Back from Ruby Lugdunum 2011

28Jun11

Disclaimer : my company, Novelys, sponsored RuLu, and I organized the last RailsCampParis.

After having hesitated a little bit, because of the slow-and-old transportation facility to go from Strasbourg to Lyon, we finally decided with Justine to go to Ruby Lugdunum, the two day, single track Ruby conference in Lyon, France.

Speakers

Of course, the 11 speakers (2 french, 9 “foreigners”) were all Ruby rock stars. That means that the talks were all quite high level. That also means that if you’re not interested in a talk, you’re screwed. Wait for the next one. And yes, that’s the gripe I have for every single track conferences ;-)

Vision

I can see three types of conferences in the Ruby/Rails/OSS world :

  • Single track conferences : think Frozen Rails, Euruko, etc. Ruby rock stars are speaking about their favorite subjects which won’t necessarly match your needs (or expectations!). Usually these events are made by the community, for the community.
  • Gigantic multi track conferences : think RailsConf or FOSDEM. You can have what you want, on the menu, to the detriment of a less social interactions. Some stuff are made for the community, and some other stuff can be made to attract “outsiders”.
  • BarCamp style un-conferences : think RailsCampParis. BarCamp means, you will get what you put on the table. But with less rockstars-style show than single or multi track conferences. Again, the events are made by the community for the community. And the level of social interactions is higher than in conferences, as BarCamps are made of pure social interactions.
  • Prestige conferences : like Paris on Rails. Everybody wants to attend it and everybody wants to be on the scene. These kind of events are made for the community and to attract outsiders. You can see them as “look at what we achieved together !”

So if I understood well, the organizers want RuLu to be part of the club of European single track conferences made for the community where you can see your favorite hacker on stage. And that’s a fine goal. Even though I cleary prefers BarCamp-style conferences.

But we also need different styles of conferences (and un-conferences). But it seems there are also some other objectives pursued by RuLu : improving the adoption of Ruby in France. And this is where I don’t see the relationship between this kind of conferences and improving the Ruby community in France. I think that we need something else to enlarge our community. And I’m still searching the “what” and “how”. I mean we’re still searching, as we’re a community after all :)

And BTW, I would prefer if RuLu would find its own way. No need to mimick Euruko…

Conclusion

First, I will organize another RailsCamp during S2 2011. I think that Paris will be a good city to host the event, as it’s still central in France. We’ll see next year, after the inauguration of the TGV Rhin-Rhone, if I can organize something in Strasbourg :)

Second, of course, we still need to rejuvenate the Ruby/Rails community in France and we’re working on it ! Maybe organizing a prestige conference with all the gratin of the french IT world ? But that’s a tough task and we need a good team :)

Other articles on RuLu :

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One Response to “Back from Ruby Lugdunum 2011”

  1. I attended the very first Paris on Rails conference, in 2006, and I liked it a lot.
    I had the incredible opportunity to be invited to Paris on Rails the two following years, and could talk about Ruby and Rails on the scene. I loved it.

    I attended most of the BarCamp organized around Ruby and Rails in France, and I loved it.

    I could not attend RuLu since I had already confirmed my availability for an other event, but I would have gladly joined if possible.

    I think I prefer meeting people and discussing topics rather than attending talks, but there are events, BarCamps or n-track(s) conferences, which allow both.

    What’s my point, then?

    None. I’m waiting for the next Ruby/Rails event in France, would it be a BarCamp or another kind of event ;-) Because I know I will be able to meet incredible, talented, passionated, people anyway.

    Oh, by the way, that RailsCamp4 idea sounds great !


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