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Arrrrcamp 2013

Posted in by Jelmer Snoeck on 24 October 2013

At the start of October, four of us set sail to lower grounds. Adam, Paul, Phil and I went ahead to attend (and for Adam and Phil to talk) Arrrrcamp, a 2 day pirate conference in Ghent, Belgium.


Here are some highlights from the event...

As Arrrrcamp stands for Ruby, Rails, Radiant and Rum, there was no doubt it was going to be an educating and fun week. And trust me, the crew didn't fail to deliver.

The variety of talks went from "How to survive family gatherings and birthday parties" to "Benchmarking with Ruby". Adam talked about "How to win designers and influence developers" and Phil about our 4D2L project, "How to create the perfect prototype".

You gotta try this

Avdi Grimm kicked the conference off, talking about metaprogramming and his toolkit for building Null Objects, naught.

He also introduced his side project,, which connects people from around the world to start pair programming with each other.

How to create the perfect prototype

Right before lunch, it was time for our own Phil Nash to take the stage. He talked about how we create prototypes at Mint Digital, using our 4D2L system.

Phil took us through the various problems that prototypes can face: slippage, lack of focus, and bloat. He then explained how Rails can help with these and how we can help ourselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

At the end of the first day, it was time for Ben Orenstein to answer some frequently asked questions. Questions he'd been asked repeatedly, and the answer he provides with them.

From "how to switch to Vim?" to "am I underpaid?", Ben covered it all with a glance of humour.

How to win designers and influence developers

First up on Friday morning was Adam explaining how you can build a better team. It all starts with hacking yourself.

Ask people questions, people will be glad to give you the answers. We also tend to forget to compliment people when they've done a good job, Adam reminded us that we shouldn't forget this.

Rails: still the best framework for bootstrapping

Trying to start a new project? Rails is the best framework for this, according to Anthony Eden. He took us through why he thinks Rails is still the best framework to bootstrap your project with.

As a counterpart, he also took us through some other solutions, Go and Erlang, which are in some cases better than Rails.

How to survive family gatherings and birthday parties

As a developer we've all heard the question "What exactly is it you do for a living?" several times. Each time, we're not quite sure how to answer it.

Floor Drees, a community manager for over five years, gave us some tips on how to turn our day to day jargon into words that non-developers - like your grandma - can understand.

Closing notes

Apart from the interesting sessions, Arrrrcamp was a great place to meet new people - and also meet old friends. The socializing events were great and we all had a blast!

I'd like to thank the Arrrrcamp crew, especially Joren and Hannes, for a great week. We'll see you next year!

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