Conference Crowd by Jarkko Laine is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Conferencing Success

How to get the most out of your RailsConf experience
By Allison McMillan

Conferences can be overwhelming. Use these tips to make the most of your conference experience.

Here's Where Collective Idea Will Be Over the Next Few Months

Catch us if you can
By Sasha Wolff

We’re participating in or attending conferences and events all around the country. See when and if we’ll be in a city near you!

Guard is Your Friend

Get instant test feedback using Guard::RSpec and other Guard plugins.
By Joshua Kovach

Test-driven development can be a little slow going, jumping between your code and your console, and targeting tests by line is prone to error. Use these tools and techniques to streamline your TDD.

Testing an Uploaded File in Rspec

Uploading a file without actually uploading it
By Victoria Gonda

Sometime you need to test how your code handles an uploaded file, but you don’t want to upload it in your test. Luckily, there’s an easy way to handle this.

An in-depth look at two RailsConf tracks

Find out more about what we're looking for
By Allison McMillan

RailsConf offers an opportunity to submit proposals directly related to specific tracks. Learn more about two of these tracks to get inspired and craft successful proposals.

Cropping Animated GIFs with MiniMagick

Use this method to crop the actual canvas and not the frame
By Joshua Kovach

Cropping an animated GIF with crop will continue to use the original image’s canvas size. This cool trick will ensure the cropped image ends up the correct size.

Getting Started with Action Cable

Responding to an action on Active Record
By Victoria Gonda

With the inclusion of Action Cable in Rails 5, we can easily add WebSockets to our Rails applications. This post walks through how to set up Action Cable as a response to an action on an Active Record model.

Avoid parsing Rails controller params by using Metal

Need more metal!
By Daniel Morrison

While looking at a controller today, I came to the conclusion it’s better to use ActionController:API instead of ActionController::Metal. Here’s why.

Troubleshooting Feature Specs

or how I learned about Database Cleaner
By Allison McMillan

Figuring out why your feature tests are failing can be difficult, especially when setting up the first few tests in the codebase.

Autocomplete your Rails Form using Selectize.js

Help enhance your user's experience
By Victoria Gonda

When using Ruby on Rails Form Helpers, it could be useful to add an autocomplete feature to fields where users might reuse data. One way to do that is to use Selectize.js to create a dropdown and populate it with data from the user model.

Free SSL on Heroku

Heroku made SSL Free and Let's Encrypt has free certificates
By Daniel Morrison

Starting today, Heroku has a new free SSL offering. Use it with Let’s Encrypt for a fully free SSL system.

Solutions to Potential Upgrade Problems in Rails 5

Don't be surprised by some of the newest changes in Rails' latest upgrade
By Jason Roelofs

The Rails 5 upgrade has a few changes that may cause confusion. We look at how to get around the disabling of autoloading and look at the new deprecation warnings.

How Rails Can Reduce Your Monthly Headaches

Duration’s helping hand when months have varying lengths
By Victoria Gonda

Months can be difficult to work with when they have a differing number of days. Rails helps out with #month, but you still need to use caution.

Modern Javascript and Rails

Cleanly integrating modern Javascript into a Rails app
By Jason Roelofs

Want to write ES6 and/or use JSX or any of a vast array of modern Javascript tools in your Rails app? What about also writing your Javascript tests with the same tools? It’s easy with Browserify-rails and Teaspoon!

Painless Activity Streams in Rails

An easier way to track events
By Jon Stokes

There’s a better way to implement business logic, and track events in Rails.

Let's Encrypt with a Rails app on Heroku

By Daniel Morrison

I needed to renew an SSL certificate today, so I used it as an excuse to try Let’s Encrypt for a free certificate for a Rails app hosted on Heroku.

Bi-Directional and Self-Referential Associations in Rails

By Joshua Kovach

I’ve been working on an application that works to match users together based on a complex set of criteria (read: big slow database query and in-memory processing). The core usage of the application revolves around these user matches, so I want to make sure that either the algorithm will run very fast or can be cached so that it’s not run every time a user visits their matches page.

The most important requirement for our matches is reciprocation. To solve this problem and meet all of the requirements, we can create a bi-directional, self-referential, self-syncing, many-to-many association between users using a has_many :through association with a join model to keep track of a user’s matches.

Quick Setup for Your Rails Apps

By Daniel Morrison

We need to make getting up and running with our Rails apps easier. Here’s my attempt.

How to Pluck Like a Rails Pro

By Eric Milford

The pluck method is a performant option to query columns from one or more tables. The ability to pass valid SQL directly makes it all the more handy.

Fixing Intermittent Failing Tests

Some tricks to help you fix tests that sometimes fail
By Daniel Morrison

Some tricks to help you fix tests that sometimes fail.

Bootstrap Your App

Get your app up and running on a new machine
By Jason Roelofs

Insert your app’s bootstrapping into CI to ensure that setting up a new developer is one script invocation.

Streaming Data From Postgresland to Rubyland

By Brian Hempel

I recently gave a talk covering find\_each, pluck, and the PostgreSQL Cursor gem for the West Michigan Ruby Users Group.

Optimizing Rails for Memory Usage Part 4: Lazy JSON Generation and Final Thoughts

By Brian Hempel

Code to copy-paste so you can lazily serialize JSON and maybe even stream it to the client, and an argument for why we shouldn’t have to do any of this.

