On Friday 11 March, Gavin and Mike were at Bath Ruby, a one-day single-track conference in the Bath Assembly Rooms. A range of technical and non-technical talks covered topics including open source, Ruby method calls, live music coding, firing people, and the neuroscience of gender inequality.

Xav Riley of Heroku kicked the day off in style by demonstrating Sonic Pi, a Ruby-based live-coding music app available for Mac, PC, Linux, and ships with the Raspberry Pi. He finished with a live-coded performance. Xav’s famous lightning talk from the 2015 conference can be found here.

Coraline Ada Ehmke introduced the audience to graph databases and Neo4j, with a demonstration of using a graph data model to handle natural language processing and aspects of AI.

Courteney Ervin of the New York Public Library discussed the advantages for personal and professional advancement from involvement in open-source projects.

Janet Crawford of Cascadance gave a fascinating talk on the neuroscience of gender inequality, with a particular focus on the unconscious biases that we carry with us even when consciously trying to be inclusive.

Zach Holman, formerly of Github, talked about his experiences of being fired, and how both employees and employers can make the experience of firing, downsizing or redundancy better.

Three sessions of 5-minute lightning talks broke the day up, and spanned topics as diverse as complexity, scientific papers, accessibility at events for the disabled, and remote procedure call libraries.

And to round off, Aaron Patterson, who should need no introduction to any self-respecting Rubyist, gave the most technical of the day’s talks with a deep-dive into polymorphic method call sites, and the performance impact of modifying the call cache.