January 2012

January 17, 2012

6:10 - 7:40 PM


Sean McCullough & Brandon Ruschill - Eliason Media / Goodsmiths



Ruby on Rails is an excellent framework for productive and simple coding. The framework takes care of a lot of minutia that even the best Rails developers can take for granted. Unfortunately, all of this convenience comes at a price: Rails can be very slow for certain kinds of tasks, and for some sites you're only utilizing a portion of the framework.

For those reasons, and a desire to learn more about how web frameworks operate in Ruby, we created some apps using the Sinatra microframework. Sinatra only enables you to render views and execute arbitrary ruby code. But you can approximate something close to a Rails environment by rolling your own ORMs, templating engines, job runners, and asset pipelines. We learned a lot about the concepts behind some of the more opinionated parts of the Rails API, and gained some insights about how to write more efficient Rails applications.

About Sean

Sean got his start programming with Visual Basic and some application-specific scripting languages in the mid 90s, before delving into the world of Linux with Slackware 3.6. Before college he worked for two start ups writing back end web applications in Perl and PHP during the dot com boom. After a hiatus to study Latin and Philosophy at Loyola University in Chicago, he rejoined the development community when his interest was piqued by Ruby on Rails, mobile applications, and modern development strategies.

About Brandon

After discovering a passion for software early on in high school but having no outlet for it, Brandon moved to Des Moines to attend college. While pursuing a degree in software engineering at Iowa State University, he worked as a software engineering intern for Vibro-acoustics Solutions Incorporated helping build a hypersonic aircraft modeling toolsuite for NASA. Now on hiatus after a couple of years of college, he continues to be driven by his passion for software development and learn all that he can within the field.

Note that our meeting time has been moved back 10 minutes to make it easier for those who want to park on the street.

Meeting Location

Foundry Coworking
418 6th Ave, Suite 210
Des Moines, Iowa, 50309

This is in the Liberty Building, directly above the Hyatt Place Hotel.

Wi-fi Internet access is available.

Click here for a map.

Dinner After the Meeting

If you can, please plan to join us for dinner at a local restaurant after the meeting.

Source code, presentation, and live demo

Source code and presentation:

Live demo: