madison-plus-ruby-93px-tallAfter months of anticipation it's finally here: Today kicks off Madison+ Ruby  in Madison, WI. I had the chance to sit down with Table XI Senior Developer Noel Rappin to find out makes Madison+Ruby a truly special conference.

You’re off to Madison+ Ruby again this year. What was your impression last year?

Last year was my first year in Madison and I really enjoyed it.  It’s a very unique conference feel--  more personal, less technical talks. I mean, they had circus performers last year!

I think it’s really positive that the community can support conferences with different levels of technical content. Madison+ Ruby shows that there’s room in the community to discuss lots of topics, not just ways to make your site run faster. People seem to make very genuine connections there.

What is your involvement in the conference this year?

I’m facilitating a workshop today called “D is for Driven: Using Testing to Write Better Rails Applications.” We’ll look at ways to use testing to drive the design of a rails program. We’ll start with a basic application, and show how optimizing for of testing can make it easier to add complex features over time.

I’d like to think that participants come away with better way of building sites, so that when you actually do testing like this you wind up with code that’s better structured to handle change over the long term.

Table XI is a sponsor of Madison+Ruby again this year. In your mind, why does that make sense?

It’s clear that the Madison+ Ruby conference organizers have a strong commitment to diversity and openness. As part of the Rails community it’s nice to see a conference that aims strives to be inclusive, welcome new people, and understands that development is as much about people as it is about technology. Developers and development come together nicely at Madison+ Ruby, and it’s great to be a part of it.

If people bump into you in Madison what should they ask you about?

My new book: I recently published Rails 4 Test Prescriptions, and have lots to say on the subject.

What questions do you have for folks headed to Madison+Ruby this year?

Where to eat! Also, I’m really curious to know what you’re working on and why you’re coming to the conference. What are you getting out of it?

You can find Noel Rappin on Twitter at @NoelRap.

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