Meet our Masters of Ceremony

  • Erik Michaels-Ober has been writing Ruby for almost 10 years. He was a 2014 Ruby Hero award recipient and has been a Rails Girls Summer of Code coach since 2013. He currently lives in Berlin and works at SoundCloud.

  • Floor is involved in many a Rails Girls workshop, developer meetup and tech conference in Europe (currently ROSSConf Berlin and arrrrcamp), which she combines with her duties as Managing Director of sektor5 coworking spaces in Vienna. She considers herself the future Neelie Kroes.

Meet our Speakers

  • Keynote

    Joanne is a RoR developer, eurucamp fan, creative programmer, and this year's keynote speaker.

    We interviewed her here:

  • Calling native code from Ruby

    This talk gives a quick introduction into the not so well known Fiddle, which has been a part of MRI since 1.9. It allows direct interaction with C code via a Foreign Function Interface, which enables wrapping native code without compiling C extensions, making the lives of users of your projects much easier.

    Boris is an active participant in CocoaPods and other iOS open source efforts.

  • Opal: The Journey From JavaScript to Ruby

    Don't like JavaScript? Don't like CoffeeScript? Want to use Ruby on the backend and on the front-end? Then this talk is for you!

    Opal is a Ruby to JavaScript source-to-source compiler, which also has an implementation of the Ruby corelib. In this talk we'll examine how Opal works, where it delivers and where it falls short. And above all - we'll have fun!

    Bozhidar loves computers in general and programming in particular. His fanatic devotion to Emacs is known world-wide. Bozhidar spends a lot of his time on GitHub, contributing to various Ruby, Clojure and Emacs Lisp projects. Believe it or not, Bozhidar has interests outside computers as well! We won't, however, bore you with those here.

  • Deep Diving: How to Explore a New Code Base

    As a developer, diving in a new code base is not uncommon: you’ve just been hired, you change projects, you want to help an open source project, the open source library your project depends on is buggy, etc. It’s like swimming through a underwater cave, you don’t know what treasures or monsters you’ll find, if the path is treacherous, or if it’s a true labyrinth where you’ll get lost. However, if you plan your visit, you can prepare, equip yourself, and survive to find the gem you’re looking for…

    Christophe is the founder of PullReview, an automated code review for Ruby and Rails developers. He is a Ruby and C++ developer. When he’s not writing code disease simulators or PullReview, Christophe helps others with development challenges, writes at the PullReview blog, (co)organises several Belgian Ruby events (Belgian Ruby User Group, Ruby Burgers, Rails Girls Brussels, Ruby Devroom Fosdem), and likes to talk at conferences and user groups.

  • Cultivating Empathy

    Dajana will be joined by Leslie Hawthorn to give this talk!

    When considering how to design products, teams, or even common every day household objects, empathy doesn't end up on the required features list. Yet, without empathy, teams with enormous technical skills can fail in their quest to deliver quality products to their users. Incredible projects fail to create communities because they don't exercise it. Fail at empathy, and your chances of failing at everything skyrockets.

    Contrary to what you may have heard, empathy is not something you're innately born with - it's a skill that can be learned, cultivated, refined and taught to others. In this presentation, your lovely co-speakers will discuss the value of empathy, how you can cultivate it in yourself and your organizational culture, and conclude with concrete steps for leveling up in your interactions with your fellow human beings.

    Dajana is the community manager for the GOTO Berlin conference. She organises international conferences and events on a daily basis. Dajana is a trained Systems Engineer, Mediator, has a master's degree in Adult Education and studied educational science and psychology. In her free time, she is on the board of the non-profit association Ruby Berlin e.V., which promotes the programming language Ruby through various projects. Within that association she was on the organising team of Rails Girls Berlin until 2013 as well as eurucamp and JRubyConfEU until 2014. Dajana strongly believes in sharing knowledge and supporting people.
    Leslie's bio can be found below.

  • Programming Parents

    Working as a developer while raising a child isn’t as difficult as you may think.

    Many adults are parents, and many can still become one some day. Becoming a parent changes a lot of things in your life. What it doesn’t change is your ability to work. It surely changes your priorities, and you don’t get much sleep during the first few years, but this doesn’t have to prevent anybody from doing awesome work.

