Keynote: Catalyse Change

José Valim
Creator of Elixir and Ruby on Rails Core Team member

In 1889, the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, defined activation energy as the minimum energy required to start a chemical reaction. A lighted match supplies the activation energy to gasoline, and then the gasoline takes over and supplies the rest. The lower the activation, the easier it is to start a reaction. This is the job of catalysts.
The same thing happens when people approach a new language or programming ecosystem: developers have a limited amount of energy they are willing to invest in order to have a successful reaction with the new ecosystem. The amount of energy available depends on many factors, not all of them rational. And if they don't see a net benefit—if they don't see the energy they supply multiplied, they move on.
Today's computing environment demands distributed, functional approaches. As a community, we solved many of the problems this entails years ago. And yet the general population of developers continues to reinvent the wheel. The result—lots of small fires that flare up and then go out. All that energy is wasted.
We need to find ways of lowering the barriers into our world. We need to reduce the amount of energy people have to invest before they start seeing the benefits that we already enjoy. In this talk, José and Dave will discuss ways we can all help people come to us. They'll learn something, and so will we. 

José Valim is a member of the Ruby on Rails Core Team and a writer for Pragmatic Programmers. Software developer for 8 years, he graduated in Engineering from the São Paulo University, Brazil and has a Master of Science from Politecnico di Torino, Italy. He is also the lead-developer of Plataformatec, a consultancy firm based in Brazil, an active member of the Open Source community and is frequently travelling and speaking at conferences.

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