Downtown Minneapolis was home to the internationally recognized JRuby Conference this past week when the 4th annual event lit-up the Guthrie Theater over the course of three days.
Organizationally driven by husband and wife duo Nick Sieger & Flannery Dolan, the niche event drew 150 – 200 progressive developers from the cutting edge of the programming world for focused workshops, speakers, networking and whiskey.
“We wanted to showcase the best of the city and the locale in a cordial, ‘welcome to Minnesota’ atmosphere,” says Sieger.
“The program mix offered deep tech and inspirational topics to challenge people to improve their careers, relationships and selves. Based on the overwhelming response we’ve received from many of the attendee’s, I’d say we had great success on all of those fronts!” he continues.
JRuby is an open source Java implementation of the popular Ruby language that provides programmers with “a terse means of getting a lot done with little amount of code,” says JRuby lead developer Charles Nutter. “Some might call it an escape from Java.”
There’s no coincidence that the tour was in our backyard this year; JRuby has a unique connection to Minnesota as fully half of the four person core development team — Nutter and collaborator Thomas Enebo — are locals.
The JRuby Conference also included two unique components this year to “expand the community and to celebrate diversity.” The addition of RailsBridge workshops “designed for women and their friends,” and KidsCodeCamp which exposed about 30 kids, some as young as seven, to the modern programming language. “It was great to be there and watch their reaction to making the simplest things work,” Nutter says.
“As a language, Ruby has become increasingly popular on a global level and we’ve seen the local Ruby group growing consistently since 2005. I think there’s even more we could do to bring in other language conferences like this to Minnesota in the future,” he affirms.