Interview - Brad Urani

About Speaker

Brad Urani is a coder, karaoke singer and barbecue evangelist. He believes happiness is directly correlated with the size of your .vimrc and refuses to buy into YAGNI. When not hiking or hacking, he preaches the wonders of Rails and relational databases as Principal Engineer at Procore in Santa Barbara, CA.

He is going to speak about The Ultimate Ruby Developer’s Command Line Toolkit.


Me » Welcome Brad and thanks for taking out time to share your thoughts. For the benefit of the readers of this blog could you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do for a living?

Brad » Hi Satish. I’m a web and data engineer at Procore in beautiful sunny Santa Barbara, California. Procore makes software for managing construction projects. Companies that build skyscrapers, shopping malls, stadiums and other buildings use our software to manage their construction operations.
I’m the technical lead for Procore’s analytics and data infrastructure. My team and I design and build the systems that transport, transform and store our data for reporting and analysis.

Me » It’s so great to know that open source excites you so much. I am glad to know that your projects have been an interesting demonstration of Ruby/Rails. Do you have any advice for a student or beginners getting into open source?

Brad » You can learn a lot about good software design and project management by looking at popular open-source projects. Browse through the source code of your favorite open source Ruby gems and other projects and try to understand how the code is structured, how the tests are written, how issues are handled and how the project is managed.
Open source gives you a front row seat to some of the best software projects in the world, and if you observe them carefully you will learn many great practices and technical skills that you can use in your own projects.

Me » That’s really nice Brad. I am glad to see the recent rise in Open source culture in India and hopefully, if this trend goes on then we all would learn a lot from this. Can you tell us a bit about your projects in Ruby/Rails?

Brad » Procore has one of the largest Ruby on Rails applications in the world. It has over 1,000,000 lines of Ruby (and almost as much JavaScript) and is 14 years old. It has over 1,000 controllers and 1,000 models and has a huge team of Rails engineers working on it. We deploy it 4 or 5 times a day. Working on a Rails app that large requires us all to become experts in communication and teamwork.
The most important thing we do to ensure that our engineers can be effective is give them autonomy to architect their own features and provide them with a framework for cooperating, communicating and understanding our business. Ruby on Rails holds up surprisingly well at that scale if you use good database practices, and we believe we can grow it much larger.

Me » That’s cool Brad, your projects are interesting. So when did you start working on Ruby/Rails and why?

Brad » I joined a startup in 2013 that was using Rails after being a C#, JavaScript, and Java developer for many years. When I first started to use Rails, I really hated it! With no type checker, and conventions that seemed very foreign to me, it took a long time to get used to it. Once I started writing gems, metaprogramming and becoming part of the community, I started to understand why it’s so powerful and now I love it.

Me » How excited are you about RubyConfIndia?

Brad » Very excited! This is my first trip to India. I heard the Indian Ruby community is full of great people, and I can’t wait to meet everyone. I also really like spicy food, so I think I’ll gonna enjoy Goa.

Me » Do you have any other suggestions for our readers?

Brad » Never stop learning!

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