Very excited for this month’s meeting! Your tour guide for the evening is Steve Sanderson ( @stevesanderson) of Food on the Table.

We are going to have talks from developers at Food on the Table about moving from PHP to Rails and also several days in the life of Rails developers practicing lean startup principles. Founder of Food on the Table Manuel Rosso worked for many years at IMVU, the company which provided the ground for Eric Ries to develop/refine the principles of what it means to be a lean startup. Make sure to pick up a copy of Eric’s book The Lean Startup, which just came out, when you have a chance.

Beginner Talk

Baker to Builder: From CakePHP to Rails - Matt Huggins

As a former PHP + CakePHP developer, Matt has made the transition to being a full-time Rails and Ruby jockey. In this talk Matt will look back at his experience developing in PHP using CakePHP and compare it with his recent experience developing in Ruby and Rails. Targeted at developers familiar with other non-Rails frameworks, Matt will talk about some key differences he found, using CakePHP + PHP as a contrast (no CakePHP or PHP experience required). Some key comparisons will include: using blocks in Rails & Ruby vs. the alternatives in CakePHP + PHP how Rails & Ruby offer more dynamic options when handling requests vs. CakePHP & PHP the options available to quickly extend your app, i.e. gems in Rails vs. plugins in CakePHP deployment.

Matt Huggins ( @mhuggins) moved to Austin in 2008 to integrate games at Challenge Games into Facebook. Working with CakePHP, a framework he familiarized himself with while creating an online dating service in his free time, the company grew to the point of being noticed and eventually acquired by Zynga. Unfortunately, burnout from too many 30+ hour days had set in, and he’d left his position prior to benefiting from the acquisition.

At the beginning of 2010, he began contracting for Food on the Table. Unfamiliar with Ruby at his hire date, He’s come to learn a significant amount about the language, and even find himself committing patches to gems on Github from time to time. His time with Food on the Table has not only taught him much about the language he now uses nearly 100% of the time, but it has also provided him with significant insight into the data analysis side of business decision making, specifically regarding the Lean Startup methodology. Now as a full-time employee, he hopes to help Food on the Table grow to represent the vision that brought the company to life.

Advanced Talk

Several Days in the Life of a Lean Startup Development Team - Shad Reynolds and Marcus Irven

Marcus and Shad will talk about several real days in the life of a development team that’s ferociously committed to lean startup. Using an actual recent example, they will describe how the problem was identified, data gathered, analysis made, the hypotheses that were tried, tested - some failing, some working & some making a huge difference. The technical work crossed both Rails and non-Rails stacks, and the examples will show how the technical work is tied closely to the real business of creating happy customers for Food on the Table.

Shad Reynolds ( @shadr) builds mobile apps for Food on the Table. Shad started using Rails in 2005, and professionally in 2007. Today, his time is spent writing Javascript, and showing mockups to actual, real, live users.

Marcus Irven ( @mirven) is a software developer with Food on the Table where amongst other things he spends his days analyzing data to understand how their users interact with their software.

Meeting Location

Buffalo Billiards 201 East 6th Street

Please come out and join us in our new digs!

Hope to see you there!