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Kevin Murphy
Kevin Murphy

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Four Things To Take Away From RailsConf 2024

RailsConf 2024

Now that RailsConf 2024 is behind us, I want to share some key takeaways that I left Detroit with. I also have a full recap available of what I saw while I was there.

1. #RubyFriends Is More Than A Hashtag

I cannot overstate the importance of your professional network. In the Ruby community, we talk a lot about Ruby Friends. How you build and cultivate that group is up to you. Conferences have been a main driver of that for

The reason I was on the Program Committee is because of the conference relationships I’ve built. I congratulated Ufuk on joining the Ruby Central board at RubyConf last year. I (sincerely) told him to keep me in mind if I can help in the future. He immediately said, "program committee?" And then he remembered when putting together RailsConf's committee. I'm thankful to him for the opportunity.

The conference is an excuse to connect with my friends before, during, and after the actual event. I can check in on speaker friends throughout the process. This year I developed meaningful relationships with fellow Program Committee members. That persists throughout the conference. And after we can reminisce and recall all those moments.

And sure, hopefully I'm being helpful to my Ruby Friends, much like I know they'll help me. But really what I appreciate most is having something to reach out to them about.

2. Ruby ❤️ Rails

Rails benefits greatly from the tooling and improvements of Ruby itself. John Hawthorn demonstrated how Vernier can help profile Ruby code. That benefits all our Rails applications. Aaron Patterson described existing and future changes in Ruby. Each one improves our Rails applications. To take advantage of them, we need to stay up-to-date with those changes.

3. Build with Rails? Build With Rails.

The theme at RailsConf was "Building with Rails". We heard from people who built businesses with Rails. Built teams with Rails. Built technical advances with Rails. Built careers with Rails. Nadia talked to us about The StoryGraph. I took away an appreciation of how many risks and unknowns you take on starting and running a business. By keeping the tech simple and known, you can allocate your risk budget elsewhere.

Irina also surveyed various earlier-stage founders on their use of Rails. Hearing what they appreciate about the ecosystem was reaffirming. Learning what they're missing was informative and helpful.

Marco also called attention to Rails-adjacent projects, like Turbo and Stimulus Reflex. His talk provided a great history lesson on these projects. He gave exciting introductions to new tooling. He shared learning resources. Marco gave many options for how we can leverage this all in our Rails applications.

4. It's (Almost) Over

Yes, RailsConf 2024 is definitely over. However, RailsConf itself is also almost over. RailsConf 2025 is the last planned RailsConf. Ruby Central will continue supporting RubyConf.

This will free RubyCentral up to focus their efforts. There are many other important benefits they provide the community. I know for a long time I thought of Ruby Central as the group the puts on the conferences. I took for granted the work they do. I didn’t consider how vital they are. They support the bedrock tooling for our community: Bundler and RubyGems. I hope this shift will help others be more awareness to the rest of the ways Ruby Central supports Ruby.

But we're not done yet. Ruby Central needs your help shaping RailsConf 2025. Fill out this survey to tell them where you're excited to see RailsConf. That's right, there isn't a date or location yet. Wherever it is, I hope I see you there.

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