FutureRuby

July 9-12, 2009, Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto, Canada

People who program in Ruby aren’t like other coders

We are the artists, philosophers, and troublemakers. We realize that the fringe of today is the mainstream of tomorrow. We grease the engines of progress, even when we're working outside of the machine.

FutureRuby isn't a Ruby conference, but a conference for Rubyists. This is a call to order - a congress of the curious characters that drew us to this community in the first place. We have a singular opportunity to express a long-term vision, a future where Ruby drives creativity and prosperity without being dampened by partisan politics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the cost?

The stuff of dreams, comrade. Our goal is to make FutureRuby feel like a vacation for Rubyists, and we will take care of your needs throughout the entire weekend. Here are *some* of things you will be pampered with:

  • The majority of your meals are covered. This includes breakfast and lunch (with bottomless caffeine) on both conference days, as well as fine dining fit for a Czar on the evening of the 11th. We recommend you eat a light meal prior to the parties on the 10th and 12th; that said, finger foods and desserts of epic proportions will be circulating throughout at all evening events. We can cater to dietary restrictions, preferences and allergies, too.
  • Three nights of all-inclusive (yes, this includes the bar) parties — DJs, food, live bands and entertainment, performance art, giveaways and other hijinx.
  • Swag you will love (but your mother might hate). Tee’s silk-screened lovingly by hand, posters, satchels et al. We will never turn you into some sort of walking ad, either.
  • A free transit pass, good for unlimited rides on Toronto’s impeccable transit system July 10th — 12th.
  • Access to a special conference rate at the Metropolitan Hotel. Unlike other events we’ve been to, our conference rate is actually cheap.
  • We’re proud to offer a companion track for your friend/spouse/lover who’s also visiting Toronto while you attend the conference. Why should you have all of the fun? Their registration ($125) will get them included in an amazing day track plus all of the perks and evening activities. They will take in Toronto’s summer hot spots with guides and other FutureRuby travelers.

How do I get to the events that are not taking place at the hotel?

Your TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) pass is good for free rides all weekend on our rapid, green and efficient transit. Don’t worry about getting lost — maps will be provided, and since everyone will generally be together you can follow the other migrating bodies to each event! Toronto is basically on a grid, and isn’t a particularly dangerous place… getting lost might be kind of fun. Let us know if you discover something cool!

What’s all this talk of FAILCamp?

On Thursday, July 9th we’re taking over the Queen City Yacht Club (on Algonquin Island) for a open/free event. If you can make it into the city a day early, this is not to be missed! The QCYC is a beautiful old club that doesn’t have a hint of pretentious bullshit. They have their own ferry and basically travelers to the city are in for a big treat.

It sounds negative, but it’s actually really positive: people get up and share stories of their major life failures. Funny and touching, there’s no better catharsis for losing someone else’s millions that admitting where it all went wrong.

Details and registration here: failcampto.eventbrite.com.

Is this RubyFringe Part II?

No. We were really happy with how RubyFringe turned out, because it could have been the worst disaster possible! However, we felt like it would be utterly hypocritical to just throw a sequel event; we’re not here to cash in. Yes, some things are similar, and there will be familiar faces. The tone, agenda, and programming will be quite different. We’re not so hung up on making sure that every speaker is a programmer, for example.

We think FutureRuby will be a lot better than RubyFringe was. Just sayin’.

Where are the speakers? When will talk schedules be posted?

We will be gradually announcing speakers over the forthcoming weeks. Last year we had an amazing line-up, including Zed Shaw, Obie Fernandez, Giles Bowkett… and we feel like as strong as our presentations were, the one major “typical conference” detail we didn’t challenge was the assumption that every speaker was a programmer. That’s not to say that we won’t have some of the smartest Rubyists in the world on hand; we will. It’s just that the moment Nick Sieger delivered an oral history of jazz, we realized that what makes Ruby great is that it’s practitioners are all really good at other things, too.

The people we ask to speak are curated by us. We are open to proposals, but we impose a sort of twisted editorial narrative on the people that get to talk. We have a vision for the message of the conference — a better future that learns from the past — and we will shamelessly combine some of the most fascinating people we know to hammer these feelings home.

