NRUG Review: Foxes vs Badgers

NRUG December 2013

NRUG December 2013

Foxes versus Badgers – Fight!

Norwich Ruby User Group‘s fascination with fighting Badgers and Foxes continued this meet up. The blood sport took place at Furthers offices on the evening of the 17th of December. Paul started us off with brief heads up on continuous integration and very kindly distributed copies of a his continuous integration 101 booklet. Some discussion ensued and questions were batted back and forth. People had evolved different integration solutions to meet their particular problems and languages.

We divided into two groups and started on improving the NRUG Battle Critter™ battleships game. Integrating our code to the NRUG server as we coded and asked Matthew random questions. As usual abilities and familiarity with the technologies varied widely but much laughter was had by all. Coding was powered and aided by home made mince pies and mulled cider provided by everyone’s favourite Ruby couple the Bennett-Loveseys.

Solutions were honed and iterated over the evening with some team members engaged in light espionage.

Those of us whose work confines them to writing word documents were happy as Larry when given a coding task.

We ended with a battle ‘best of three’ to test who had created the best algorithm. Blue team won the battle but as a Red team member I felt our excuses had the edge on the night. Marc was particularly inventive when faced with possible defeat.

As usual much knowledge was shared amongst the group. Phil perhaps winning the prize for most condensed one liner. Questions were asked and answered and Chris revealed how he fits all that information in his brain. Everyone walked away with a Virtual Machine of the game to be fettled at our leisure. You can access the battle critters code at

Next meet up planned to be a show and tell at a time to be announced. I’d encourage anyone interested in Ruby at any level or contemplating using it more to come along to this very friendly and open group.

Plus I found out: how to fix my weird display issues in virtual box; a new Yiddish word; Apple should put their laptops together better; Southwold has got fibre; and how you actually get to MMK without teleporting.

Words: Adam Wilson

Picture: Paul Grenyer


5 thoughts on “NRUG Review: Foxes vs Badgers

  1. Matthew Bennett-Lovesey

    Thanks for excellent the article, Adam! Glad to be “everyone’s favourite ruby couple”, though worry this might be setting unattainable expectations 🙂

    Out of curiousity, what was the new Yiddish word you learnt?

      1. Matthew Bennett-Lovesey

        There was several requests for us to do short talks next NRUG, showcasing peoples current projects.

        There was a large number of people saying they loved the hands on stuff though, so while two participatory NRUGs in a row might be much, TDD-lead pair programming in February would be a great idea. The codebase we work on also needs to be much simpler – too much of December’s NRUG time was spent working out what you were meant to do (and that’s my mistake) and a simpler project might mean simpler CI.

        Other feedback we’ve had was that we should make more time for post-NRUG beverages. Hopefully January’s NRUG, we’ll be down the pub by 9.30.

        I’m starting a poll – – so people can vote for the ideas they like the most! TDD is on that list 🙂


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