The Life of a Radar

About Me

My name's Ryan Bigg and I am currently gainfully employed Spree Commerce as the Token Australian / Community Manager there. My job is to make your life with Spree an amazing experience. I triage issues, reply to users' questions on the mailing list and spend the remainder of that time developing features for Spree.

I wrote a book called Rails 4 in Action with Yehuda Katz and Steve Klabnik. You should buy this book, as it teaches you how to develop a Rails application the right way using BDD and TDD best practices and helps me a little to keep the lights on.

I also wrote Multitenancy with Rails and I'm currently writing Debugging Ruby.

I've been doing Ruby and Rails for about the past 8 years and I consider myself an expert at it. Just look at my Stack Overflow score. I don't profess to know everything, I just know a lot and I've got a fair bit of experience in developing Rails applications. To be honest: I learned a lot of what I know from spending way too much time in the rubyonrails-talk mailing list, the #rubyonrails IRC channel on Freenode, and Stack Overflow.

I'm passionate about learning new languages and technologies, although the time spent working with Ruby and writing books kind of eats into that. Particularly interested in Go and EmberJS.

I write mostly about Ruby and Ruby on Rails, I've even written a book on it! Other times I write about the community in general in such posts as You suck., Advanced Rails Documentation and Please learn Rails

Super-popular posts of mine include the Ubuntu, Ruby, RVM, Rails, and You and its "sequel" Mac OS X, Ruby, RVM, Rails and You, as well as Congratulations, a post based on a true story about how I got into doing Test Driven Development.

I've done a lot of work on the official Rails guides, enough to be ranked #17 for all time Rails committers at the time of writing. I've done this by writing such interesting guides as the first copy of the Active Record Querying Guide as well as beginning work on Rails Internals: The Rails 3 Initialization Process, which is quite a massive beast and one day I will complete it. I also helped out with the Configuring Rails Applications guide, updating it to Rails 3, and played a large part in the Asset Pipeline Guide.

I'm also writing other guides that don't fit into the Rails guides over on my personal guides repository.

Besides writing Gigantic Walls of Text, I also write code. Some of my favourite projects to work on are forem (a lightweight forum engine built for Rails 3.1+ applications), octopi (a gem that interacts with the GitHub API) and summer, a tiny IRC bot framework (with inspiration from autumn).

It's my full-time job to work on the best Rails e-commerce platform, Spree, too.

Over my development life I've worked with many, many teams developing Rails applications.

In 2007, I worked my first full-time Rails job at SeaLink helping them build their new reservations system.

In 2008, I worked with a small consultancy called NetFox in Adelaide developing various web applications. In this year I also helped coordinate the first Railscamp held in Adelaide, Railscamp #4.

In 2009, I worked at a consultancy called Mocra in Brisbane, again developing web applications for clients. It was here that I really became a zealot of TDD/BDD.

In 2010, I introduced a small team of PHP developers at GetUp in Sydney to Ruby on Rails and the best practices (such as BDD and Agile) associated with it. All of the developers, aside from one, are now doing Ruby on Rails development professionally. The one that's not doing Rails development has chosen to study economics, but still has a passion for programming.

In 2011, I worked as a Ruby on Rails consultant for RubyX in Sydney. It was my favourite consulting job so far. I performed extensive code reviews of existing applications, training and application development and really enjoyed it.

Between April of 2010 and September of 2011, I was working on the first edition of Rails 3 in Action during my spare time. I even found additional time to build a review system called Twist when I found Manning's own to be insufficient for my own needs. In Twist, authors and reviews can view individual chapters and start discussions about particular elements.

In November of 2011, I left RubyX after being offered a job by Spree Commerce to work full time as the Community Manager and developer of the Spree e-commerce platform. This is now my current job.

Between February and May 2012 I travelled across the US meeting all my programming friends there and attending some conferences, such as SpreeConf, Ruby on Ales and RailsConf. I spoke at SpreeConf and Ruby on Ales, but not RailsConf. During this trip I visited about 12 different cities over an almost 3 month period.

In 2013, I am still working at Spree. In this year I have written another book called Multitenancy with Rails and in November I started writing my third book called Debugging Ruby

I am not actively looking for any more jobs. If you still really really really feel like contacting me about a job, include the phrase "Bravo Foxtrot Uniform" so I know that you've done your research.

I've recently moved to Melbourne (originally from Adelaide, but I've also lived in Brisbane and Sydney). I attend the local user group meetups when I can, and all the Australian Railscamps. I have been known to travel great distances to attend greater conferences. I enjoy giving talks at those conferences.

If you need help with anything Ruby or Rails related, ask me and I can probably help you or get you contact with someone who can. Or you could read Rails 4 in Action, Multitenancy with Rails or Debugging Ruby :)