It's really early right now, but it's also the first day of RubyConf, so I thought I'd make a quick post about days -1 and 0, so the deck would be clear to blog about all the cool stuff that happens at the conference.
Day -1 (Wednesday the 18th of October), was the day of matz's presentations at BYU. Things kicked off with a ~1 hour colloquium where matz talked about the background behind Ruby, and why it's a good language to use for many tasks. He made a number of great points that I plan on mining for future posts, but you can watch it here (sorry, it's a wmv file) — there were about 250 people in attendance. Then we moved on to a special URUG meeting (URUG is the umbrella group for the BYU-RUG, the UtahValley.rb, and the SLC.rb) where about 50 people spent an hour in a Question and Answer session with matz. Finally about 15 of us took matz out to Pizza and talked about Ruby and related stuff later into the night.
Day 0 (Thursday the 19th of October), proved to be both fun and full too. Kevin Tew I got to play tour guid for matz in Salt Lake City. Other than my nearly killing matz with a revolving door, things went pretty well. We even snuck in another hour of Ruby discussion during a brown bag Q & A at my day job. Then it was off to the airport to make sure matz got onto his plane to Denver and RubyConf, and meet up with more URUG Rubyists for our flights (URUG ended up sending 12 people to RubyConf this year — I think that number is amazing!)
I'd hoped to finish off a book review for Hal Fulton's wonderful The Ruby Way. Sadly, I hit my seat on the plane and fell asleep before we got off the ground. The review will have to wait, but you don't need to ... It's a great book, you should go buy a copy now. (If you're at RubyConf, I think Hal brought some copies to sell.) You can even read a preview and an accompanying article over at InfoQ.