Monday, October 05, 2009

Lanka Ruby User Group - 1st Meetup

As some of you may have already heard, some people who are interested in the programming language Ruby got together and formed a Ruby User Group. Within something around a months time they had their first meetup. If you get my drift, I'm also one of those people. :)


Sri Lankan software developers have been using Ruby for a while. Some cases were isolated projects but during the time period around 2005/2006 there have been a rise in the usage of Ruby in serious projects. Still the people who loved Ruby coding lived scattered everywhere. When an Italian Ruby coder named Sebastiano visited Sri Lanka by the end of 2007, he asked the few of us he met (individually), why we weren't hanging around with the like minded crowd. True, we had a quite active Linux User Group / FOSS interest group in Sri Lanka. But apart from that there weren't much enthusiasm flying around in favour of technical groups. However Twitter was able to get some Ruby enthusiasts together.

Ruby User Group

Anyway, the history behind, they formed a Ruby User Group quite recently. I am personally very excited about it and the progress so far.

If you are interested in Ruby (and Ruby on Rails) programming or you are interested in learning more about them you are welcome to join the Google group, which is currently named Rubyologists.

1st Meetup

1st meetup was held on 30th September evening at the RidgeCrest Asia premises. Laktek (Lakshan) already has a blogpost about the event.

I was very happy to see more than 20 Ruby enthusiasts showing up and getting to know each other. I was even more happy to see that the group consists of people from a wide range of backgrounds. There were two CEO/CTOs, couple of web/visual/experience designers, web applications developers, software engineers, trainee developers, people from category combos and etc. Me and Yajith (who by the way was delighted to see the healthy participation of ladies) were mainly SysAdmin types. :) Humour apart, it was really encouraging to see that a few of our female colleagues showing up. It's a good sign that the group has a balanced eco system.

We are planning to abide by the golden principle: MINASWAN (or MINSWAN, depending in how you write). After all, I personally believe the biggest strength of Ruby is its friendly community. For people who didn't know, MINSWAN stands for "Matz Is Nice, So We Are Nice".

Anyway here are some snaps from the meetup. You can find the full set from here.





Aslam doing the session "HTML 5 and Semantic Web"

Lakshan (Laktek) doing his talk "Evolution of Rails"


A big thank should go to Sameera Gayan who stepped up and coordinated the meetup. Another thank goes to Sanath for allowing us to use Ridgecrest premises for the meetup, ans also for the snacks/refreshments.

Aslam also deserves a big thanks from us for the great session about HTML 5 and Semantic Web, and more than everything, travelling all the way from Kandy just for the meetup despite the bereavement in his family.

Even though Laktek (Lakshan) is a little worried that he scared/bored the girls away with his session about Evolution of Rails, I have to admit it was a good details session. :) Further more he gave us a teaser trailer of a cool project he's working on (which would be an upcoming Open Source project). For everyone interested, his slides of the session can be found at slideshare.

And finally a big thank to every guy and girl who showed up that eve to get to know and have a chat about Ruby. We appreciate it very much and hope to see you all in the future meetups and other events too. :)

PS: If you are interested in Ruby, consider joining the User Group. In a future meetup I'm going to do a session about "Ruby Beyond Rails" which would talk about use of Ruby for non-web projects such as system infrastructure (mainly), security, etc. If the time allows you should be able to join that session in the next meetup.