Exciting times in the Austin on Rails community! We’ve just come off of an another amazing year of the Lone Star Ruby Conference organized by Jim Freeze and a cadre of dedicated staff/volunteers. What a blessing it is for us here in Austin to have that conference continue to thrive.

This month, we are going to have talks from developers at Gowalla and Mass Relevance about common mistakes developers tend to make in Rails and how to run a high traffic Rails site with Varnish.

Your tour guide for the evening is our very own Keith Gaddis (a.k.a. @ karmajunkie).

We’ve also had an explosion in interest in Rails by those who are new to Ruby, new to the Rails framework, and in some cases, even new to programming. With those folks in mind, and while wanting to maintain a strong continuity in our community, we are making a couple of changes with the Austin on Rails meeting. First, we are going to offer both beginner and advanced talks at every meeting. We want there to be “something for everyone” when Rails developers come out to an Austin on Rails.

The community we have built here over the past 5 years is incredible and is a reason alone to come out, but the learning and sharing we do when we come together is obviously important. Most people will probably continue to attend both talks, however, if you aren’t interested in the first talk as much, please do come out, grab a beer, and hack in the back with your peers. Our new space should allow us to accommodate more freedom to spread out.

Wait. New space??? We are incredibly appreciative to Capital Thought/Datran Media/OtherInbox for giving us a home for the past couple of years. It has been great and they have been great supporters. Our meeting size has grown from the previous 45-50 folks to 75+ at meetings in 2011. We need to find a space which allows us to accommodate our increasing size, has an A/V setup, is in the downtown area (preferably near the Omni, our meeting space of the past couple years), and has food and drink options nearby.

The room upstairs at Buffalo Billiards where we host our Austin on Rails SXSW Happy Hour is our new home, as it meets all of these requirements. We look forward to trying out this new setup and as always, we welcome your feedback. Hit us up on Twitter at @ austinonrails.

Beginner Talk

Common Mistakes in Rails - Richard Schneeman

As the size of our Rails applications grow, so does the complexity. We’ll cover some common mistakes encountered in Rails and how to avoid them. Antipatterns are what people use whenever best practices are ignored. Learn how to identify when you’re using them and improve your code.

Richard (a.k.a. @ schneems) works for Gowalla, Richard writes open source projects like Keytar and JohnnyCache. He teaches Rails classes at UT and CabForward. He has exactly 1 line of code in Rails 3.1, ask him about it.

Advanced Talk

Scaling Rails with Varnish - Eric Falcao

Varnish is an HTTP accelerator that you can deploy to take pressure off your Rails applications. In this talk, Eric will give an overview of Varnish and how it is deployed at Mass Relevance to handle events like the President Obama Twitter Town Hall - where over 8000/requests per second were handled successfully.

Eric (a.k.a. @ efalcao) is a founder and the Direct of Platform for Mass Relevance. He’s an entrepreneurial hacker that bootstrapped a side project into a venture-funded software company. His professional passion is scaling real-time web applications with open source software and the cloud.

Meeting Location

Buffalo Billiards at 201 East 6th Street

So please come out and join us in our new digs! We’ll have some appetizers provided by Austin Ventures just before the meeting.

See you there!