Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Modeling Systems

Jim Weirich (Neo Innovation), Joe O'Brien (EdgeCase, LLC), Chris Nelson (Christopher Nelson Consulting)
General
Location: Portland Ballroom 253
Average rating: ****.
(4.58, 19 ratings)

A Galilean dialog about objects, modeling and data.

Persona dramatica:

Modello: Long time OO developer who is new to Rails. He tends to view
the world in terms of objects and their interactions.

Restolio: Experienced rails developer and REST advocate. He is very
concerned about properly representing the problem domain in the
data base schema.

Webucci: A recent convert to Rails from PHP. He is loving working
with Ruby and Rails is is excited about learning more about
both.

Act I: In which the develoment team reviews the requirements and develops an initial solution using a “by the book” Rails data modeling approach. The team begins by developing a detailed database schema and using script/generate resource to produce the application. An object modeling approach is considered but discarded in the interest of expediency.

Act II: In which turmoil ensues as changing requirements invalidate much of the sacred database schema. The team is faced with a massive rewrite and approaching deadlines. The team begins to question their approach to the problem and wonders if there is a better way. Several members begin to update their resumes.

Act III: In which the team reconsiders the object modeling approach. They realize that by modeling behavior, rather than data, their solution is more robust and more resilient to requirement changes. The project is completed, the customers are happy, and the boy gets the girl.

Photo of Jim Weirich

Jim Weirich

Neo Innovation

Jim Weirich is the Chief Scientist for EdgeCase LLC, a Rails development firm located in Columbus Ohio. Jim has over twenty-five years of experience in software development. He has worked with real-time data systems for testing jet engines, networking software for information systems, and image processing software for the financial industry. Jim is active in the Ruby community and has contributed to several Ruby projects, including the Rake build system and the RubyGems package software.

Photo of Joe O'Brien

Joe O'Brien

EdgeCase, LLC

Joe is a father, speaker, author and developer. Before helping found EdgeCase, LLC, Joe was a developer with ThoughtWorks and spent much of his time working with large J2EE and .NET systems for Fortune 500 companies. He has spent his career as a developer, project manager, and everything in between. Joe is a passionate member of the open source community. He co-founded the Columbus Ruby Brigade and helped organize the Chicago Area Ruby Users Group. His passions are Agile Development in the Enterprise, Ruby, and demonstrating to the Fortune 500 the elegance and power of this incredible language. Joe is currently working on a book for the Pragmatic Programmers on building DSL’s with Ruby.

Chris Nelson

Christopher Nelson Consulting

Chris Nelson came very much the long way around to find happiness coding Ruby. He has been doing software development for 10 years at companies with small Fortune numbers and those without, where he finds it much easier to actually get things done. He has published several articles and spoken at numerous conferences including eRubycon, JavaOne, and OSCON, as well as local Java and Ruby user groups. Currently Chris is an independent consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, 4 children, and 2 cats.

News and Coverage
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