May 17, 2011

My RedDotRubyConf Experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — yasi8h @ 7:42 am


It have been sometime since i last blogged about anything. I have a long queue of things that i want to blog about in my head and in my todo lists. However i find my self tired and distracted to do any blogging most of the time. However today i am going to write about the RedDotRubyConf that was held in Singapore on April 22nd-23rd.

As a programmer and a technology enthuastist i have attended numerous gatherings of developers and like minded people. Back in SriLanka these meet-ups were mostly related to Linux or FOSS and organized by the [LK-LUG][10]. When i moved to Singapore sometime back (as my new position was located there) i started attending a JS meet-up ([beermates.js][11]) that was held in [][12]. However i have never attended a technology conference in my life before RedDotRubyConf.

My company ([favoritemedium][13]) sponsored the tickets(thanks! [@5ooyoung][14]). Me together with two other coworkers attended the conf. It was the first time ever a Ruby related conference was organized in the south east asian region (according to many people ;)).

Speakers and Talks

I thought this was the most important thing in a conference. For a conference to be good, it should have good speakers and good talks. However my thoughts about this changed after i attended the conference.

A lot of cool (influential, popular, rich(!), smart) (and not-so-cool => agile, agile, agile, pair programming, agile, agile… 😀 just kidding!) speakers gave talks in the con(short for conference from here on). I think as a whole they were grate. You can see a full list of the Talks and the Speakers here. I am going to write about the talks that got most of my attention/’mind share’.

**These Talks Inspired Me**
– Mikel Lindsaar – Ruby can haz everyone
– Matz – The future of ruby
– Keynote – Dave Thomas, Pragmatic Programmers
– Advanced git techniques – Tom Preston-Werner, Github
– How to be awesome at rails – Ryan Bigg, RubyX

**These were Interesting**
– Agile the pivotal way – Ian McFarland, Pivotal Labs
– Deploying infrastructure with opscode chef – Robert Berger, Runa
– Houseparty, slumlord, or mogul? multi-tenancy with rails – Paul Gallagher, Evendis
– Agile in Real Life – Andras Kristof, ViKi
– Building a financial app in rails – Matt Jacobs, Thoughtsauce
– Flexible & adaptable to change: mongodb – Alex Nguyen, Vinova

I am not the kind of person who tries to learn a lot of new things from a event like this. I feel that if i have enough inspiration and desire i could learn about tech/framework/lang… X in my free time using the resources in the internet and all the helpful people that i can contact. However inspiration is not easy to come by, this event inspired me a hell of a lot!. Thats what its all about. I saw grate people who had awesome careers and contributions to the open source community. Seeing folks like that inspire me to try and do more!

The Crowd

I think the best part of the con was the awesome crowd. They were diverse and they were from different parts of the world. I met people from Singapore, Philippines, India, China, Indonesia and the US. But there were people from all over the world, specially from south east asia and Australia.

Most people i talked to were developers and most others were founders. I see this trend in lot of events. Developers attend events because they are about interesting topics and because they can meet interesting people. Founders attend events to mainly meet interesting people. Who knows may be you can meet your partner in some conference if you were a founder searching for one!

I regret that i didn’t have my ‘business cards’ ready. A lot of other people did though. I met folks from pretty interesting companies in the tech world today. I think events like these are grate to make new contacts and basically get to know interesting hackers. The more hackers that i talk to, the more inspiration i get, to be better at what i does. I felt like i have been waisting my time and energy doing nothing.

Pivotal Labs, ViKi, RubyX, Github and Others

I am grateful that the guys mentioned above and others who sponsored the conf and made it happen. I hope they got back some value out of the event. Most of the companies above talked about how they do things. As in how their developers develop software and spend their days. About doing things the agile way and pair programming. It was very interesting. I think the hacker inside me like how Github works. They seemed to be the most liberal out of the lot. However Github is a special company. So what works for them might not work for everyone else. The most interesting thing to me about Pivotal Labs was the fact that ‘all their developers goes home at 6pm’! Man if this is true… its a huge plus for folks who are working there, i guess.

The Venue and Free flowing sources of Caffeine

The conf was held in the Singapore Management University. I was pretty satisfied with the facilities provided at the venue. However it would have been grate if the corridors were air conditioned. As we spent a significant amount of time talking to folks outside.

Inside the auditorium, they were two screens which mirrored each other. This confused me sometimes. It made it hard to follow the slides as i always tend to scan both screens hoping to find something different. I think its something thats ‘wired’ in to my brain.

I have to say that the coffee was GOOD. I am not a ‘coffee person’ so to say. However the coffee at the conf was good, it had the taste and it had the kick ;). I even had some fun figuring out how to use the coffee machines (never use them before, interesting stuff). There was RedBull, Coke, Water other than coffee. And there was a lot of it almost all the time. Well done organizers! The lunch was pretty good too. I have no complaints what so ever about ‘them’ food.


I am so happy that i got a ton of stickers specially the Github ones 😉

2011 04 23 23 52 14

…and a neat (target-the-red-dot) tee! 🙂


Obviously enough, i wasn’t the only one to write about this. Here is a list some interesting links relating to the conf.

– [The Official Website][4]
– [A Comprehensive list of links by @cheeaun][2]
– [Google Group/Newsgroup for Attendees][3]
– [A Photo set on fliker][1]

I am eagerly waiting for the next RedDotRubyConf, hope to see you there!


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