Cascadia Ruby Conf Unofficial Happy Hour, 7/28/2011
Last weekend was the inaugural Cascadia Ruby Conf. Surprisingly there'd never been a regional Ruby conference of this type so we were pretty excited about the event (so excited we decided to be a sponsor). While the event had a few hiccups, overall we had a great time and we met some fantastic people. Here's a rundown of our pros and cons (thankfully there are more of the former). We're definitely looking forward to the next edition.

  • The People. Starting with those that came to our unofficial kickoff happy hour, we were thoroughly impressed with the people that showed up to CRC. We arrived in force and knew quite a people from hosting Beer && Code, but we also met plenty of new people as well. It's really easy to meet people when you've already got a very large common interest.
  • Unsecured WiFi. An observation: Unsecured WiFi + Firesheep makes everyone sitting nearby nervous for some reason. Heh.
  • Where's the Ruby at this Ruby Conf? While the second day was better than the first, we were a little disappointed at the balance of Ruby talk compared to softer topics. For next year, we'd want more about development and less about stress and community.
  • Oh, there's the Ruby! We were very pleased with and inspired by Gary Bernhardt's Unix Chainsaw talk ("doing things half-assed is okay as long as you're using the right half of the ass"), Avdi Grimm's Confident Code talk (how to make code that can anticipate the various inputs that will come its way), Ryan Davis' overview of the Minitest framework, and Corey Donohoe's overview of GitHub's slick automation systems. We also liked the lightning talks and especially Chad Fowler's keynote.
  • The Food. Very nice work on the food for the event. To quote Pete, "The vegan food convinced me I could go veg if I wanted to (but I don't)."
  • The Party. The Experience Music Project is a great place to explore, especially when you don't have to pay for it. The Sub Pop soundtrack and open bar didn't hurt either.
  • No Conference Swag. Not that we need another logo-laden t-shirt, but it is nice to leave an event like this with a memento.
  • Inspiration. For all of our critiques, we left incredibly excited about the work that we're doing, the work others are doing, and the world of Ruby. What's the point of an event like this if you don't leave wanting to build something?
  • You can watch the videos from Cascadia Ruby Conf here.