    If we have this in mind, it’s strange to observe what an exotic status parents and children have in our industry. The amount of family-friendly employees and workspaces is tremendously low. Also, work which is organised in a way that doesn’t require everybody to work 40 hours a week is particularly rare, as my current difficulties in finding a new job with fewer hours has shown.

    Parents in our industry have become visible in recent years. Therefore, parents are often disregarded when a startup is founded. Creating a family-friendly workspace isn’t difficult, it’s just uncommon.

    This talk will introduce what it means to be a parent working as a developer and how work can be organised in a family-friendly way. It will show the way in which working in a family-friendly workspace benefits everybody, leaving you with a practical list of ideas of how you can improve your worklife.

    Daniel is one of those people who had already spent most of their time online when it was still unusual to do so. He started to work as an administrator and eventually moved on to do programming for a living a few years later. It was so much fun and rewarding for him, that he moved to Berlin to work full-time as a backend developer.

    Even though he enjoys his work a lot, there are also many other important things in his life. He cares about being responsible for his family, likes to share his thoughts on his blog and manages to have time for some other hobbies as well. During his time in Berlin’s startup scene, he experienced how difficult it is to make a living in an industry where most people tend to think that programming is all you should care about.

  • Orders of Magnitude

    Up until the 17th century, the world was mostly limited to what we could see with the naked eye. Our understanding of things much smaller and much larger than us was limited. In the past 400 years our worldview has increased enormously, which has led to the advent of technology, space exploration, computers and the internet. However, our brains are ill equipped to handle dealing with numbers at these scales, and attempt to trick us at every turn.

    Software engineers deal with computers every day, and thus we are subject to both incredibly tiny and massively large numbers all the time. Learn about how your brain is fooling you when you are dealing with issues of latency, scalability, and algorithm optimization, so that you can become a better programmer.

    Davy is a software engineer in beautiful, sunny Portland, Oregon. When not writing Ruby, she enjoys gardening, knitting, twittering, drinking all the fantastic beer that Portland has to provide, and ignoring her cats as much as they ignore her. She is a prominent member of Portland Twitter Storm Team, and has attained a black belt in emoji usage.

  • Game Programming in Haskell

    Game programming in Haskell: it is possible. I'll talk about the pros and cons of using Haskell for a game, and how to build a game from scratch.

    The talk will cover the basics of functional reactive programming, a technique to handle reacting to user inputs in a UI. I'll also touch on Game design, which is actually the hard part.

    Elise is a software consultant who’s been crafting and bashing together software for about 15 years now. Her skill set comprises of talking to people, Haskell, Clojure, R, javascript, ruby, C, scaling, and a few other bits and bobs. She’s spoken at a fair number of conferences, most of them Ruby, some of them javascript, some of them polyglot. She’s based in Berlin, Germany. She enjoys reading sci-fi, traveling, cooking, tinkering, and spending time with her husband and baby daughter.

  • Humanising Math and Physics on Computer Science

    There are some myths around Science – it’s boring, useless, difficult. Many of them are heard while we are young, and many people believe these myths for their entire lives. Science is very important, specially when it comes to Computer Science and Engineering, and for building the basis of our logical thinking.

    Hanneli is a developer addicted to code, learning new programming languages, blow capacitors, doing some C programming, and committing useful (or not so useful) code for random Open Source Projects that she finds at Github. She likes Math, Lego, dogs, hardware and coffee.

  • Passing down the pain: Difficulties in teaching software development

    How do you teach proper software engineering? How do you design a teaching program that highlights the pain of maintaining software to students who have never actually had to maintain software? And, while doing that, how do you keep your students engaged?

    Teaching at an experimental group at the Technical University of Moldova, I’m able to employ new techniques including testing, live coding and software maintenance into a regular university curriculum.

    Some of the techniques work well to convey the difficulties of writing software, others were failed experiments involving chinchillas and drug dealers. It’s a different age for teaching. The students have already had experience with hackathons, code camps, fancy javascript frameworks and it’s our mission as educators to stay relevant and provide engaging material. I believe that we can leverage the new tools and drastically improve the way we teach software development.

