Railsmagazine60x60 ThoughtWorks hosts RubyConf India 2010

by Judy Das

Issue: Vol 2, Issue 1 - All Stuff, No Fluff

published in June 2010

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RubyConf India 2010, the first RubyConf to be held in India, took place on March 20th and 21st at The Royal Orchid Hotel, Bangalore. ThoughtWorks Technologies took the lead in organising and sponsoring this event which had attendees from 29 cities across the globe representing 119 companies, mostly startups. Delegates flew in from London, Melbourne, LA, Singapore & other cities to attend this 2-day, dual-track event which featured 25 speakers, many of them influential leaders in the international Ruby community. This event was supported by Ruby Central.

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An emerging technology that promises to revolutionise the way software is developed, Ruby is an open source, dynamic programming language. Ruby has one of the most active open source communities worldwide which produce and support tools and projects like “Ruby on Rails” - a powerful web application development framework that significantly reduces time-to-market and is used by top web companies like Twitter and Shopify.

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The sessions conducted by speakers like Ola Bini (core committer on JRuby since 2006), Obie Fernandez (pioneering Rails developer and author of “The Rails Way”) and Brendan G. Lim (Director of Mobile Solutions at Intridea) were huge successes. The highlight of the 2-day event was the video call in which Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, the creator of Ruby himself, addressed the Ruby community in India. During his interactive session, Matz shared insightful ideas on what the future has in store for the Ruby language, interspersed with witty anecdotes on how he came to create and name the language. He also mentioned that work on the long awaited Ruby 2.0 would start in August. Glassfish evangelist Arun Gupta’s presentation on multiple web Ruby frameworks, and ThoughtWorker Sarah Taraporewalla’s talk titled “The Taming of the View” generated a burst of activity on Twitter. Many delegates skipped lunch on Day 2 for an extended Q&A with Pradeep Elankumaran on his subject “The Big Wave of Indian Startups.”

ThoughtWorks has consistently participated in Ruby conferences and other related events across the globe. This year it instituted the Innovation & Technology Trust, a public non-profit with the objective of providing a support system and networking between professionals in the field of emerging technologies and open-source by bringing them together during workshops, seminars, conferences.

Social media played a key role in enhancing the interaction and networking among the Ruby community and enthusiasts with people tweeting about the talks in real-time. In response to tweets about the absence of an IRC channel, some of the attendees took the initiative to set up an interactive forum. Speaker Nick Sieger tweeted: “#rubyconfindia vibe is really awe-inspiring. Can literally feel the energy of a new, vibrant Ruby community joining the global one!”

Talking about the success of RubyConf India 2010, Roy Singham, founder of ThoughtWorks, said, “This conference represents a great moment in the history of the software industry in India. We are witnessing the beginning of chapter two - the building of a vibrant indigenous passionate culture of software excellence and innovation. The Ruby community globally represents the best in software. It was therefore a total joy to see India assemble its own high caliber developers - free from the economic dictates of powerful anti-productive software forces in the west. This is indeed a great moment for the software industry.”

Sarah Taraporewalla, a senior consultant from ThoughtWorks London, was very impressed with the outcome of RubyConf India. “I was particularly impressed with the number of women present at the conference. It’s a clear indicator of the fact that there is a considerable number of women in the Ruby community in India. It was also really great to see the interesting and innovative ideas coming out of India. I think it’s a sign of great things to come for Ruby programmers and enthusiasts in this country. India is definitely the place to watch!”

Pradeep Elankumar and Brendan G. Lim, both speakers from Intridea, an innovations based company that specialises in enterprise collaboration applications, said “This was the most inviting and enjoyable RubyConf we’ve attended. Every single session was so informative, and it was so heartening to see everyone’s passion, energy, and willingness to learn. It was the best RubyConf ever!”

Videos and presentations from the conference will be up on www.rubyconfindia.org.

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