Regional Ruby Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

There was a call for conference planning for a Regional Ruby Conference on the Ruby AZ meeting list recently.   It was at the request of fellow local Ruby company DevFu that I decided to attend.  I showed up for the planning meeting and was impressed by the turnout. I think most of the regular rubyists were in attendance and all of the companies seemed represented.

I was turned off that it was at a coffee shop.  When there ended up being no room to sit, I admit I felt that I had wasted my time showing up.  Several people mentioned that using something like Gangplank was out of the question because then others wouldn’t attend in protest. I was disappointed that the maturity level was so bad in the community that I reconciled that this thing had no chance.  Out of frustration I even over reacted by calling the selection of the location as a cluster fuck.

The good news is that it ended up being a really good discussion. I think that if nothing else that perhaps the act of planning a regional conference will be the thing that finally gels the local ruby community.  I really felt by the end of the meeting that everyone was working and discussing things that will move this community forward. It left me with hope that perhaps the community is not too fractured or damaged to be taken seriously. Marc and Curtis thanks for taking the time to explore getting this off the ground. I genuinely look forward to helping out.

Looks like we are planning for something in Sept/Oct of 2010 as the date.  There are work groups actively working on venue, speakers, sponsorship, etc.. I started the day with a bad attitude about things and left pretty excited to help make this event happen.

9 Comments

  1. Derek,

    I’m glad to hear you had a change of heart. You had great input and I’m glad you came.

    I chose the Xtreme Bean because the coffee is good and it’s located in Tempe, which I felt was most accessible.

    Thanks for the write up. I’m also pretty excited to make this event happen.

  2. I’m glad to see things like this happening. I’m not a serious Rubyist yet, but I like to see developer communities come together in the valley.

    Derek, I can see how you got annoyed with the choice of location, but a coffee shop was a good option for the initial planning meeting. What upsets me is that some people wouldn’t go to Gangplank out of “protest”. Really? Since when did people feel the need to protest places that help to build community? Sure, people are going to have some differences with the way that Gangplank goes about its business, but its not like the place is doing anything completely heinous.

    The bottom line is that Gangplank is a good facility for meeting and planning an event…Phoenix Design Week proved that.

  3. Matthew,

    I should have made this clear in my initial comment.

    I didn’t hear anyone protest anything about Gangplank, either seriously or in jest, for any reason whatsoever.

    In fact, reading this blog post was the first time it was brought to my attention. Rest assured that any such opinion was dwarfed by the actual discussions that took place.

    What I’m excited about is the fact that we had over a dozen members of our community show up on a Sunday to discuss how to best host a Ruby conference in AZ. Furthermore, after we were done with our discussions, we self-organized into smaller groups and are continuing to collaborate online.

    That’s what we should be talking about.

  4. As I told Marc at RubyConf please let me know how I can help. This is my 3rd year involved with the planning of GoRuCo and we’ve definitely learned quite a bit.

  5. “I can see how you got annoyed with the choice of location, but a coffee shop was a good option for the initial planning meeting”

    I disagree that a coffee shop was a good choice, but in the end the meeting was productive and that is all that matters.

  6. “What I’m excited about is the fact that we had over a dozen members of our community show up on a Sunday to discuss how to best host a Ruby conference in AZ. Furthermore, after we were done with our discussions, we self-organized into smaller groups and are continuing to collaborate online.

    That’s what we should be talking about.”

    I agree completely. I made the post to express excitement about the community moving forward.

  7. “As I told Marc at RubyConf please let me know how I can help. This is my 3rd year involved with the planning of GoRuCo and we’ve definitely learned quite a bit.”

    We can’t learn from you.. Damn troll. The only reason we are putting this on is so you have a valid excuse to come visit.

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