Recently members of the TripCase team attended the Big Ruby Conference here in Dallas. Ruby is a programming language, and it powers a good bit of the TripCase experience. This conference was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet and learn from other development teams that are using Ruby to power large apps and services.

I was struck by how many of the speakers’ topics perfectly aligned with some of the opportunities and challenges we’ve faced within TripCase. I want to highlight a few of the talks that I found particularly relevant.

Data Analytics

At TripCase, we consume data from a wide variety of sources (e.g. flight notifications, weather, points of interest, natural disasters), and we are constantly looking for better ways to improve your travel experience by making sense of all of this – sometimes conflicting – data.

In her talk entitled Lightweight Business Intelligence with Ruby, Rails, and MongoDB, Coraline Ada Ehmke discussed the value in creating a lightweight, flexible data analytics solution that makes high-volume data streams more useful.

Job Processing

The number of tasks that TripCase processes in the background every second of every day was much higher than what I initially expected when joining the team. From importing and synchronizing GDS trips to evaluating the latest flight information from several sources, the TripCase platform is doing a lot of work. As we’ve grown over the years, we’ve had to change how we manage all of that work in order to give you the most up-to-date information about your trip.

Tanner Burson provided a fascinating look into the job processing technologies used by Tapjoy in his talk called Mo’ Jobs Mo’ Problems. The number of options that they evaluated was impressive. His statement that naive solutions fail immediately is definitely true and shows the importance of building robust systems for this type of work.


The TripCase team is the best I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Sometimes it seems like that happens automatically, but it actually takes a significant amount of daily work and attention to ensure we are all working together to achieve shared goals.

Adam Keys described some of the most common personality types that are present in technical teams and gave good advice for working together effectively. I highly recommend his talk, Developers are From Mars, Developers are From Venus


I was fortunate enough to be able to add my own presentation to the mix. My talk, In Praise of Smallness, used examples of my experiences at TripCase to show the importance of the small steps we take each and every day to make better software.

Overall the conference was very valuable to me as I’m sure it was for all of the attendees. I want to thank the conference organizers for putting it all together. The full list of talks are available if you are interested in seeing even more.