Shopify continues investing in Ruby and Rails to help ensure that they are 100-year tools. Moving them forward and bringing the community with us are a large part of that work, and participating in community events like RubyConf is an important part of that.
The first day at RubyConf—appropriately titled Community Day—was a chance for people to learn and work together on open-source. The most important event on that day for us was Hack Day, which was very similar to something we do at Shopify; Ufuk Kayserilioglu was part of the committee planning & organizing that day of the conference, and he brought up some of his personal experience to help set it up.
During Hack Day, contributors from different open source projects mentored attendees into making contributions; many members from the Ruby and Rails Infrastructure team participated or led projects.
Many pull requests came out of the collaboration with the community—too many to list them all here. Some of the contributions include:
- The Ruby LSP and the official VS Code extension got contributions for things like ERB support exploration, an add-on for rubyfmt, inlay hints for omitted hash values, and more.
- Prism (formerly known as YARP) got several bug fixes and multiple improvements.
- IRB, which we also contribute to as part of our effort in improving developer experience, got improvements and a new feature.
- RubyGems / Bundler also had people starting to contribute with improvements and new features (PRs should be open soon!).
- We got more familiar with the developer experience using Steep (both for inspiration and potential contributions in the future), and also helped the Steep maintainer get started with building a Ruby LSP add-on for Steep (which could allow him to not have to maintain a separate extension, and further reduce fragmentation in the Ruby tooling ecosystem).
- Ruby itself had coverage improvements to Variable Width Allocation, general bug fixes, and volunteers also did some tidying up on the issue tracker.
The contributions, pairing, and collaboration didn’t stop at Community Day: many people used Shopify’s booth to continue the work in the following days as well, like we did at RailsConf 2023.
Three Shopifolk presented talks at the conference, and the recordings are already available on YouTube.
These three talks were all about education: demystifying concepts, ideas, and tools so more people can use and contribute to the community.
Kevin’s talk also acted as an example of and a call-to-action regarding reducing fragmentation in the community. We strongly believe that the community can be much stronger and that our tools can be much better if we focus our efforts; this has been reflected in our approach with projects such as Prism and the Ruby LSP, which have been quickly replacing multiple competing (and often unmaintained) projects that do the same thing in slightly different ways.
Matz echoed that point in his keynote: we’re stronger when we contribute and work together; he also mentioned that it’s no longer enough to improve a language: the ecosystem and the developer tools are more important than ever, and we should invest heavily in them. This is further validation for our team’s goals and approach.
Last but not least, we’re happy to announce that Ufuk joined the board of directors of Ruby Central, an important step in our ongoing collaboration with Ruby Central and the community as a whole.