RubyNation
RubyNation 2012 Retrospective
The organizers met at Vinifera last night for our annual conference retrospective and dinner. Great food, excellent wine, awesome friends. What more could you want for a good time?
RubyNation 2012 Is Over
RubyNation is like a microcosm of excellent talks, mind-blowing ideas, awesome food and great people. When it's over, I'm simultaneously elated that we pulled off another great event and sad that it's over.
RubyNation 2012 Shirt Orders are In
Whew. Shirt orders for RubyNation 2012 have been submitted to CustomInk, and we spent a pile of money. Red T-shirts for attendees; black polos for speakers and organizers; and charcoal hoodies for organizers (by special request this year).
General Dynamics Sends Ten
I'm very pleased that my own company, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, is sending ten people to RubyNation 2012.
RubyNation 2012 Schedule Finalized
The organizers met tonight and worked out the schedule for all of the talks at RubyNation 2012, which will be held March 23 - 24. I'm speaking right before the Saturday Closing Keynote by Corey Haines.
RubyNation 2012 Tickets on Sale Now
Tickets for RubyNation 2012 are on sale now. With RailsConf on the left side of the country, where else are you going to get your Ruby fix? The conference is March 23 - 24, 2012.
Rubynation 2012 on the Horizon
Planning activities began today for RubyNation 2012, which will be the 5th year anniversary for the conference. We start planning more than 8 months before the conference, commencing with a planning meeting and kick-off dinner for the organizers.
RubyNation 2011 Hallway Track Podcast External Link
I'm the 3rd interview on Russ Olsen's first podcast from his RubyNation 2011 Hallway Track Podcast series. Check out the podcast now (and buy Russ Olsen's book, Eloquent Ruby, too).
RubyNation Collateral External Link
I added a RubyNation Collateral section to my portfolio to showcase some of the key documents and graphics that have been created for RubyNation over the last few years. Let me know what you think!
RubyNation 2011 Is Sold Out!
It's official. RubyNation 2011 is sold out. This year's conference will have 200 attendees, our best total ever. If you're interested, get yourself on the waiting list. If anybody cancels, you might still have a chance to get a ticket.
RubyNation Speaker Selection
The Call for Papers closed Sunday, January 31st. The conference organizers met last night and finalized the speaker selections. We'll be posting individual speaker announcements as we get confirmations from each speaker. We'll have the full schedule on RubyNation as soon as we can get all speakers confirmed.
Tickets Now on Sale for RubyNation 2011 External Link
Tickets are now on sale for RubyNation 2011, with a special Super Early Bird price that will be good until the end of the month. Get your tickets now before they sell out!
RubyNation 2011 Call for Papers Opens External Link
It's that time of year again. The Call for Papers for RubyNation 2011 is now open! If you'd like to speak at the conference on April 1 -2, get your proposals in now.
Garbage Collection and the Ruby Heap
I just published this detailed Ruby internals talk from Joe Amato and Aman Gupta, which is available at Blip.tv. From RubyNation 2010.
Persistence Smoothie: Blending SQL and NOSQL in Ruby Applications
I just published this RubyNation video about NOSQL databases from Michael Bleigh (of Intridea fame), which is available at Blip.tv.
Jeremy McAnally Interview External Link
In this interview, Gray Herter talks with Ruby expert Jeremy McAnally about his Rails 3.0 talk at RubyNation 2010:
The Ruby Insurgency External Link
The Joe O'Brien and Jim Weirich talk is now available, featuring imaginative skits to show Rubyists the mindset of customers. And, of course, our own Dave Bock makes a special guest appearance in the video. Check it out!
Jeff Casimir's Education Talk Is Online External Link
I just finished editing and uploading Jeff Casimir's top-rated education talk, "How to Teach Anything to Anybody, Even Your Dev Team." The talk is now available online at rubynation.blip.tv. Check it out now!
Nick Sieger's Rails/Java Video
While I functioned as the producer and driving force behind RubyNation's video production effort, I had only limited editing experiencer with Final Cut Pro. Nick Sieger's video on "Rails: The Killer Java Web Stack," is the first conference video that I was 100% responsible for from beginning to end.

RubyNation Contest
It looks like RubyNation will be doing an online photo contest using the Votridea Online Contest Platform. I'll post more news as it becomes available.
Recruiting Rich Kilmer
I'm at RailsConf 2010 in Baltimore, MD. I just recruited Rich Kilmer to be a keynote speaker for RubyNation 2011.
