On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 08:51, Darryl L. Pierce [email protected]
I’m shopping around for ideas about what
would make for interesting topics for future meetings.
That depends in large part on the local community. Do you have some
way to poll them rather than us?
If not, or if you’re getting not much interest from them, I’d suggest
Look at the hot Ruby blogs and see what they’re talking about. Talk
about that, as best you can without directly ripping them off. Be
sure to give credit.
Explore the stuff advanced Rubyists do, like writing gems, Rails
plugins, Rails templates, Rails site engines, etc.
What have you had difficulty with in Ruby (or Rails)? Having
trouble with, say, STI? Have a talk on that.
Talk about what’s new in Ruby, like all the magic added in Rails 3.1.
Talk about the lesser known frameworks, like Sinatra. Yes it’s
still fairly well known, but less so than Rails.
Talk about the other things often used with it, like MongoDB. Maybe
compare and contrast the various SQL database options, the various
NoSQL DB options, and the whole SQL vs. NoSQL concepts?
Talk about the various testing frameworks, why testing is good, and
how to do the various kinds of tests.
One idea I had was to have regular programming challenges , that can
be completed in about 15 minutes. Then the group could split up into
pair programming groups to tackle the challenge. Then we could wrap up
the meetup by discussing and comparing how we each solved the problem.
Be sure to precede it with some brief instruction on pair programming,
and maybe on TDD. Encourage them to pair up such that at least one of
each pair, has experience in them both, and of course encourage them
What I want to avoid is having the meetings be different people (or the
same people) doing presentations. They just feel really dry and turn the
meeting into a sort of Toastmaster for programmers. Since it’s a
programming language I’d rather have it be learning by doing.
So take any of my suggestions above, and turn it into a hands-on
tutorial. Don’t just talk abot MongoDB, walk them through setting up
and using it.