Keynote Interview with David Heinemeier Hansson
Source: RailsConf 2020
Summary: David and Evan talk about Rails, work, and the world.
Technology was not wrapped up for this talk, due to Covid
Launch was postponed
HEY on mobile:
Hey took similar approach, but they began with native mobile. It’s full native and uses web views (I think?) to pull in Rails views.
One generalist at Basecamp can ship an entire feature to everyone on every platform at once.
Things don’t change that rapidly.
Developer ergonomics in the early days 2004-2008–he’s holding onto that.
Even as CTO of 58-person company, DHH needs to program every week at least.
If being a Software Craftsman is toxic, sign me up for that
If you don’t know how to make it better, you’ll probably just mess it up by changing it.
Looking back over 20 years, the big change was the iPhone.
That change has almost petered out. High end phones are faster than many desktops now.
Silicon Valley money is partially to blame for development bloat
“That will be 15 people and 9 months plus tax”
He thinks the pendulum will swing back.
Bernie Sanders: the pendulum swung back to him. He was saying the same shit with more hair in the 70s.
The pendulum is swinging back towards us.
The amnesia is partially caused by so many new people entering the industry. They haven’t experienced it any other way.
Nothing stays the hot shit forever.
Your own intrinsic motivation is what matters.
Technology is not that fast. Over 60 years there are blips where shit happened.
Are there other technologies that you look at that seem interesting?
When he doesn’t know what to pick, he tries everything.
Ruby is still exciting
Especially because it’s dynamically typed
He’s an OO programmer, even though functional has influenced his programming style
Matz: if you’re listening, do not add types to Ruby. Let people play with that on their own.
We can have Sharp Knives (Programming) and safer knives in the same drawer.
Finding another language is not high on DHH’s list of hobbies.
How has DHH’s role w/ Rails evolved over the time? Who does he look for on the core team?
DHH writes the minority of Rails today. His role is now “biggest fan,” or “biggest user.”
He doesn’t care about how it’s implemented as much anymore.
It’s great when people you trust can take over caring about complicated things so you can put them out of mind to focus on other things.
Evan: DHH is the Rails “super fan”
DHH on his “executive privilege”
Sometimes he’ll open a PR to request a feature
Putting really shitty code out there knowing a bunch of people will make it better
His drafts are super rough now
What about choices of defaults?
Syntax formatters. Do you like them?
DHH is grinning.
No quick thoughts.
“If there’s one thing I swear at the most in Ruby, it’s RuboCop”
DHH tells himself every day: if you don’t want to go to work, you don’t have to.
Things he’s working on:
A unified theory of Basecamp-style apps is forthcoming