RubyConf 2017: Coming Home

What makes this community so special

RubyConf is my “feels like home” conf. I’m not sure if it’s because the Ruby community is where I got my start, or because the people and community are just so gosh-darn nice. Regardless, after being at many wonderful conferences this year, it felt good to, metaphorically, go home for a week. There are many incredible RubyConf talks that happen every year and I encourage you to watch the videos as they come out. When you do, make sure to watch out for RubyConf’s overarching tone. All of the keynote talks focused on one theme: Your code is not your legacy. Your code is not what you will leave behind. What you will leave behind and what people will remember is you, the people you helped, the folks you had an impact on, and the monumental importance of being nice to yourself and to others.

I love this theme. It started in Matz’s keynote. During his keynote, the founder of Ruby shared that he is honestly embarrassed by the phrase MINAWAN (Matz is nice and so we are nice) and instead wishes RINASWAN (Ruby is nice and so we are nice) had caught on. It continued through Chad Fowler’s talk on “Growing Old” and Andy Croll’s talk on “The Impermanence of Software”. Both of those talks focused on how the code you write goes away, it gets refactored, it dies and that how you treat people, mentor others, and show your kindness are paramount to the code you write every day.

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The theme concluded with Sandi Metz’s talk “You’re Insufficiently Persuasive” where she used psychology and books like Influence and How to Win Friends and Influence People to talk about what makes people and teams happy when dealing with one another. She also dove into the idea of psychological safety which is about being nice to folks and making everyone feel comfortable. Metz concluded her talk by telling us “you are good enough.”, something we often don’t hear enough of in the tech industry. The idea of being nice, reaching out, and the importance of our Ruby community was concluded in the Ignite Talks after lunch on that last day.

I love that RubyConf put forth the theme they did because it’s also why I love working at Collective Idea and with our clients. In fact, three of our core values encapsulate RubyConf’s theme very well.

Our first value is that “We Put People First”, which means:

  • We value each other and the clients we work with.
  • We make sure to respect and care for one another.
  • We know that we are more than just our code and our interactions show that.
  • We make things better.
  • We always leave a project, a place, or each other better than when we started.

Another one of our core values is “Make Things Better”. Whether this is a grand gesture or just a small action that helps solve a larger problem, we’re constantly focused on betterment.

The other core value of ours that really captures RubyConf’s theme is that of “Have Perspective”. In fact, most of the keynote talks at RubyConf were all about perspective. The talks really drove home the point that each of us as individuals, are part of a larger community and we all make an impact on each other. At Collective Idea, we do the same, ensuring we have perspective and take into account a variety of thoughts and opinions.

As a Collective Idea team member who considers RubyConf and the Ruby community her home, I’m so glad that many of our company’s core values map so directly to the things that are viewed as incredibly important to the Ruby community as well.

We’re currently looking for new clients so if you have a problem to solve and you want to work with nice people to solve it, contact us today.

Photo of Allison McMillan

Allison was first introduced to programming at a Rails Girls workshop after a career as a nonprofit executive. She is also an international conference speaker living in the Washington, DC area. When she’s not writing code for us, she invests her time leading the People Committee which focuses on the health and happiness of our team members!