Thoughtbot’s office is next to the scenic Boston Common, and was just a short walk from my hotel.

I first met with Anna, Thoughtbot’s office manager, who gave me quick tour and introduced me to Josh Clayton, one of Thoughtbot’s managing directors. Coincidentally I’d just heard Josh speaking on the Giant Robots podcast while I was on the flight over.

Josh had been working on a feature for factory_girl, a testing library which I was already familiar with. The create_list method can sometimes be abused, so they’ve decided to add a create_pair method to encourage people to only create a minimal number of test objects. We talked about the best way to test this against the various build strategies and shortly later committed b9e1dd. A great start to the day!

Next up was the daily standup. It’s pretty fast-paced, with about 30 developers involved. Fridays are usually reserved for working on open source projects, or learning a new technology, kind of a ‘20% time’.

I then paired with Joel Quenneville, building a basic Ember.js app from scratch, without involving any Rails stuff. We had quite a few “Ok, this works, but it shouldn’t work!” moments, and overall we both discovered a few new things about Ember.

Lunch at Thoughtbot is catered in-office on Fridays, so I got to meet a few more of the team.

After lunch I paired a bit more with Joel, adding ember-data, and then with Tony DiPasquale on some iOS code for TDAudioPlayer. It was interesting to see all the improvements to Objective-C and XCode since I last used it (I tend to use RubyMotion).

Friday afternoons at Thoughtbot ends with a round-table tech discussion. The topic this week was Rails engines, which I’ve used but aren’t deeply familiar with, but it was interesting to hear the lively argued discussion.

I met Ben Orenstein who I knew of through the Giant Robots podcast and his conferences talks.

The day finished with drinks and dinner at some local bars.

Overall, a great start to my tour! Thanks to everyone at Thoughtbot for being so welcoming.