Thursday, October 19, 2023

Rails World 2023: A Recap of Two Days of Rails

Posted by Amanda Perino

First, we have good news…

We’re excited to share that all the talks from Rails World 2023 are now available online! Revisit your favorite sessions or catch up on ones you missed on the Rails World 2023 YouTube playlist here.


The first edition of Rails World in Amsterdam was a two-day, two track community conference featuring technical talks, demos, workshops, networking, and keynotes about the latest features and best practices in Rails development.

There were 700+ Rails developers in attendance, 29 speakers, 3 keynotes, workshops, an AMA with the Rails Core team, the first Rails Luminary awards, and one big birthday celebration to close it all off.

The attendee feedback survey results are coming in, so here is what you thought worked well:

  • “Friendly people. Interesting speakers. Amazing venue.”
  • “The venue. The food. The vibe. The community.”
  • “Great speakers, great atmosphere; everyone was so happy to engage.”
  • “Loved the people. Loved the venue and the food, the atmosphere, the overall production quality. I loved how easy it was to meet and mingle with people.”

It’s hard to miss the recurring theme in these replies: We may have provided the cool space and rallied the speakers, but you brought the vibe.

This is exactly what the Rails Foundation Core & Contributing members felt, too. We loved meeting you in person, hearing your ideas on how we can support you, and sharing in your enthusiasm for the future of Rails.

We would be remiss not to share what you thought didn’t work so well. The two most reported answers were: the screen in Track 1 was too low, and there wasn’t enough time between sessions to chat and hang out. We hear you, and we fully agree. This is important feedback we are already considering for next year.

In case you missed it, here are some of the other highlights:

Opening & Closing Keynotes

DHH delivered the Opening Keynote and covered a lot of ground, including introducing 7 major tools in support of The One Person Framework: Propshaft, Turbo 8, Strada, Solid Cache, Solid Queue, Mission Control, and Kamal. Watch it here.

Eileen Uchitelle delivered the first Closing Keynote on the philosophy behind Rails - a sprinkling of magic, but also a good dose of common patterns to build agnostic and beautiful interfaces. Watch it here.

Aaron Patterson closed Rails World with a keynote where he took a look at how language servers work, how we can improve language server support in Rails, and how this will increase our productivity as Rails developers. Find it online here.

Rails Core AMA

Ten of the current 12 Rails Core members sat down with Planet Argon founder and CEO Robby Russell to answer questions submitted by the Rails World audience, such as: How do they decide on which features to add? How should Rails evolve in the future? What does it take to join the Core team?

Rails Core members present were: Aaron Patterson, Carlos Antonio Da Silva, David Heinemeier Hansson, Eileen Uchitelle, Jean Boussier, Jeremy Daer, John Hawthorne, Matthew Draper, Rafael França, and Xavier Noria.

Watch the full AMA here.

Rails Luminary Awards

We presented GoRails founder Chris Oliver with the very first community-nominated Rails Luminary award for his inspiring dedication & outstanding contributions to the Rails community and presented Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke with the first Rails Lifetime Award for his long-term dedication & significant positive impact on the Rails framework from as far back as 2004. Full announcement and video coming tomorrow!

Rails 20th Birthday Celebration

Rails World also marked a significant milestone - the 20th anniversary of Rails as a framework, so we closed out the event with a party in the sponsor lounge with polaroid photos, Rails cupcakes, and a Jukebox DJ.

Thank You Sponsors!

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of Rails World sponsors and Rails Foundation members. With no previous Rails World as a benchmark, they still showed up and put their trust in the event and the Rails Foundation, and for that we are eternally grateful. Special shout out to our Platinum sponsor AppSignal, who was the very first sponsor on board and whose team brought a lot of energy (and stroopwaffles) to the event.

If your company would like to sponsor a future Rails World, please get in touch. We will be sharing the 2024 prospectus for Rails World in Toronto in the next few weeks!

See you next year!

To the speakers, sponsors, and most importantly, the attendees—thank you for making Rails World 2023 an event to remember. Here’s to another year of pushing the boundaries of Rails development and continuing to shape the future of web applications. See you at Rails World 2024 in Toronto!