Thursday, June 10, 2010

quarter_time: progeny of RailsConf

Well, it's been a great week so far at RailsConf!

There have been at least 47 times that I've looked at someone and thought "hey, I know that guy!" recognizing them from their avatars on github.com or their names on twitter.

Dr Nic Williams, Obie Fernandez, Greg Pollack, I could go on and on.

Most importantly, I've been overwhelmingly inspired to dive back into self-improvement in my coding ability. Dr. Nic's talk especially galvanized me towards engaging more with the gems and libraries I'm taking advantage of, and contributing back my own. In the spirit of my newly found ambition, I've released a mini-gem today that I use in a couple different applications my startup runs.

quarter_time, here linked to my github profile, is a gem for dealing with the problem of quarter-based business cycles. For instance, we have a medicaid-billing application that processes claims for every quarter of the year (Quarter 1 2010, Quarter 2 2010, etc). The claim models, and many other pieces of supporting data, are stored according to what year and quarter they belong to. Of course, the normal ruby data doesn't have any assistance for moving between quarters, and there are certain things that are common between models that are governed by a quarter (for instance, a scope to find objects by the year/quarter they are part of, a way to find the date range the model covers (start_date and end_date), and so on. This early-stage gem (well-tested, but not fully featured yet) is here to help solve that problem.

Sometimes the best part of going to these conferences is the energy you get from being around so many people who are interested in the same stuff. Thanks RailsConf, and I'll see you next year.

~Ethan

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