Now that all Rails Conf 2021 talks, keynotes and workshops are available on YouTube, you might be wondering which ones you should watch first.

If you are just getting started with your Rails or programming journey, here’s a list of 6 talks for you (with resources):

1. Implicit to Explicit: Decoding Ruby’s Magical Syntax by Justin Gordon [Talk]

Do you wish you could understand better what Rails does under the hood? This talk is a great reference for anyone starting with Ruby and Rails. Bonus: learn some Pry Debugger tips to help you demystify any Ruby code.

Slides can be found here.

2 Believe in the Rails Magic: Unlock the Power of Rails by Learn Academy [Workshop]

Do you want to learn more about how does the MVC pattern work? Then this one if for you. You’ll create a simple CRUD app with a step by step guide on what which command is doing. You’ll learn how does the routes, controllers, views and models interact with each other.

Github repository can be found here and the slides here.

3. Intro to Test Driven Development: How to Safely Make Changes by Zack Pieper [Workshop]

Capybara? Rspec? Mini Test? What is the difference between them? Is the syntax making you feel confused?

Then definitely follow along with this workshop. It’s a nice introduction to TDD and Rails testing in general.

Resources to follow along can be found here.

4. Hotwire: HTML over the wire by Noel Rappin [Workshop]

For Rails beginners, Hotwire is great because you can focus on improving your Rails skills without worrying too much about front end yet. For experienced Rails devs, Hotwire will make you feel less depressed about front-end.

In this workshop, you get to practice Hotwire by adding realtime frontend changes to a Rails app. You can find the code to follow along here.

For more on Hotwire, you might also want to check out Hotwire Demystified by Jamie Gaskins. This talk breaks down Hotwire basics, as well as the tradeoffs between SPAs and Hotwire.

5. OAuth 2.0 Deconstructed by Peter Jang [Workshop]

Did you ever wanted to understand OAuth better? Looking at the charts showing you all the callbacks and tokens going back and forward doesn’t help that much.

This workshop is a nice intro to OAuth behind the scenes. You will implement OAuth from scratch for several providers (Shopify and GitHub) on a Sinatra app.

Github repo to follow along can be found here.

6. How to be a great developer without being a great coder by Nicole Carpenter [Talk]

This is a nice talk to watch when you need to be reminded that being a great developer is more than just mastering technical skills.

There are no resources for this one, so just watch it and get a boost of motivation.

7. All the Things I Thought I Couldn’t Do by Eileen Uchitelle [Keynote]

Watch this one whenever you need to get some motivation. Eileen was a photographer and she is now a Rails core maintainer. This is a kind reminder that everyone starts somewhere!


These are the top 5 Rails conf 2021 talks that stood out to me. Which one did you like most and that you think I should add here?