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RubyConf 2018

I’d been hearing about Ruby conference for years, with it being an annual highlight on my partner’s calendar. This year, I finally got the chance to attend and see what all the hype was about.

The conference was held at Jones Bay Wharf, right on Sydney Harbour. As well as providing picturesque surroundings, the large hall meant that approximately 420 attendees could fit into one place - supporting a single track format.

This proved to be an important and deliberate choice on the part of the organisers this year. The theme “Ruby friends” was designed to highlight the famous closeness and friendliness of the Ruby community.

It’s pretty evident from the extremely welcoming logo!

It worked, too. As a first time attendee to the conference I felt very at ease and welcomed. The single track meant that everyone was included and conversation around refreshments after the talks were naturally about the common experiences with the talk. Doltone House, the venue on the wharf did an amazing job of catering, and I was extremely happy that Lookahead Search continued their tradition of sponsoring the coffee cart at the conference.

While some were technical (and fun), the talks had an underlying human theme. Some of the highlights for me were Eleanor Kiefel Haggerty @eleanorkh discussing the similarities between archaeology and programming to understand developer decision-making, and Merrin Macleod @merxplat closing off the conference with the realisation that politics and technology cannot be separated.

Of course, there was Sandi Metz @sandimetz, author of the famous books Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby (POODR) and 99 Bottles of OOP. Sandi’s talk (titled “You are not sufficiently persuasive”) also followed the theme that had been carefully curated by the conference’s organisers.

If you didn’t go, have a look at the conference speakers page https://www.rubyconf.org.au/2018/speakers for an idea of what you missed… and keep an eye on the RubyConf Australia twitter @rubyconf_au for an announcement of when the talks are online.

If we are lucky, we might also get some footage of the amazing and at times hilarious MC double act that is Nick Bruning @thetron and Melissa Kaulfuss @MelissaKaulfuss. While it might be their stated last RubyConf as an organiser team, hopefully we’ll see at least one of them back again as an MC.

Either way, glad to say I’ll be doing my best to get to RubyConf again next year, and make it a highlight of my calendar as well :)

Check out our list of upcoming tech meetups and events in Australia here.