Read my latest article: 8 things I look for in a Ruby on Rails app (posted Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:59:00 GMT)

Jr. Ruby on Rails developers

Posted by Thu, 27 Feb 2014 18:56:00 GMT

Over on the Planet Argon blog, you can read an enlightening interview with two of our Jr. Ruby on Rails developers. Both of them made a career change in their 30s and went through a coding academy here in Portland, Oregon.

Check it out…

Jim Weirich -- Farewell, Friend.

Posted by Fri, 21 Feb 2014 05:30:00 GMT

It’s been an odd day. The sort of day where you really don’t know what to say. The only thing you can manage to get out is, “Sigh. I’m going to miss him.”

Jim Weirich was building interesting stuff with Ruby several years before I was introduced to it. Tools that most of us have taken for granted. Tools that were just there.

Before Jim came along… they didn’t exist.

Back in the early Ruby on Rails explosion era (circa 2004-2006), it was much easier to get to know the great Rubyists. I remember finally getting a chance to meet Jim (and _why) at FOSCON here in Portland, which still goes down as one of the best “conferences” I have ever attended.

(I think we all knew something special was happening.)

Jim spoke at a ton of conferences. At any conference that I seemed to get invited to speak at… Jim seemed to always be on the speaker list too. We’d end up meeting up on the conference circuit a several times over the coming years. It was always a delight to catchup.

Photo by Obie from Rails Underground 2009

I believe the last one was in 2009 at Rails Underground in London. I remember walking in one of the rooms and spotting Jim. There he was… waiting patiently for his time slot… sitting by the wall in another horribly uncomfortable conference chair… hacking away on his laptop as if he was on a mission to save the human race. In reality, he was probably toying around with some new idea.

As I walked towards him… my red hair must have caught the corner of his eyes… because he looked up and with the warmest of smiles and kindest of voices said, “Robby!”

It’s people like Jim that helped me feel like I had something valuable to contribute to the community. The mere fact that he knew who I was, that he commented on my silly blog posts, referred potential customers to me, showed up for and complimented me on my talks, asked ME for advice on IRC, wished me a happy birthday on Facebook, responded to my lazy tweets… made me feel like I was welcome to (and part of) the party.

A party that started a number of years before I showed up.

Let us raise our glasses high and thank our host for the pleasure of being amidst his most generous company.

Thank you, Jim, for helping me learn more about myself. I only wish I had gotten to know you more.

Adieu l’ami.

See you at LessConf and RailsConf?

Posted by Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:15:00 GMT

Hey all,

It’s been a while (most of my blogging is over on the Planet Argon blog)... but I’m hoping to have some technical-related posts coming in the near future.

If you’ll be at LessConf in Florida this week, I’ll be there. Do I owe you a drink?

Also, if you’re coming to visit Portland for RailsConf 2013 and will arrive the weekend before, you should join us on a hike. If you can’t make it, be sure to say hello at the conference!

Hope all is well!

Cheers, Robby

2012 Rails Hosting Survey results

Posted by Fri, 14 Sep 2012 22:51:00 GMT

A few months ago we invited the Ruby on Rails community to participate in our hosting survey. We’ve since published the results and created an infographic.

To learn more, check out the Rails Hosting site.

2012 Rails Hosting Survey results

Posted by Fri, 14 Sep 2012 22:51:00 GMT

A few months ago we invited the Ruby on Rails community to participate in our hosting survey. We’ve since published the results and created an infographic.

To learn more, check out the Rails Hosting site.

Setting Akamai Edge-Control headers with Ruby on Rails

Posted by Tue, 19 Jun 2012 05:54:00 GMT

Just a short and sweet little tip.

Several months ago we moved one of our clients over to Akamai’s Content Delivery Network (CDN). Ww were previously using a combination of Amazon S3 and CloudFront with some benefits, but we were finding several key areas of the world were not s covered by Amazon (yet) for asset delivery. Along with that, we really wanted to take advantage of the CDN for more of our HTML content with a lot of complex rules that related to geo-targeting and regionalization of content.

I’ll try to cover those topics in another post, but wanted to share a few tidbits of code that we are using to manage Akamai’s Edge-control caches from within our Rails application.

With Akamai, we’re able to tell their Edge servers whether it should hold on to the response so it can try to avoid an extra request to the origin (aka our Rails application). From Rails, we just added a few helper methods to our controllers so that we can litter our application with various expiration times.

  # Sets the headers for Akamai
  # acceptable formats include:
  #   1m, 10m, 90m, 2h, 5d
  def set_cache_control_for(maxage="20m")
    headers['Edge-control'] = "!no-store, max-age=#{maxage}"
  end

This allows us to do things like:

  class ProductsController < ApplicationController
    def show
      set_cache_control_for('4h')
      @product = Product.find(params[:id])
    end
  end

Then when Akamai gets a request for http://domain.com/products/20-foo-bar, it’ll try to keep a cached copy around for four hours before it hits our server again.

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