One of my favorite Ruby resources is Russ Olsen’s Eloquent Ruby. The examples elucidated a lot of Ruby features, and his tone kept the book fun. I had heard his “To the Moon!” talk was great, so I decided to watch it based on how much I enjoyed his book. I think the talk is a great example of conveying how exciting and mind-blowing the moon landing was for people watching it on TV. I didn’t have an appreciation for the process of trial and error that preceded the successful landing. Even though I knew how the story ended, I was still on the edge of my seat listening to the talk.
Olsen has plenty of stories about how the software developers working at NASA operated, how they conveyed errors to their users (the astronauts onboard), and how they debugged in real time. Watching this talk inspired me to think about the skills that make good leaders and teammates. Although this isn’t a technical talk, there are plenty of lessons for modern software development.