RubyConf review: 2016 and what to expect next year

| 2 min. (387 words)

RubyConf is an annual conference centered around the Ruby programming language. Organized by RubyCentral, RubyConf has become the largest gathering of Ruby programming language enthusiasts in North America. This year, RubyConf was held in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 10-12. 

While programmers from all languages are invited and encouraged to attend, the sessions focused mostly on Ruby, Rails, and related technologies. In this RubyConf review, I’m going to go over the major highlights of the event, and why I’d recommend heading there next year.


Attendees typically range from the expected Ruby and Rails developers all the way to more traditional C/Java developers. Experience levels varied from beginners just working through a coding boot camp or Computer Science degree program to senior developers/CTO’s with decades of industry experience. There was certainly a technical focus which was great for networking and discussing the future of Ruby.


Three of the favourite sessions were Cory Chamblin’s from PagerDuty, Greg Baugues’ from Twilio and Cassandra Cruz’s from Mavenlink:

What I learned

On the technical side of things, my biggest takeaways were that Ruby isn’t dying out and that functional languages and Ruby don’t have to live in opposition to each other. With the continued development of Ruby by the core team, Ruby may be entering a less ‘shiny and new’ phase of its life but it isn’t dying out. On the functional programming front, Ruby works quite well with functional design patterns and interacts quite well with services and applications created in languages like Haskell, Go, and Clojure.

From a more social and community perspective I am continuously impressed with the professionalism, friendliness, and inclusive nature of the Ruby community. Everyone from fellow attendees to the speakers and organizers were approachable and willing to not only answer questions but even sit down for lunch with a group of strangers. I saw Yukihiro Matsumoto (also known as Matz, the creator of Ruby) eating lunch with random attendees and joining in on pictures.

What to expect next year

As is tradition, on the final day of RubyConf 2016 the location of next year’s conference was announced. For 2017, RubyConf will once again be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. RubyConf had previously been in New Orleans back in 2011 so everyone seemed eager to return to a city with such a rich cultural background.