I recently had the honor of attending and speaking at LoneStar Ruby Conference. This year, it was a one-day conference on a Saturday.

This was my first time attending LoneStar. I’d heard good things about it and there was a fantastic lineup of speakers. The talks were excellent. I learned a lot, and met some great people.

I’d like to thank Jim Freeze, the sponsors, and the volunteers for putting on an excellent conference. I really enjoyed myself.

One of the biggest highlights for me was getting to meet Avdi Grimm, Dave Thomas (aka PragDave), and Saron Yitbarek.

If you’re in the Ruby community, you’ll probably recognize the first two names.

Avdi Grimm has written several excellent books and produces the highly-recommended Ruby Tapas series of screencasts. He’s commented here a few times and mentioned my posts on his own blog, so I was really excited to meet him in person. I was not disappointed. He’s a really nice guy who gave a very challenging and thought-provoking closing keynote. I recommend that you watch it when it comes out.

Dave Thomas co-wrote The Pragmatic Programmer and several editions of Programming Ruby, which was largely responsible for introducing Ruby to the English-speaking world. He also co-founded The Pragmatic Progammers who publish numerous excellent books.

Saron Yitbarek is a panelist on the Ruby Rogues podcast, and has also launched a number of initiatives aimed at helping new programmers find a community and learn from each other. These initiatives are collectively part of CodeNewbie. If you don’t know who Saron is yet, you will soon. She’s doing amazing work.

I ran into a few old friends and made many new friends. I also enjoyed talking to people about what they’re working on. There are some cool companies that are tackling interesting problems.

My talk was titled “Shall We Play a Game?” I talked about game-playing algorithms, largely focusing on graph- and tree-searching algorithms. This was an updated version of the talk I gave at Mountain West Ruby Conference earlier this year.

The slides for my talk are on SpeakerDeck and the code is on GitHub. Confreaks recorded everything; I’ll post the video here when it’s available.

As always, I listed the talk on SpeakerRate. I’d love any constructive feedback you have, as I’m always looking to get better at speaking.

Thanks again to Jim for inviting me to speak, and to all the attendees for making it a wonderful experience!