Ruby conferences that matter

Posted by Jon
on Tuesday, October 14

As Ruby on Rails grows, matures, and gains mainstream acceptances, so proliferate the conferences. RailsConf US, RailsConf Europe, and RubyConf. EuRoKo, RubyKaigi, Scotland, Latin America, Canada, Nederlands. Rails Edge. Half a dozen regional conferences. The Ruby conference’s bad-influence punk cousin, RubyFringe. And now Voices That Matter: Professional Ruby Conference, the worst-named conference since NeoConĀ® Xpress L.A. But Obie Fernandez, the conference chair, has already addressed the name issue (“Voices that matter? SRSLY? Does that mean people not speaking at the conference don’t matter?”), so there isn’t much more to say about that.

Luke, Eric, and I will be attending the conference next month (November 17-20), thanks to generous complementary passes. We’re suckers for free conferences and are looking forward to it. They’ve also offered a $200 discount to our readers, so if you decide to attend, use this discount code and save: PR2MAL4.

Here is my take on the conference.

1. Boston: great city. Should be fun.

2. Obie was inspired by RubyFringe. Single track, 30 minute talks, 150 attendees (?).

3. The agenda looks pretty professional and, well, straight. For better or for worse. Four case studies, several few enterprise-focused talks, and every base covered: scaling, refactoring, testing, plugins, deployment, etc. Fortunately, Giles Bowkett will also be there with a talk entitled “Beyond the Mountains of Madness with Ruby.” As with any conference, expect some flops and some good talks, and hope for some great talks.

4. The speaker list looks pretty good, including two of our very own Twin Cities folks: Matt Bauer and Tom Enebo.

5. Timing: why is this held two weeks after RubyConf? I’ll be at both, and missing work for two conferences in a month isn’t quite ideal.

6. Some sort of vocal performance seems to be involved. (Obie, is that you?)

If you’re interested in going, you can get $200 off the entry price by using this discount code: PR2MAL4.


Leave a response

  1. James HarrisonOctober 14, 2008 @ 03:08 PM

    Interesting. Another interesting conference coming up is the Ruby Manor in London, UK. More of an indie/small conference, but nonetheless hopefully a fun one.

  2. Matt ToddOctober 14, 2008 @ 08:25 PM

    Don’t forget about MerbCamp which was freakin’ awesome. :)

  3. Jon DahlOctober 15, 2008 @ 01:36 PM

    Thanks guys. I hadn’t seen Ruby Manor, and if I wasn’t 4,000 miles away, I’d be there. And I heard good things about MerbCamp and hope to check out the videos soon. (I found a few on BlipTV – is there a canonical location for them yet?)

  4. Nick QuarantoOctober 16, 2008 @ 01:30 PM

    I’d love to go to some of these conferences, but none are ever in my area (Rochester, NY). What would you suggest that a college student can do about getting to these events?

  5. Jon DahlOctober 17, 2008 @ 10:17 AM

    Nick: we’re in the same boat – Ruby conferences don’t really come to Minneapolis. If budget is the main constraint, I’d pick one conference/year and save up for it. Of the major conferences, RubyConf is pretty affordable and also worthwhile.

    Also consider GoRuCo, which should just be a drive or train ride away.

    Some non-Ruby conferences (NFJS?) give free admission to students. (Anyone ever heard of a Ruby conference doing this?)