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Portland Ruby Brigade monthly meeting

New Relic
111 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 2700
Portland, Oregon 97204, United States (map)
Public WiFi

Access Notes

Check in at the security desk to get access to the 27th floor. This usually isn't required for official events and meetups.

This meeting: Come on up to the 29th floor. The elevator will be unlocked after 6:00pm.



We'll have pizza & beer starting at 6pm, so stop by early if you want to have dinner and socialize before the presentations.


Brent Miller - How does New Relic build software? A biological approach to architecture

When building resilient, fault-tolerant, scalable systems, we focus quite a bit on the particular technologies involved. Can it scale horizontally? Is Samza better than Storm? Is this library thread-safe? It turns out that, even though those questions matter to the stability of the system, they don’t matter as much as the people building the system. Humans choose the stack, write the code, and write the bugs, too. They create the weird edge cases that cause the system to fall over at the worst time.

At New Relic we’ve taken an unusual approach to building software: we draw heavily from biological metaphors like mutation and natural selection, and focus on a human-centric approach to define our architecture. Rather than trust a few armchair architects to make the decisions, we put the power in the hands of the teams wrestling with the code. We have many strategies to ensure cohesiveness across the architecture and scalability for the business, the engineering organization, and the software, but it takes a little leap of faith and a lot of trust to move to a process like ours.

I’ll share how our process works, and how we manage the growth without going off the rails, while increasing system stability

Jason Clark - Peeking into Ruby: Tracing Running Code

Your Ruby app is in production, but something isn’t quite right. It worked locally, it passed CI… why’s the running app acting weird?

If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck. Multiple tools exist for grappling with a running Ruby app. This talk will introduce a variety of tools and techniques for peeking into what your Ruby app is doing. From Ruby-level method tracing using rbtrace, all the way down to watching kernel syscalls with strace, you can see what your app is doing, and I’ll show you how.

Don’t let your production system go unwatched!

Lightning Talks ⚡️

There will be a whiteboard to sign up on arrival (first come first serve).

After presentations we'll have more socializing time.

Thanks to New Relic for providing the venue and beer, pizza & snacks this month!

ARRIVING BY BIKE? Cyclists are welcome to park their bikes in the New Relic office. Bikes are not allowed in the building lobby, however, and must use the freight elevator. To get your bike up to the 29th floor, enter the building's parking lot by going down the ramp at 5th and Pine. Go past the booth -- no need to pick up a ticket -- and turn right. Go straight until you almost run into the elevator lobby, then go right again. On the back side of the elevator block you'll see a beat up pair of double doors marked "freight elevator." You can get up by buzzing in with the intercom, and saying you're here for New Relic. Ride on up to the 29th floor, you'll easily find the bike parking.

ABOUT THE GROUP: The Portland Ruby Brigade, also known as pdxruby and pdx.rb, is a user group for Ruby programmers in the Portland, Oregon area. The group welcomes all programmers interested in the language and its implementations, tools, libraries and frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails. The group has been meeting since August 2002 for presentations, demos and discussions. Every month 35-75 people come together to share their knowledge, projects and enthusiasm for Ruby. If you'd like to present or have a topic you'd like discussed, please post to the mailing list. The group usually meets on the first Tuesday of the month, "Ruby Tuesday" -- see you there!