First Three RubyNation Videos
Don Anderson and I have gotten the first batch of RubyNation conference videos live online at rubynation.blip.tv. This includes presentations from Jim Weirich, Nick Gauthier and Kyle Banker.
RubyNation 2011
We felt that the April timeframe worked out so well for RubyNation 2010 that we've already booked the same timeframe for RubyNation 2011. Next year's conference will be April 8 - 9, 2011, with a separately paid for training day on April 7 for those who are interested.
Two External Drives and Final Cut Express
I just spent $641.16 on equipment to accommodate the video editing needs of RubyNation 2010. Specifically, I ordered two 2TB Western Digital external drives with FireWire800 support to handle our video storage needs. The FireWire800 support also ensures that the drives can be used as scratch drives during video editing. Additionally, I ordered Final Cut Express for myself (my other editors both have Final Cut Pro, so we're covered).
RubyNation Restrospective 2010
We just had the Retrospective for RubyNation 2010, where all of the organizers get together for a celebratory dinner and discuss 1) what worked well with the conference, and 2) what needs to be improved for next year. I believe this strategy is one of the key reasons that RubyNation has steadily improved as a conference over the past three years.
MetroStar Ad External Link
Here's a preview of MetroStar Systems' full-page advertisement in the RubyNation 2010 Conference Program. I was surprised (and pleased) when the Marketing team incorporated pictures of myself and Dave McVicar into the ad.
Volunteers Needed for RubyNation 2010 External Link
The video production effort for RubyNation 2010 is really taking shape now, and it's clear that we're going to need more volunteers to help out. We're up to 7 cameras and two additional recording devices now. Contact me if you're interested in helping out on April 8 - 11, 2010.
RubyNation Video Production Site Survey
I just completed the video production site survey at the Sheraton Hotel, where we've got the master ballroom and a junior ballroom booked for RubyNation 2010. We resolved most of the big audio/visual setup issues, so all systems are green for this year's video production effort. We'll be video-taping the conference sessions, as well as producing a television documentary about the conference.
My Talk at RubyNation 2010
I will be speaking at RubyNation 2010. My topic is "Leveraging Rails to Build FaceBook Applications." This is a distillation of some of the practical tactics that my development team at MetroStar Systems has used to create highly successful FaceBook applications using Rails, including real-life systems like PollCast and Iran Voices. FaceBook is the world's largest social network, with over 600 million members.
RubyNation 2010 Speakers Selected
The conference organizers, including myself, met last night to finish the evaluation of the 60+ talk proposals we received this year for RubyNation. After a lot of discussion, we've now narrowed them down to the final set, pending some last minute tweaking and final confirmations of a few details with a couple of the speakers. Notifications of acceptance/non-acceptance will be going out soon.
Beer and BBQ at RubyNation
Woohoo! My company, MetroStar Systems, has signed up to be RubyNation's Friday night Happy Hour sponsor, featuring two of the major food groups: Beer and BBQ!
RubyNation Interviews
I was in the studio yesterday with a team of 7 volunteers to videotape interview footage for my upcoming documentary, "The Road to RubyNation: The Making of a Conference." Interviewees included: 1) Gray Herter, the chief organizer of RubyNation, 2) myself as a RubyNation organizer, and 3) Johnny Nguyen, Vice President of the New Media Group at MetroStar Systems.
RubyNation 2010 Date is Moving, Part 2
It's looking like April 9-10, 2010 will be the revised date for the RubyNation 2010 conference. Not confirmed yet, but looks likely.
RubyNation 2010 Date is Moving
After a moderately unpopular sojourn to Las Vegas, RailsConf has been hinting about a move to the East Coast of the United States. Today, they dropped the bombshell that RailsConf 2010 will be held in Baltimore, virtually in our backyard, in June 2010. This is, unfortunately, also the timeframe when we were planning to hold RubyNation 2010. So, it looks like RubyNation will be moving out of the way of its much larger (and considerably more expensive) cousin. March 2010 looks like a major contender for RubyNation's new date. More news later as it becomes available.
RubyNation Web Site Updated
Just finished the latest update to the RubyNation web site. Moved 2009 content into the archive area, and updated the remaining content to reflect the run-up to the next conference in June 2010 (exact date and venue still to be determined). Next step, we're working on a new look-and-feel, thanks to some help from Don Anderson, graphic artist extraordinaire.
