my current role where the code I write one day is likely owned by a different entity than the code I write the next, it’s often difficult to figure out what sections of the code–if any–can be open sourced. As a result, it can take a lot more communication and effort to write open source code than it does to stick with the status quo and leave everything in a private repo.

What inspired you to give this talk?

I’m a huge believer that anyone can be a great dev regardless of their background if they’re given the right resources, so it’s always frustrating to see any needless barriers thrown up that make getting a career in software development harder or more discouraging. One such barrier is the sentiment that a formal degree in computer science is needed to be a great developer. I hope to show the flaws in this belief by demonstrating that even some of the topics in computer science that can be handy to know as developers are often not terribly relevant to the day-to-day problems that we encounter.

What do you want people to take away from it?

I hope that everyone will pick up some good tips and tricks to inform their software development strategies and to better understand some of the problems they encounter, but I also hope to show that a formal computer science education is just one valid path among infinitely many that lead to becoming a talented software developer.

What are you most looking forward to at this conference?

I love learning and meeting smart and caring people; in my experience, the Ruby community is great at providing both.

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

I always love to hike and wander around parks and other green spaces, and it looks like Portland has a lot to offer. As a book lover, I’m also definitely making a trip to Powell’s.

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