Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Why you need to come to RailsConf EU

Posted by David

Lars Pind is voicing his concerns over the lack of enthusiasm around RailsConf Europe. I can sympathize with the fears, but allow me to iterate why you need to be at RailsConf Europe.

Rails is not an American thing! It was created by a Dane, after all. The core team musters people from Canada, Germany, and Austria. The community itself involves people from literally all over the world. RailsConf Europe should be asserting that fact and allowing us to demonstrate that there’s a viable ecosystem outside of the US.

Okay, that was the moral call to action. Now what you get out of it. RailsConf Europe will feature a host of exclusive presentations that’s not just a rehash of the US conference. We have Kathy Sierra, the star of recently concluded OSCON, gracing us with her presence. We got Jim Weirich, one of the Ruby communities best speakers, the creator of Rake and Builder, coming even though he wasn’t at the US version.

Unlike the US version, we actually have Rails core members speaking besides yours truly. The honorable Jamis Buck, the king of Capistrano, wasn’t even at RailsConf US, but will be here. Thomas Fuchs, the czar of script.aculo.us, wasn’t at RailsConf US either, but will be here. All that on top of Marcel Molina, Dave Thomas, and myself delivering fresh speeches.

So in many ways, I see the European line-up being even stronger than the US one. That’s not to say its all a rosy dance. It’s considerably more expensive to do a conference in London than in the suburbs of Chicago, which means somewhat of a sticker shock. There’s currently less employment opportunities for Rails in Europe than in the US, so more people have to pay out of their own pocket.

But if you have the means, if you’re working professionally with Rails, you really should come. Let’s reverse the trend of US conferences bringing over an anemic, rehashed show. And let’s assert the fact that Rails is not an American invention or property. It’s a global play and a strong Europe should balance that fact.

See you at RailsConf Europe? I sure hope so! Remember, it’s September 14-15 in London. Register today.

P.S.: Americans are more than welcome too. Considering all the great exclusive speakers line up and the opportunity for a more intimate experience, I think you have a strong argument for a trip to London this September.