This is a difficult blog post to write. At Cloud City Development, we had many conversations about the problems with diversity and sexism in tech, such as women reporting harassment and abuse at tech conferences, online conversations challenging the Ruby culture, and community struggles to make everyone feel welcome, especially marginalized groups. As individuals, employees, and Ruby community members, what is our role in creating the kind of community we want to be in?
Business people and technology people are different. They use different language, think differently and worry about different concerns. Both sides of this divide are doing the best they can, but the old project management paradigm isn’t appropriate for software development. Agile methodologies address the very root of all the problems, shortening the feedback cycle to expose mistakes and misunderstandings quickly, when they are cheap to fix.
Last week I went to Tel Aviv, Israel for the Rails Israel and DevConTLV conferences, where I gave three talks on new developments in the Ruby community. The first talk was about how Bundler took down Rubygems.org last year, what we did to fix it, and the lessons that we learned as a result.
Many voices were heard at the 2013 Golden Gate Ruby Conference proclaiming it to be the best ever. Time will tell, but it was an outstanding conference, both technical and social. Ruby has come of age; Rails saw its 4.0 release this year. What can a conference add when many of the tricks have been found, tools have been built, adventures have been told? Well, GoGoRuCo 2013 had some good answers in store.
Unlike the 1.6 billion people who have seen “Gangnam Style” on YouTube, a lot fewer have seen the documentary Half the Sky. Even fewer know about the themes the documentary explores: sociocultural barriers and institutional misogyny in the developing world, where girls may be sold into brothels, boys get an education but girls often don’t, and domestic violence is prevalent.