I can’t seem to find the sponsorship prospectus anywhere on the website. What gives?

When it comes to sponsors, FutureRuby is committed to only working with cool companies that we consider amongst out friends and who understand that wrapping their corporate branding around torso’s isn’t the shortest path to our eternal hearts.

For more info and creative supporter opportunities, contact meghann@unspace.ca

Are you taking on volunteers?

Yes! We are taking on volunteers at the moment, but slots are filling up quickly. Send a love letter to info@futureruby.com explaining why you’d be an awesome candidate.
Look no further than your registration confirmation email. Contact numbers + rate promo code are contained there.

When can I register with the hotel?

How do I get the $135 room rate at the Metropolitan Hotel?

Do it as soon as you register! There is a limited number of rooms, and Toronto is swamped with tourists in the summer.

I’ve never been to Toronto and need advice!

We have set up a travel page with airport information, public transportation logistics, and other useful tidbits of information. Check the website!

Who do I contact regarding….?

Can I bring my Significant Other?

Yes! Go directly to the main page. Click ‘travel companions’ and view the details. Collect $125 from them, and give it to us. Good things will happen.

Will the wifi crap out? Laptop power?

The IT staff at the Metropolitan Hotel are on wifi like white on rice. We had them set up nine industrial strength wifi repeaters for 150 last year. You’ll be given an access code upon registration for super-reliable and fast internet. We recommend a spare power bar, or an extension cord! Always a great way to make friends.

Is there space set up for hacking?

We’ve created a (relatively) quiet place with network connectivity during the evening activities on Sunday (see Parties). That said, we encourage you to hang up the laptop for a night or two, and get to know your new friends. FutureRuby is nothing if not a giant team building exercise. Nobody is going to put you on the spot socially, but if RubyFringe was any indication, it’ll be a very friendly group of folks.

What about the recession? FutureRuby is expensive! Are there hidden costs?

It’s true: even if you live in Toronto, you’re going to spend the same amount attending FutureRuby as you would going to other events. It’s not cheap! However, we don’t buy the notion that it’s “too expensive” either. We’ve outlined all of the crazy value that you get for your admission.

But let’s call a spade a spade: it’s not about the parties or the food or anything like that. Something like 10 people were so inspired after RubyFringe that they quit their jobs immediately after the event. Some day when we’re all old, you will look back and think one of two things: either, “man, FutureRuby really was the moment everything changed” or “fuck my life, why didn’t I go to FutureRuby?”

Do I need to do or bring anything special?

An open mind, a willingness to participate in things you are not necessarily expecting, and a nice suit or gown for the big night on the 11th. Geeks can be fancy, too. If you don’t bring something fancy, you will be assigned something fancy at your own peril.

Are you Communists? What’s up with all of the Communist imagery?

No, we are closer to sold-out anarchists. Russians had the best propaganda, and we’re willing to bastardize different eras of design in the name of cool swag.

This sounds cool, but I don’t know if I’ll fit in. I’m new to Ruby, and I don’t like parties.

Some people are just naturally quiet, or they don’t drink. And others might be just getting into Ruby. There’s lots of reasons why you might be questioning whether it makes sense to come. We really bend over backwards to make sure that everyone is comfortable and having a good time. There’s room for people with different opinions, backgrounds, interests and personality at our events because we are simply catering to a demographic of interesting people. In fact, we love it when non-developers sit in and tell us that they loved a talk. Dare to be surprised!

In a nutshell, if attending FutureRuby doesn’t make you excited and feel at home in the Ruby community, nothing will.

What’s the general format of the event?

Each day there’s roughly 10 speakers. The speakers aren’t strongly committed to a topic, and often change their minds at the last minute. Each speaker will go on stage for 30 minutes, and there are frequent breaks in between. Everyone is all together in one big room. There’s no question periods at the end, because they are a waste of time. FutureRuby is small enough that over the weekend, you can have a conversation with anyone you want to. There’s no feeling of us vs. them with the speakers, either. Everyone is just there, doing their thing. We think it’s a great format, and nobody felt like hanging out in the lobby, either.

I have an idea! I think you’re forgetting something!

Please, drop us a line at info@futureruby.com. We are merely humble folks with big hearts.