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Migrating Rails with a Massive Codebase | Building on Backbone.js with Rails


7:00 Pizza/Beer/Networking

7:30 Intros/Host/Every Day Carry

7:40 Mini-Talk: Heroku Buildpacks

7:50 Talk 1: Building on Backbone.js with Ruby on Rails (

8:30 Talk 2: Rails Upgrades Across a Massive Codebase (Causes)

9:00 End

Talk 1: Building on Backbone.js with Ruby on Rails

Mark Percival from will talk about the combination of Backbone.js and Ruby on Rails. (Backbone.js gives structure to web applications by providing models with key-value binding and custom events, collections with a rich API of enumerable functions, views with declarative event handling, and connects it all to your existing API over a RESTful JSON interface.) Some of the questions/issues he'll discuss include:

  • How Backbone.js changes the view layer
  • Should we cross the domain?
  • Exceptions are now happening in two places, fantastic
  • Versions aren't just for gems, API's need them too
  • Preloaded data means one less trip
  • How the #$% do I login
  • 'rails s' is just the start (how to get your dev environment up to speed with an integrated framework)

Mark Percival
Director of Engineering at

Mark is former mobile engineer at Twitter and is one of the core team members at is a popular social curation site that lets you discover, capture, and lend your voice to important topics and stories as they evolve through articles, video, images and other online content. In his free time, Mark likes to eat fearlessly, avoid traffic, and work on open source projects.

Talk 2: Rails Upgrades Across a Massive Codebase

Greg Hurrell and Adam Derewecki from Causes will talk in depth on the upgrade process, the pain points involved and the lessons learned that translate into better management of one of the largest sites running bleeding-edge Rails.

Topics include:

  • Migrating a large app to the static asset pipeline
  • How our master/slave adapter broke with every new version of ActiveRecord
  • Problems caching the ActiveRecord relation instead of the result set
  • 3.2.3-stable not being stable, but only breaking observably with the amount of traffic Causes has
  • What upgrading Ruby from 1.8.7 to 1.9.3 did for performance

Greg Hurrell and Adam Derewecki
Software Engineers, Causes
Greg led the charge upgrading Causes from Rails 2.1 ->[masked] ->[masked] -> 3.2.3 and Adam manages the static assets which include the images, stylesheets, and JavaScripts -- each working across a codebase of several hundred thousand lines of code. They have many stories of love and hate (mostly love) when it comes to Rails and will entertain you with some of the better ones.

Mini-Talk: Heroku Buildpacks

Heroku recently GA'd the cedar stack which introduced polyglot support for various languages like Ruby, Python, node.js, or Java. Heroku for X. This month we announced "buildpacks", which has allowed us to build support for a wide variety of programming languages. This talk will cover the what, why, and how on buildpacks.

Terence Lee
Terence works at Heroku maintaining the Ruby stack and a slew of OSS projects such as Bundler and Resque, as well as helping with the RailsGirls movement. When he's not going to an awesome Heroku or Rubyevent, he lives in Austin, TX, the taco capital of America, where everything is three times bigger!


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One Kings Lane is an elegant, curated online sales site that brings its members a spectacular, hand-picked selection of top-brand and designer items at up to 70% off suggested retail prices.

Indigo Solutions
Indigo Solutions is an IT staffing company focused on Open Source Technologies. We are passionate about matching the top technical talent from our community resources with premier employers. Focused on the Bay area market, we specialize in permanent placement services for companies ranging from startups to enterprise.

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