RubyNation 2009 Survey Results
Survey results from the RubyNation 2009 survey have been trickling in, and we're very pleased with the results. This was only the second year that we've run the conference, and we've sold out both years. Even better, 2009 had 15% more attendees than 2008, so we were able to occupy a larger venue. Anyway, 66.8% of respondents rated RubyNation Very Good or Excellent compared to similar conferences. Counting in those who considered the conference Average for its type, 91.8% of respondents considered RubyNation to be Average or better for this type of technical conference.
RubyNation Speakers Selected
The list of RubyNation speakers has now been finalized, and I will be one the local DC-area speakers again this year. My topic is going to be: "Creating a World-Class RESTful API in Rails." This is based on my direct experience at Grab Networks.com creating a robust, Amazon-style API for use by partners and, eventually, the public.
RubyNation 2009 Web Site Now Up! External Link
Karen Gillison, of CodeSherpas and I just finished all of the updates for the RubyNation 2009 web site, and the updates are now live. Last year we maintained the content in, essentially, straight HTML, so this year I added a custom-built content management system to make posting news items to the site easier (implemented using Active Scaffold). The Call for Papers is now officially open, too.
RubyNation 2009
Ruby enthusiasts of the Washington DC metropolitan area, mark your calendars. We've confirmed the date for RubyNation 2009. It's going to be June 12 - 13 in Reston, VA. Based on last year's sell-through, we have commissioned a larger venue. We're going to have it at the Sheraton Hotel, where we can expand it to accommodate 200+ people, rather than the hard limit of 125 that we had at last year's conference. It's also going to be a dual-track event this year.
RubyNation 2008!!!
The RubyNation 2008 Conference was a stunning success on August 1 - 2, easily at the upper end of what the organizers were hoping for. The CIT venue was excellent, with plenty of parking, a really nice auditorium and good electronics capabilities. The catering was first-rate. Finally, the array of speakers and the mix of topics went over very well with the audience. Rest assured, there will be a RubyNation 2009.
RubyNation Conference Sold Out!
As one of the organizers, I'm proud to say that the RubyNation 2008 Conference has sold out. All 125 tickets (at $175 each) were sold in 52 days, which is excellent for any technical conference, let alone the first year of a conference. We were also able to attract a number of great sponsors, as well as companies to provide some truly excellent giveaways. Between the tickets selling out and the sponsors, the conference is solidly in the black, which is also gratifying (since there are some pretty hefty hard costs associated with running a conference).
RubyNation Tickets Selling Nicely
Tickets for RubyNation 2008, a new regional Ruby conference that I'm helping to organize, are selling briskly. We're at about the 75% mark, with ticket prices due to increase by $25 on July 16th. By my calculations, we're already in the black based on ticket sales and sponsorships, which is always a vital milestone. My guess is that RubyNation will be sold out at least a week before the conference.
RubyNation 2008 Registration Now Open
Registration for the 2008 RubyNation Conference just opened today. Join the nation! Get your ticket for the DC area's very own regional Ruby conference.
RubyNation Progress Report
Plans for RubyNation, a new regional conference serving metropolitan DC and surrounding areas, is progressing nicely. The venue and budget have been finalized. The Call for Papers just closed earlier this week, and final selection of speakers will be done in a couple of days. Finally, registration will be opening shortly for this two-day conference, which will start on August 1, 2008.
On the Steering Committee for RubyNation.org
I was honored to be asked to join the Steering Committee for RubyNation.org, which is a new, regional Ruby Conference that will be held in the DC metropolitan area this year. The organization is headed up by a sterling group of people, who I have already worked with in various capacities. Naturally, I accepted, even though I realize it's going to be a lot of work. We're expecting not only to run a successful conference this year, but we're also hoping to make it an annual event.

RubyNation Conference, August 1, 2008, in Tysons Corner, VA. Easily accessible to the entire Washington DC Metropolitan Area.


Regional Ruby Conference (2008)
The as-yet-unnamed regional Ruby conference being planned by the NovaRUG has been tentatively scheduled for June 28th. Right now, it's planned as a one-day event, although I'm hopeful that it will expand to a two-day event. Expansion to two days would, of course, increase my chances of being one of the speakers.
Regional Ruby Conference
I'm a member of a NovaRUG committee that's organizing a regional Ruby conference for the Northern Virginia area, to be held sometime in June 2008. I'll post more news about this event as it becomes available. I'm also tentatively planning to speak at the event, probably on a topic related to JRuby.