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RailsConf talk: AC/DC, Stravinsky & Rails Adam Keys

The presentation started off with renditions of “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Enter Sandman” on the accordion, which was, obviously, the hottest thing ever

“How the hell am I going to pull off a comparison of AC/DC Stravinsky, and Rails?”

AC/DC

  • Adams Law of AC/DC: You know the title, you know the chorus. This works well with the rails concept of rails routes, whereby knowing the URL tells you a lot about where to the find the code for that page.
  • AC/DC doesn’t add unnecessary notes (no really, there are very few notes), and rails doesn’t make you add unnecessary code.
  • AC/DC is consistent. It’s strait up rock, and it’s always about sex or drugs or rock and roll. All rails primary keys are called id. ’nuff said.
  • Bus Factor (when AC/DC lost their lead singer and got a new frontman, they proceeded to release one of their best albums – Back in Black). Rails also makes it easy to spread the knowledge around a programming team (by limiting complexity).

Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring

  • Takes 110 peope to perform (and we know how big a pain in the ass it can be to coordinate communication with two people).
  • It isn’t necessary or desirable to emulate the complexity of The Rite of Spring when building your rails app.
  • Part of the piece is in 11/4 time, which is a bit nonconformist, as rails has historically been as well.
  • A New York Taxi driver joke goes, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” (Answer: practice) It takes about 1000 years of total training time to get people equipped to perform The Rite of Spring. Yeah, again, don’t build software like that.

All of these things (AC/DC, The Rite of Spring, and Rails) have a tendency to cause problems. The dancing in The Rite of Spring caused chairs to be thrown, and rails leads to flame wars. This is because all of these things incite passion. While Microsoft may say, “we need people who are non-threateningly dressed to build great solutions,” the rails community understands that value comes from the margins. AC/DC has created, Stravinsky created, and rails allows us to create. We’d like to think that, like AC/DC and Stravinsky, our work is not a discipline, but a craft.

Big Balls was then played on the accordion. I take it back, that was the hottest thing ever