Optimizing Rails for Memory Usage Part 3: Pluck and Database Laziness

By Brian Hempel

Some ways to reduce memory usage as you gather records out of your database into Rubyland.

Optimizing Rails for Memory Usage Part 1: Before You Optimize

By Brian Hempel

Part one of a four-part series which will show you how to optimize a memory-heavy Rails API action.

Optimizing Rails for Memory Usage Part 2: Tuning the GC

By Brian Hempel

Changing Ruby’s garbage collection parameters is the least invasive way to optimize your app’s memory usage.

Non-Message Flash in Rails

By Steve Richert

Flash messages were one of those little features that amazed me when I was first introduced to Rails. Developers often use Rails’ flash to display messages to their users, but messages aren’t the only reason to use flash.

How we write a Gemfile

Tips on how we like to organize Gemfiles and keep it clean.
By Daniel Morrison

Tips on how we like to organize Gemfiles and keep it clean.

has_and_belongs_to_many Isn't Dead!

By Daniel Morrison

People are under the impression that HABTM relationships are deprecated because of the newer Has Many Through relationship. Both are good, and both have their place, but HABTM is still valid, vibrant, and useful!

Time to Bring Back Fixtures

Why I decided to give them a try again
By Jason Roelofs

Fixtures are great tools that have been sadly overlooked for a long time in the Rails world. Lets start using them again.

The Marriage of Figaro… and Rails

By Steve Richert

Two years ago and 264,309 downloads ago, I wrote the Figaro gem. I had been using the pattern for some time already and was frustrated that something so simple wasn’t already included in Rails. And now, finally, it is! Well… sort of.

Building Awesome Rails APIs: Part 1

By Daniel Morrison

After teaching an Advanced Rails class last week, I realized that we use a lot of patterns internally to build great APIs in Rails that many people don’t know about. We didn’t invent most of them, but we use them with great success, so we need to start sharing.

Where's Your Business Logic?

By Jason Roelofs

Can you point to a single place in your application and say “here is where we implement our business rules and use cases”, or are your use cases spread out across controllers, models, libs and elsewhere? Do you have fat models, fat controllers, and/or a massive lib directory? Is adding new features quick and easy or painful and time consuming? I have a solution to your pain.

Walken on Rails

By Daniel Morrison

Our new screencast series features narration by Christopher Walken.

Give pry a Try

By Daniel Morrison

One of the things holding us back from developing on Ruby 1.9.3 has been ruby-debug. So after many people suggested we try it, we gave pry a shot. I don’t know why we didn’t before; it is quick, easy, and allows a wide range of Ruby versions.

Capybara, Cucumber and How the Cookie Crumbles

By Steve Richert

I use Capybara and Cucumber to test my Rails apps, but cookie management can often be difficult… until now.

Changing Your Stripes

By Tim Bugai

Using Stripe to take credit cards online.

Thinking about Ruby's Symbols

By Daniel Morrison

Symbols in Ruby are confusing to new users.

Use Chrome with Cucumber & Capybara

By Daniel Morrison

Swapping out Firefox for Chrome is easier than you think!

Rails 3.1 Hackfest this Saturday

By Zach Moazeni

There’s a Rails Hackfest this weekend and we are opening our doors to Rails devs who want to participate.

Automatic Login Links

By Steve Richert

Scary, I know, but hear me out. Implemented correctly, an automatic login link can be just the ticket to appease those pesky, forgetful, real-world users.

More User-centric Routes: Rails 2

By Steve Richert

Writing routes that are conditional upon whether a user is logged in is easy with Rails 3 but if you find yourself (as many of us do) stuck with a Rails 2 app, here’s how to achieve the same fancy routes without the latest Rails.

User-centric Routing in Rails 3

By Steve Richert

Have you ever noticed that the GitHub homepage is different once you log in? I’m not talking about little changes here and there. It’s a completely different page. I have no idea how GitHub does this but I’ll venture a guess and demonstrate how to achieve the same effect.

Testing with Sunspot and Cucumber

By Zach Moazeni

Testing with sunspot with cucumber can be tricky since you need to manage the solr process separately. This post introduces a new gem “sunspot_test” and how to easily use it.

Bundler makes contributing to ruby gems easier

By Zach Moazeni

After using Bundler for the past few months, I love it. It turns managing project dependencies and deployment into a piece of cake. However after coming across a particular dependency declaration, something clicked in my head that made me like it even more.

Using Solr and Sunspot to Search Within Words

By Zach Moazeni

In my previous post I mentioned that out of the box Solr breaks up the search indexes on whitespace. This post will outline how you can configure Solr to search within words.

Full Text Searching with Solr and Sunspot

By Zach Moazeni

Full text searching can be a tricky subject. Luckily there are a number of great tools out there that are much better than doing “… content like ‘cars’ …”. One excellent tool that we have used on numerous projects is Solr along with the Ruby library Sunspot.

Exploring Solr and Sunspot

By Zach Moazeni

We have experienced a lot of success using Solr and Sunspot for full text searching on our Rails projects. And like our Cucumber series, we’re going to start a series of related posts just on Sunspot/Solr.

Clever Custom Datatypes with MongoMapper

By Daniel Morrison

A whole world of rich objects is within your reach with MongoDB.

2010: The Open Source Tools that Made it Great

By Daniel Morrison

My list of open source tools that made a big impact on our work this year.

SSL with Rails

By Daniel Morrison

Lots of people have been wondering about SSL after seeing Firesheep in action. Here’s how to get started with Rails.