    Ivan is a Rails dev doing consulting for startups. When he’s not writing code, he writes courses, talks, and teaches as much as he can. For the last three years he worked as an invited professor at the Technical University of Moldova, where he taught advanced software engineering to last-year students. More than that, he’s been designing curricula for a while and really enjoys exploring teaching. From a beginner two-week Rails camp for high school girls to an advanced course on Ruby for professionals. He has spoken at local events and as well as at Ruby meetups in nearby Kiev. He has also organized several meetups and hackathons locally, both for students and professionals.

  • The Power Of Small Abstractions

    Every time we solve an everyday programming problem we learn from its solution. When we come across a similar problem later on, we think “aha! I’ve seen this before! I know how to solve it!”. Many of us are also familiar with design patterns, which are abstractions that solve entire classes of problems.

    There also exists, however, a different kind of pattern. But, as opposed to helping you structure a whole compiler or business application, these patterns love hiding in small things like methods or functions, or even binary operations. They whisper to you when you concatenate two strings. They leave a trail of breadcrumbs every time you map over a list.

    These abstractions have superpowers, too. They can separate the what from the when, or even from the how. They can add together things other than numbers. They can control time, or take over the control flow of your program entirely.

    In this talk you will discover the amazing power of small abstractions. After that you’ll start hearing their whispers and seeing their breadcrumb trails. And only then will you be ready to let them unfold their full potential in your programs.

    Txus is a general enthusiast, based in Berlin but originally from Barcelona. He programs in Ruby, Clojure, Scala and sometimes Haskell when it’s snowy outside. He loves functional programming, and among his obsessions you can find food, compilers, coffee, virtual machines, making music, cooking, programming language theory, food and more recently type theory and logic. And food.

    Together with his company, Codegram, he also organises Full Stack Fest (Barcelona Ruby Conference and Barcelona Future JS).

  • Programming as a Performance

    Since the inception of the programmable computer we have grappled with the challenge of validating the outcome of a conversation in code between a human and a machine. Programming as a performance embraces this challenge, putting it at the centre of a performance. Focusing on the liveliness and complexity of dancing with a machine in realtime. In a performance a human edits and writes algorithms, expressing their thoughts and composition in front of an audience. Binding to their fingertips control of light, sound and poetry. Sharing their screens and code and its effects on the world.
    This talk will dive into the world of the live programmer and how you can turn your Ruby coding skills into a live performance. Discover what performance and expression has to teach us about programming.

    Joseph Wilk performs live coding as Repl Electric, exploring programming as a performance and its interaction with other art forms, while also working as one of the Sonic Pi Core Team helping bring music through Ruby to everyone.

  • Ask vs. Guess Culture Communication

    Have you ever been told you’re “too direct,” or feel like you don’t understand what others want? Or on the other side, do you think others are often too confrontational? These are Ask vs Guess Culture differences. Ask folks believe it’s ok to ask anything, because it’s ok to say no, while Guess folks prioritize not imposing on others. It’s a culture clash that isn’t often recognized, yet causes quite a bit of tension and frustration. This talk will cover the nuances of these different communication styles, as well as strategies for bridging the gap. Gaining an understanding of these differences and learning specific tactics for a professional context will make you a drastically more effective communicator.

    KWu is a software engineer at New Relic. Prior to New Relic, she attended Hackbright Academy and worked at Google for 5 years in various technical support and product operations roles. A proud New Jersey native, she nevertheless fits in well in Portlandia, what with biking to work and spending weekends canning and preserving fruits and veggies from a local farm share.

  • The Struggle to Stay Technical

    Life is good. More and more people who never thought they could code, people of diverse backgrounds are learning to write Ruby and become full time developers. Outreach programs are doing an amazing job of getting these people into the community, but now we are facing an even bigger problem. Getting them to stay there. 57% of women alone leave the tech industry once they are there. At every turn, we are told we can’t do it, offered different untechnical positions, or bullied out by toxic cultures. This talk will explore the barriers people of different backgrounds face to stay in technical positions, even once they have overcome the barriers to get there. It will present different perspectives and bring light to things we can do as an individual, an employer, a co-worker and as a community to solve this large problem that we face.

