Seventy people came together last September weekend to celebrate and work on Ruby Open Source Software projects at our Berlin ROSS conf edition - 25 percent of whom were female, a pretty unique number compared to other Open Source initiatives. We also had two 0 year olds roaming the wonderful Wooga office. But enough about demographics. What happened at ROSS conf Berlin?
With Travis CI's support we were able to have Zachary Scott (@_zzak), Laura Frank (@rhein_wein), André Arko (@indirect), Piotr Solnica (@_solnic_) and 'Tyranja' (@_tyranja_) present the projects they (co)maintain. Being: Ruby, Panamax, Bundler, Ruby Object Mapper and the Speakerinnen project.
We also scheduled a little lightning talk by Sonja Heinen (@sonjaheinen) from RubyIssue(s), to help participants continue working on Open Source issues after ROSS conf. Sonja and Robin had even send out a ROSS conf themed RubyIssue(s) … eh … issue. Did you know that there are more than 238,000 open Ruby issues on GitHub?
Laura Frank had set up a gist to simplify contributing to the 3 (!) projects she brought to ROSS conf. She also tagged all Panamax, Lorry AND Flatcar's issues with 'rossconf' on GitHub. Piotr Solnica explained the workflow of committing to Ruby Object Mapper as pretty straight-forward: issue/discussion => pull request => discussion => merge/reject. Bundler's André Arko mentioned that newbie contributors shouldn't worry too much about getting it right the first time. "I didn't get it right the first 12 times."
Zachary - zzak - Scott- about his ROSS conf team working on Ruby: "We had a strong team with contributors from a variety of backgrounds all working on something. We received 3 patches in total, 1 bug fix, 1 doc patch, and 1 feature. With one more doc patch coming soon. I couldn't be happier!"
His slides can be found on Speakerdeck.
Laura on her ROSS conf experience: "ROSS conf exceeded my expectations. Maintainers and attendees alike got an in-depth look at very useful projects in the Ruby community, as well as an inside look into Ruby itself – not just in terms of code, but how also Open Source projects are managed. The projects I maintain received a half-dozen PRs, as well as very important planning and design time with other like-minded engineers."
Some stats: 4 non-trivial issues got resolved and the project received 6 pull requests, ranging from renaming/reorganizing initialization commands, optimizing Rails Docker images and Dockerfiles, added linting and allowing users to pick their own version of Ruby to work with.
The Speakerinnen project gained two 2 issues, but also merged 3 pull requests. One of which converted Cucumber tests in rspec tests, saving loads of work for the core team. 'Tyranja' left the hackathon with "a lot of energy and new motivation". Find the Speakerinnen slides on Speakerdeck.
Some feedback from our attendees and lurkers on Twitter:
A fresh change from other web conferences, #RossConf in Berlin has diverse gender participation, and even a parent with their child! :D :D— immigrant (@shushugah) September 26, 2015
Behind the scenes
The team used Slack to organize themselves and the wonderful volunteers for Berlin, Sara Regan and Gosia Ciesla. Wondering why our Twitter pictures looked so good? Michael Berger (@ovis_arjes) sent them to us in real-time via camera Wi-Fi. Cause you know, technology. You can find a selection of his shots on Facebook.
Where would we have been without the support of Wooga and Maike? Wooga took care of breakfast, fruit, coffee and the likes, in addition to hosting us hacking bunch. Also Codeship, Twilio and Engine Yard (anyone else still dreaming about that amazing dinner?) helped us create the best possible experience for our attendees, and - not unimportant - helped keep the conference free of charge.
Preliminary results from our feedback form show us that the talks (the maintainers get 20 minutes to intro participants to their projects, but admittedly some went a little overboard time wise) should be shorter, to leave more time for the hackathon part of the day. Noted.
We're already planning for ROSS conf London and next spring. We need help specifically finding a location for < 70 people, sponsors to cover travel and accommodation for speakers as well as team and catering for our attendees. Let us know when you want to help out! And generally, we'd love to hear from you in case you're interested in organizing a ROSS conf in your city: github.com/rossconf/rossconf.io/issues/35.
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