Ruby Interview Series

A Q&A with Nick Sutterer

🔥 Creator of the Trailblazer framework

Nick is a developer, presenter, and lover of pubs who has created numerous tools and frameworks to scratch his itches with Rails.

You have written a few gems that, in short, go around The Rails Way (trailblazer, cells, reform). How come?

Not because I wanted to oppose anything, but I was more interested in enriching Rails with additional layers as I felt it's lacking a lot of necessary abstractions. The Rails Way oversimplifies things and you keep a lot of responsibilities in one big class. I didn't feel that's proper OOP, so I introduced small, clean, encapsulated objects for view components, forms, parsing and rendering, control flow, and now we got Trailblazer as an umbrella project providing more layers for Ruby frameworks.

What do you like about Rails?

Definitely the community! The way this framework unites so many people of so many shades is crazy. When you're discussing how proper encapsulation looks, over the 6th beer in a pub in, say, Lviv (Ukraine), along with a dozen people you met a few hours ago, then you know this community kicks ass. To be fair, I'm happy Rails exists, I'm not a fan of how some parts are done, but over the past couple of years, it's been a great experience providing extensions that do not necessarily interfere with the framework itself. If you had asked me the same question 10 years ago, the answer would've been a different one. ;)

What is your go to web stack these days?

Rails, believe it or not! With the newer versions, it's been simple to strip off unnecessary extensions, and a lot of its tools and tool conventions (not the coding conventions!) are battle-tested and intuitive. For the near future, we're planning on exploring Hanami and dry-system for loading dependencies, but so far all our internal tools are Rails based, sugared with a Trailblazer architecture.

You're a prolific presenter. Name a couple of your favorite presentations you’ve given or venues you’ve attended.

I need to talk to my lawyer - this is a question I cannot answer easily. Every single conf I've been to has been magnificent. Generally speaking, I more and more enjoy giving talks with around 40 slides and a few code snippets to explain. It's more fun to banter and I always hated walking the audience through too much code. With this in mind, a talk I really enjoyed recently was 'If - The Vodka of Ruby' at RubyRussia. One of the conferences that comes to my mind is Rocky Mountain Ruby Conf, the venue was a cinema, and our lanyards were accepted as payment currency in most bars in Boulder - good times!

What is your go to pint?

As much as I love bitter German pilsner, I would die for a Little Creature pale ale from Freemantle, Australia right now. It tastes like a pretty strong IPA, deliciously flavored with beautiful fruity hops, making my mouth water as I type. Prost!

Find out more about Trailblazer on its website and you can learn more about Nick on Twitter..


Glenn Goodrich

Written by

Glenn Goodrich

A long time software engineer, architect, and nerd. Glenn is a published author that loves things like Ruby, Go, comics, and learning.


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