Presenting at the Screaming Monkeys Web Guild meetup

I’ll be presenting at the Screaming Monkeys Web Guild meetup this evening at 6pm:

  • Getting your web application up and running in minutes with Heroku
  • Basic screencasting tips and techniquesWe will meet in the new Northeast Indiana Innovation Center building, thanks to Cirrus ABS. If you can’t make the event tonight, check back in a few days as I should have a screencast of my presentation posted.

Making magic with Heroku

Ruby has long been a challenging language to use for small web sites because of the work required to configure and manage hosting. The investment makes perfect sense for large-scale apps, but really bogs down the smaller projects.

The last 12 months have seen tremendous strides in the ease of Ruby deployment and none more revolutionary than Heroku. I don’t want to discount other contributions like mod_rails (also known as Phusion Passenger) that will have longer-term impact. Despite the power of mod_rails, Heroku offers tremendous scalability, ease of entry, and incredibly fast deployment with almost no setup that’s unmatched.

I’ll be covering some of the basics:

  • Overview
  • Publishing your app in less than 60 seconds
  • Creating separate staging and production deployments
  • Loading all your gems
  • Living with a read-only filesystem
  • Grabbing a copy of your database

Getting started with screencasting:

The Ruby on Rails community offers a wealth of resources for learning the framework via screencasts. Rather than just reading a blog post or a set of steps, you see the complete process as well as parts of another programmers workflow. It’s an incredibly powerful medium. I’ll be taking a few minutes this evening to share my experiences creating screencasts and will share some tips on how to get started and avoid some of the frustrations I muddled through:

  • Basic software/hardware requirements
  • Workflow
  • Publishing options
  • Getting ideas / watching the masters

I have enjoyed creating screencasts for my clients and decided to experiment with using them as a presentation tool for my July talk with Mike Krisher on version control with Git. Instead of trying to muddle through a rather complex demonstration real-time while trying to explain what was going on, I pre-recorded the demo. I didn’t record any audio, so the voice-over was done in person (which is always preferable). I went back later and voiced-over the demo so that members who couldn’t make the meetup would benefit from the demo.

Published October 19, 2009

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