    Kinsey is a software engineer at GoSpotCheck in Denver, Colorado. She is a board member for BridgeFoundry and co-founder of Kubmo, a non-profit dedicated to teaching and building digital literacy curriculum for women programs around the world.

  • Amelia Bedelia Learns to Code

    "Did you really think you could make changes to the database by editing the schema file? Who are you, Amelia Bedelia?"

    The silly mistakes we all made when first learning Rails may be funny to us now, but we should remember how we felt at the time. New developers don't always realize senior developers were once beginners too and may assume they are the first and last developer to mix up when to use the rails and rake commands.

    This talk, presented in a storybook style, will be a lighthearted examination of some of the common mistakes (and causes of those mistakes) made by beginner Rails developers.

    Kylie is a Web Developer at Big Nerd Ranch in Atlanta, GA. Untrained in computer science, she first taught herself Visual Basic as a survival tactic and then Ruby on Rails in an attempt to switch careers. As a recovering Visual Basic developer she defaults to using while loops with embarrassing frequency.

  • Will the Real Technical People Please Stand Up?

    How often have you heard – or said – the phrase “$PERSON just isn’t technical”?
    If you’re our speaker, you’ve heard it plenty of times over the past 15 years, and frequently applied it to yourself and other colleagues who didn’t quite fit into well understood “technologist” categories.
    But what does technical actually mean? What makes someone technical? What makes them not technical?
    In this talk, the speaker will explore how “not technical” is a dangerous phrase we use to ensure that we need never question our hidden biases about others and their aptitudes. She will demonstrate how this phrase not only encourages a lack of collaboration, but leads to stagnation in the growth of your orgnization by actively discouraging your peers from learning new skills.
    She will conclude with concrete steps attendees can take to better understand the capabilities of everyone on their team – coders or not – so their projects, company or teams can be most successful.

    An internationally known community manager, speaker and author, Leslie Hawthorn has spent the past decade creating, cultivating and enabling open source communities. She created the world’s first initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, launched Google’s #2 Developer Blog, received an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2010 and gave a few great talks on many things open source. In August 2013, she joined Elasticsearch as Director of Developer Relations, where she leads community outreach.

  • Crystal: The programming language

    Crystal is a typed, LLVM compiled language that reads (mostly) as Ruby.

    If you’ve ever faced a problem in which you would like to use Ruby (because it is awesome), but it is just not performant enough, maybe Crystal is the solution you’ve been looking for.

    Crystal’s standard lib comes bundled with support for WebSockets, OAuth, MySQL, and other nice utilities. It has a very simple testing framework, dependency management system, and even the beginnings of a web framework.

    This is a very exciting time to come aboard the Crystal train, especially coming from a Ruby background.

    For the past 4 years Luís has worked on the web, mainly using Ruby and RoR. he enjoys open source and giving back to the community. He's taught Rails to over 500 people, with workshops, university classes, mentoring and even 1-1 coaching. He loves experimenting with new, fun programming languages, from Haskell to Elixir or even Crystal.

  • A case against showmanship

    Every other company is looking for ninjas, cowboys or superheroes. Every other conference talk is full of jokes, puns, comedy skits and personality. Nowadays, conferences breathe showmanship, but in our need to be the best of the best, or the funniest of the funniest, we are excluding others. When less than exceptional becomes not good enough, the barrier of entry goes up and it is the underrepresented groups that suffer. When did we start mistaking programming conferences for stand up comedy shows? Our drive to be edgy, exceptional, memorable or controversial too often ends up with distressed audiences and badly handled PR scandals. This talk’s aim is to reflect on how this is a problem, how we’re all losing and how the cult of the stage hero needs to stop.

    Marta is a junior software engineer and a senior twitter ranter. She actively supports initiatives that make the tech community more inclusive. She is an occasional Rails Girls coach, who likes Chef, alleycats and pizza.

