This September marks the third RailsCamp New England that I’ve attended. For those of you who don’t know, RailsCamp is the ultimate unconference: a get-together that has all the advantages of a conference, but in a much more informal environment. About 30 or so programers of varying degrees of familiarity with Ruby on Rails get together at a location, where we all proceed to hack our little hearts out. The venue is typically small, encouraging everyone to get to know the others in the room. People take turns giving presentations on topics ranging from e-commerce solutions in Ruby on Rails, “Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Rails”, to learning how to make the switch from Rails 2 to Rails 3 (something I still have yet to do). At the end of RailsCamp, everyone is encouraged to show off what they have been working on the whole weekend.
I love RailsCamp. I think it’s an awesome idea. Where else would find a place where you have experts in the field hanging out, specifically with the goal of teaching newbies in a one-on-one environment on how to improve their mad ruby skillz? I think the community for Ruby on Rails is probably what draws me to the language/framework the most. I’ve met some wonderful people over the course of these three RailsCamps, and I’ve gone from someone who knew next to nothing about Ruby, to someone who apparently spends most of her spare time hacking on a Ruby on Rails app (It’s a character sheet / campaign manager for D&D 3.5, more details on that project in a future post). But RailsCamp wouldn’t be possible without the help of sponsors, who help make costs more affordable, by covering some of the venue costs and paying for meals.
Which is why I want to end this post by thanking the people for making RailsCamp NE possible. Thank you, Velir and Vermonster, for sponsoring the 3rd rails camp. Thanks also to Brian Cardarella, for organizing Railscamp every six months, and taking the time to help find sponsors. RailsCamp wouldn’t be the same without you.