Lodz Ruby User Group #44: microcontrollers, smart homes, and complex business solutions

Igor Dąbrowski

Ruby users unite! Our monthly meetups are a place to share experiences in a friendly environment of like-minded specialists. We meet in the heart of Off Piotrkowska – Co/Walk HUB that provides us with comfortable space and equipment.

This time coding and technology weren’t the only subjects we discussed. Participants were reminded why soft skills are important and how much fun they can have with Ruby. From being a better team player at work to discovering new ways of using code at leisure time, 44th edition of Lodz Ruby User Group meetup was a time well spent.

More than Ruby – what every developer should know


Michał Brodecki, CTO at BinarApps, shared some fresh perspective on working in modern IT business. He highlighted that everyone knows the stereotypical developer. Does every developer want to be one? In most cases, the answer is no. If we want to stand out from the crowd, we should put more effort into improving soft skills. For example, staying motivated in times of trouble is more productive than nagging. This mindset can be used to motivate others, which makes the team more productive and boosts morale. Ruby user or not – every team could use someone focused on the goal and not on the obstacles ahead. 

Perhaps the most important message of Michał’s presentation is this: soft skills are priceless when it comes to working with a client. Developers should be able to understand the business point of view. What’s on their computer screens is just a part of a bigger process that consumes a lot of money. Taking part in workshops with a client could be beneficial not only to the project at hand, but to the company as a whole. 

Build your own smart home with Ruby


Tomasz Stachewicz, founder of Rebased and a true Ruby veteran, came all the way from Warsaw to share his latest passion: building and programming microcontrollers. It’s a great way to make DIY smart home projects, like motion sensors, mini weather stations or even plugins for the Home Assistant. 

Sounds interesting? Good news is that everyone can give it a try! To start, you will need ESP32 – low-cost, low-power microcontroller with integrated Wi-Fi. You can buy it online for cheap. Then you can put your programming skills to good use and write a code in mruby/c language. No worries – if you don’t know what to do next, you can always find plenty of tutorials online, like these: 

That’s all fun and dandy, but what about the business? Tomasz pointed out that microcontrollers programmed with mruby/c can be used in various industry solutions. For example, Japanese sake brewery Asahi Shuzo used mruby/c to control the yeast fermentation process in their facilities.

What does the future hold for Ruby users?

After the presentations, we sat down with a beer (or maybe two) and talked about how to integrate the Ruby community in Poland. Ruby User Groups are present not only in Lodz and Warsaw, but in the entire country. We do have some ideas… To learn more about them, follow us on Facebook and, of course, visit our blog! 


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