  • Moving the Web into the Physical World with Beacons

    Have you ever wondered what those beacons are? Beacons come in a lot of forms. I lately got my hands on some of the so-called physical web beacons. Physical web beacons are little devices that broadcast a URL via Bluetooth within a certain radius.

    You might wonder, so what? Well, the power of these beacons is that people, places and objects can become part of the Web and we can start designing for context-sensitive experiences.

    To give you an idea about the range of possibilities that become available I want to show some of my very simple prototypes that I built with Ruby, Rails and JavaScript.

    However, just being able to build cool stuff does not necessarily mean that it will be useful for someone. So, I evaluated how users experience this technology and I want to present the results to you as well.

    Meike worked as a software developer for five years in her hometown Hamburg before deciding to escape the busy working life to enjoy life as a student once again. Being in love with snowy winters, she chose to move to northern Sweden where she’s currently doing her master’s in human-computer interaction. Apart from getting lost in vast forests, Meike enjoys doing sports like beach volleyball, windsurfing and obviously all kinds of winter activities.

  • How Teaching Kids to Code Made Me a Better Developer

    Kids have this magical ability to take something you think you understand well and turn it upside down within an instant. They challenge norms and ask questions that you never thought existed or could be asked.

    In this talk, I’ll go over some of the challenges I faced introducing kids to the world of programming, and how their inquisitiveness changed the way I look at software development, how I learn to get better at it and finally, how it boosted my confidence in my code. Teaching anyone is a rewarding, learning experience, and it motivated me to become active in the community.

    Ramón is a Chilean fellow living in Vienna, Austria. He’s been developing Mac, iOS and Web software for five years and loving every minute of it. During the last three years he’s been running the “Computer Game Programming” after-school activity at his old school in Vienna where he teaches kids to make games with different technologies. He’s also currently wrapping up his Software Engineering degree at the Vienna University of Technology, and at the same time helping run the “Ruby Habits” study group. He loves puppies and turtles, and is a loud laugher.

  • The Junior Jump

    The Junior Jump deals with a topic that is increasingly important to the Ruby community--onboarding new engineers into their first jobs. We’ll discuss how the interview stage can be used to design a roadmap for a new engineer’s early days, how to select meaningful and appropriate projects and how to come up with a mentorship model that works given the resources at your organization. We will hear anecdotes from junior developers from diverse backgrounds (bootcamp and university grads as well as self taught programmers) and more senior developers with experience onboarding new engineers.

    Rebecca is an engineer at Kickstarter where she gets to build tools that enable creative people to bring their projects to life. Before Kickstarter, she was a playwright and bartender. She studied art history at the University of Michigan and is a former Fog Creek Software Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn where she writes and makes fancy drinks in her spare time. She’s a contributing producer to Nerdette Podcast and she recently joined the Django Girls team as a translations manager.

  • mruby: a Packaging Story Filled with Freedom

    Ruby is a great language for building CLIs. There’s an amazing selection of existing libraries like Thor, GLI, or even OptionParser. You probably use a number of Ruby tools everyday like chef, the heroku toolbelt, , and of course the rails command line tool.
    Though it’s easy to build a Ruby CLI, distributing it to end users is much more complicated because it requires a Ruby runtime. One option is to rely on Ruby being already installed on the end user’s computer. The other is to bundle ruby as part of the distribution package. Both of these are problematic so much that Vagrant, CloudFoundry and hub (Github command-line tool) have all switched over to Go.
    But there’s still hope! In 2012, Matz started working on a lightweight embeddable ruby called mruby. Since mruby is designed for being embedded in other compiled languages, it also solves the distribution problem. In this talk we’ll look how we can write CLI tools using mruby to produce a self-contained binary that can be shipped to end users.

    Terence leads Heroku’s Ruby Task Force curating the Ruby experience on the platform. He also works on some OSS projects such as Ruby (the language), Bundler, as well as helping with the Rails Girls movement. When he’s not going to an awesome Heroku or Ruby event, he lives in Austin, TX, the taco capital of America. Terence loves Friday hugs, EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! Give him a big one when you see him! In addition to hugs, he believes in getting people together for #rubykaraoke.