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Neal Ford, Software Architect and Meme Wrangler at ThoughtWorks

 Neal  Ford

Neal is Software Architect and Meme Wrangler at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery. Before joining ThoughtWorks, Neal was the Chief Technology Officer at The DSW Group, Ltd., a nationally recognized training and development firm. Neal has a degree in Computer Science from Georgia State University specializing in languages and compilers and a minor in mathematics specializing in statistical analysis. He is also the designer and developer of applications, instructional materials, magazine articles, video presentations, and author of 6 books, including the most recent The Productive Programmer.

His language proficiencies include Java, C#/.NET, Ruby, Groovy, functional languages, Scheme, Object Pascal, C++, and C. His primary consulting focus is the design and construction of large-scale enterprise applications. Neal has taught on-site classes nationally and internationally to all phases of the military and to many Fortune 500 companies. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, having spoken at over 100 developer conferences worldwide, delivering more than 600 talks. If you have an insatiable curiosity about Neal, visit his web site at www.nealford.com. He welcomes feedback and can be reached at nford@thoughtworks.com.

Presentation: "Rails in the Large: How Agility Allows Us to Build One of the World's Biggest Rails Apps"

Time: Wednesday 16:30 - 17:30

Location: Cornell

Abstract: While others have been debating whether Rails can scale to enterprise levels, we've been demonstrating it. ThoughtWorks is running one of the largest Rails projects in the world, for an Enterprise. This session discusses tactics, techniques, best practices, and other things we've learned from scaling rails development. I discuss infrastructure, testing, messaging, optimization, performance, and the results of lots of lessons learned, including killer rock-scissors-paper tricks to help you avoid babysitting the view tests!

Presentation: "Introduction: DSL in Practice"

Time: Friday 10:00 - 10:10

Location: City

Abstract: This track covers a wide range of business areas and technical implementations. This is an area where our conferences have been following developments closely, and interest in DSLs continue its ascent as technologies become both more mature, tools and languages get better, and developers understand the advantages afforded by this technique.

Presentation: "Building Languages with MPS"

Time: Friday 11:30 - 12:30

Location: City

Abstract: JetBrains' MPS (Meta-Programming System) is a concrete, shipping, free version of a modern category of DSL tools, the language workbench. This session shows how to use MPS to extend the capabilities of Java (adding support for syntax you'd like to see) and how to build your own external DSLs. The goal of MPS is nothing short of building tools for your users that they love as much as accountants like Excel. By leveraging their natural vocabulary and giving them rich, context-sensitive editing, with facilities like refactoring, you can create tools that transcend traditional applications. This talk shows lots of examples of leveraging the true power of MPS.