RailsClub'Moscow 2013. Interview with Eric Hodel

The 12th RailsClub'Moscow 2013 Ruby Developer Conference is just around the corner. A little more than two weeks are left before the conference. By the way, tickets for 6500 are already running out. We advise you not to postpone the purchase of tickets .

In anticipation of RailsClub, we never get tired of telling you about foreign guests. Read, for example, an interview with Ernie Miller or what Jeremy Evans does in the church during his free time .

Today we’ll take a closer look at Eric Hodl, AT&T developer and winner of the 2012 Ruby Hero Award.
Interviews are published with original answers in English and our free translation.


When and why did you start programming?

I started programming even before the computer appeared at our place. I studied Logo a bit in summer school, when my mother took me to work on weekends, and I retyped basic programs from the last pages of magazines. When a computer appeared at my place, I was finally able to figure out how the information is read from the joystick, making the car move on the screen. Prior to college, this was the peak of my programming abilities.

I started programming before I had a computer at home. I learned some Logo at summer school and my mom would take me to work on some weekends and I would type basic programs out of the back of magazines. When I got a computer at home I eventually managed to figure out how to read from the joystick to move a car around the screen, which was the highlight of my programming abilities before going to college.

What are you working on now?

AT&T pays me for working on open source. Now I am preparing for the release of RubyGems 2.1 (which will happen before the conference) and the new release of RDoc with many minor changes and an updated look.

My AT&T team is working on a cloud product, so lately I've been working with DRb. This spring, I wrote drbdump to track DRb traffic. I also played around with a distributed computing library built on top of DRb, and used it to check regressions in RDoc.

I'm paid to work on open source by AT&T. Currently I'm preparing for the RubyGems 2.1 release (which will be out before the conference) and a new release of RDoc with many minor improvements and a new look.

My group at AT&T is building a cloud product so I have been working with DRb lately. This spring I wrote drbdump which lets you watch DRb traffic. I've also been playing with a distributed computing library built atop DRb and have used it to check for regressions in RDoc.

What is the best and what is the worst part of your work?

Since I work remotely, every few months I need to undergo corporate trainings on topics that do not apply to me, for example, on asbestos or fire safety. Fortunately, this is not such a big inconvenience.

The best thing is that I can choose open source projects that I want to work on, while gaining access to cloud hardware without payment restrictions.

Since I work remotely I have to do corporate training every few months for things that don't apply to me, like asbestos training or office fire safety. Fortunately this is only a minor annoyance.

The best part is that I get to pick which open source projects I want to work on, but also have access to cloud hardware without any constraints on payment.

What do you consider to be your main achievement in life / career at the moment?

I try to keep as few bugs in my programs as possible.

I think recent releases of RubyGems 2.x have responded to this challenge. All detected bugs were minor and resolved easily and without any problems. But from the inside, rubygems underwent dramatic changes, which could easily lead to a much larger number of bugs.

I strive to have as few bugs in software I release as possible.

I think the recent releases of RubyGems 2.x have met this goal. The bugs found were all minor and easily fixed with few problems. At the same time, the internals of rubygems underwent some large changes which can easily lead to more bugs.

What is the purpose of your career and professional development?

I want to achieve a state where I can support Ruby through open source and be open to everything new.

I want to be in a place that I can support Ruby through open source and to have the freedom to explore new ideas and learn how to do new things.

What helps a programmer grow professionally?

I always want to work on what I have not tried to do before. Most recently, I experimented with OpenGL, basic game mechanics, and packet capture (which eventually led to drbdump).

I always want to be working on something I've never tried before. Most recently I've experimented with OpenGL and basic game mechanics and packet capture (leading to drbdump).

What book would you recommend any programmer to read?

"The Pragmatic Programmer" is a great book, thanks to which I made a lot of small discoveries, allowing you to create high-quality software again and again.

The Pragmatic Programmer is an excellent book that helped me figure out many of the little things that help create high-quality software again and again.

What do you like to do when you don't write code?

I play video games (mainly PlayStation), drive home automation and arduino.

I play video games (PlayStation, mostly), tinker with home automation and arduino.

Thanks for the interview and see you in Moscow!

The conference

We invite everyone to the RailsClub'Moscow 2013 conference. Traditionally, we will deliciously feed, give gifts, hold contests and lotteries, play good music :) There will be a lot of interesting and informative.

Registration and payment for participation in the conference . Hurry up! Tickets for 6,500 rubles are already running out, have time to buy.

Our sponsors

The general sponsor

Undev.ru – сильная команда разработчиков на the Ruby , Objective C, C++, C#, JavaScript. They are working on the creation of a unique technological platform for television broadcasting over the Internet. On the basis of this platform, such large projects as Web Elections 2012, SPIEF, broadcasting of the Vancouver and London Olympiads, and several more projects of a similar scale were made.

Gold sponsors

Aviasales.ru is Russia's first and largest Internet search engine for cheap flights. This is a project with more than 2.5 million monthly visitors and additional features for finding hotels, insurance and car rental services. The company employs approximately 60 people. Headquarters and 80% of employees are located on the beautiful sunny island of Phuket in the kingdom of Thailand. The technology stack includes RoR / Redis / RabbitMQ / MySQL.

SocialQuantum is one of the leading developers and publishers of gaming applications for social networks and mobile platforms in Europe. The company's games are available on iOS and Android platforms, as well as on social networks of the Russian Federation and on Facebook.
Social Quantum's applications consistently occupy first place in mobile game ratings, as well as leading positions in Russian social networks.

Silver Sponsors

GitHub is the most effective way to make software together, and this application doesn’t matter for your company, open source library or just a couple of days project. GitHub provides tools for collaborative development on any device, making it easier. Start today - hosting open source projects is free!

Lookatme is a modern online magazine for young people, with an audience of more than 1.7 million users per month. The project was developed on Ruby on Rails, therefore, traditionally, Lookatme helps our conference. Very creative and interesting people work at LAM. Not a big, but very close-knit and friendly team.


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