Grill.rb and Grill.js: One part food, One part drink and whole lot of programming

Suppose that you want to buy a grill to have a small party with a couple of friends, and then you realize that you’ve placed the wrong order since a monster sized grill arrives at your door. You probably want to send it back, trying to explain that the size was missing from the item’s description, or explain that you just made a mistake with this order. But Ruby on Rails evangelist, Marcin Wierzbicki, had another idea: why not call some developers and have them gather around this giant grill, cooking, drinking and talking about their favorite topic, programming? 


Then, sometimes, things become bigger…

This small barbecue meeting has since grown and evolved into what is now Grill.rb and Grill.js: Poland's first outdoor conferences about Ruby on Rails and Javascript. Several speakers, plenty of food, nice after party and a cosy atmosphere. The conferences’ setting was the beautiful polish city of Wrocław, on the river Oder. The first event, about Ruby on Rails, started indoors at 13:00 on July 1st, since the weather forecasts were pretty pessimistic about an open-air conference. Ultimately, the weather was totally fine and the grill was great, with plenty of food; not only meat but a fine selection of vegetables and cheese available as well: that was the most awaited moment of the conference, of course. The second conference, about Javascript, was held the following weekend, on July 7th, and started a bit later; but it included two barbecues!

Grill.rb

The first day of Grill.rb had many interesting talks, starting with the hidden cost of building and maintaining a microservices architecture. After the barbecue it was time for Ruby security and the consequences of having a loose one. Then came the Open Space, a moment devoted to spontaneous, loosely moderated discussion groups, hosted by Marcin Wierzbicki, the main organizer of Grill.rb. The last two talks were a passionate introduction to Rom-rb 4.0 and an interesting clarification about the advantages of Continuous Delivery. Sunday began with a presentation of the upcoming Ruby 3.0 and afterwards the focus turned to Javascript and its relationship with Ruby. The second to last talk was about the dark kind of magic you may end up with after monkey patching Ruby on Rails, while the last one was by David Császár, from Infopark, who gave an overview of his personal experience with coding style at Infopark, and how his teams went more productive using Rubocop.


Grill.js

The themes discussed were pretty hot: Redux and how to handle its side effects and its integration with Typescript, the way to achieve native experience with progressive web apps and, of course, React. There was a lot of interest around React and Fiber, Continuous Integration Workflow and performance improvement were the topics discussed. Infopark was, once again, on site with one of our JS experts, Tomasz Przedmojski, who held a humorous and light-hearted take on certain anti-patterns and bad practices in JS projects.

It’s partytime!

After each event was the after party at the Mleczarnia pub, a basement bar offering local craft beer and the (highly appreciated) traditional polish vodka (Żubrówka Black Czarna). Plenty of space had been reserved for the conference attendees – basically everybody was there. There was an after-after party later, but only the bravest went there.

The conferences were a clear success and, as Dave reported: “if this had been outdoors completely, it certainly would have been the greatest Ruby conference of all times”. As mentioned before, it all started as a small meeting between friends with a passion in common: programming. Sometimes great things grow from humble beginnings, and Grill.rb & Grill.js are perfect examples of this. Marcin's passion has helped launch one of the EU’s best Ruby and Javascript events and we look forward to taking part in next year’s event.

Just a little souvenir