The video above was recorded at RailsConf 2016 on May 5, 2016.


Only a few days before RailsConf, I was asked by Sam Phippen to fill in for his talk because he was sick and couldn’t travel internationally. The only catch: I would have to speak on his topic, covering the same content, and without much in the way of ready-to-use prepared content. I stared at my white board for a few hours and agreed to do it.

The title of talk, as a result, is necessarily “RSpec and Rails 5”, but don’t let its name lead you to assume the scope of the talk is so narrow. By using the upcoming, perfunctory changes to both libraries as a jumping off point, the discussion quickly broadens to how developers relate to their tools over time, essentially asking “why should RSpec continue existing in 2016?”

From there, we consider whether the maturity of its tools has lulled the Ruby and Rails community has into a state of complacency. In an industry that’s obsessed with viewing technical novelty as potential panacea to its much more complex root cause problems, we have to ask: can a programming language continue to thrive even after its tools and core libraries are mostly finished? What can the community do to foster continued growth in such an environment? Whose job will it be?

Ruby has never been a more productive environment to work in, and as a result it’s never been at greater risk of slipping into irrelevancy. These are important discussions to have as the dust continues to settle for the tools Rubyists use to do their job.

Hashtag: #MakeRubyGreatAgain

Here are links to a some of things I referenced in the talk, in roughly the order they appear:

Justin Searls

Hash An icon of a hash sign Code Name
Agent 002
Location An icon of a map marker Location
Columbus, OH