5 Reasons to attend the Balkan Ruby Conference

1. The community

The community that grows up around a programming language is one of its most important strengths. Ruby has a vibrant and growing community that is friendly towards people of all skill levels.

Since its public release in 1995, Ruby has drawn dedicated coders worldwide. I’ve joined the Ruby community almost 2 years ago, and it is probably the best I’ve been a part of. These past days, during the Balkan Ruby Conference held in Sofia, Bulgaria, I had the opportunity of meeting many amazing people and hearing some awesome talks.

2. Explore south-eastern Europe

From my point of view, Balkan Ruby is a great chance to participate in the biggest Ruby event in south-eastern Europe. In addition to exploring the Balkan, it is an outstanding conference about Ruby and satellite technologies.

Their goal is to introduce the local communities to each other, invite companies and developers from all over Europe to visit the Balkan region, learn new technologies and share ideas.

From what I’ve seen, they are doing a great job!

3. Excellent line-up

The conference was a 2-day, single-track gathering with a technical focus on Ruby and its ecosystem. The thing that I probably liked the most was the strong line-up.

Balkan Ruby 2019 line-up

The opening and closing keynotes, held by Eileen Uchitelle and Aaron Patterson, both working at Github and both Rails Core contributors, were amazing.

Working at Github and maintaining and upgrading a large and trafficked application must be tough. But just as we do, they too face issues with CI, local development, queries, Rails versions and a bunch of other problems.

Eileen giving a talk about the Past, the Present and the Future of Rails at Github

They gave us great insights and advice based on their own experience. Eileen talked about how they finally upgraded Rails, the lessons they learned and whether they will do it again.

You can find Eileen’s presentation on speakerdeck.

As in the keynote presentations, code, cats and rakia were covered in the other talks as well as some useful tips for Rails, deep and accurate understanding of Ruby, guidance, and recommendations for development and much, much more. I’ve assembled a list of the presentations I could find so far:

Tung Nguyen on Jets: The Ruby Serverless Framework

Alexandre Lairan, How I enter into the machine learning world

Edouard Chin, Getting ready for l18n, Shopify’s case study

Fernando Mendes, you. and the morals of technology

Soutaro Matsumoto, An introduction to typed Ruby programming

Yulia Oletskaya, RPC Frameworks Overview (Github repo)

4. Advanced technical focus

Overall, the conference had a great mix of presentations, both tech and soft, most of them advanced.

I’ve been a Ruby On Rails developer for 1.5 years, so basically, the most useful talks for me were held at this conference. Additionally, I think that this conference needs more promoting since there are no downsides from this particular experience.

5. Networking

I got to meet and spend time with members of the Ruby community that I look up to. I got to talk about the everyday struggles in our projects with people that I admire. People that engage in interesting topics without hesitation and provide constructive feedback and advice. People that are ready to talk about their mistakes, so you can learn from them.

You probably won’t have it like this in many other communities. Here’s to you Ruby folks! And many, many thanks to the organizers and RubyOnRails Bosnia for providing us with the tickets for this conference!

Balkan Ruby 2019