Meet Joshua Ballanco

Could you introduce yourself in a few lines?

I'm a software developer and sometimes-scientist. In the past I've worked for Apple and AOL, done a bit of consulting, and I even managed to finish my Ph.D. in Computational Evolutionary Biology. These days, I work at CircleCI, helping other devs run their tests and deploy code.

You're giving a talk at Rulu this year. What will you talk about?

I think that Ruby is at a critical juncture in its history: it's popularity has resulted in many other languages adopting features of Ruby, but those languages have also started to move beyond what Ruby can do. I'll talk a bit about where Ruby can go from here.

You attended Rulu in 2013. Are you excited to talk at Rulu 2014?

Hell yeah!

What makes you come back to Rulu this year? What did you like about the previous instance?

At last year's Rulu I met so many interesting people, many of whom I've remained in contact with since. I also enjoyed just walking around Lyon. Oh, yeah…and Lyon has much better free WiFi coverage than Brussels.

Three properties:

  • You code with: Vim

  • You test with: RSpec, MiniTest

  • If Ruby was forbidden, you would code in: Clojure

What's your favourite Lyonnaise specialty?

The "Salade Lyonnaise"

What are you working on these days?

Lately I've been writing scientific software with Java and Python, building a continuous integration server in Clojure, and writing a Scheme interpreter in Lua… but Ruby is still the first thing I reach for when working on anything new.

What are the talks, books, libraries or commands you think more people should be aware of - because, well, they make your life so much better!

Watch any/all of Rich Hickey's talks because, whether you agree with him or not, it's clear that he is someone who thinks very deeply about the process of developing software.

Anything to add before we wrap this up?

Thanks so much for the questions, and the opportunity to talk with everyone at Rulu! Whether you're just getting started with Ruby, or you've been there since the beginning, the most powerful feature of Ruby is the community.

Ruby Lugdunum (aka RuLu) is a two-day conference dedicated to exploring the Ruby language and basking in warmth of the amazing Ruby community.

RuLu 2014 takes place in Lyon, France on June 19th and 20th. Have a look at the talks, read the blog and get your ticket!