Ruby User Groups

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Miles K. Forrest

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Apr 2, 2009, 10:17:08 AM4/2/09
to Rails Activism
Learning Rails for people new to programming is really hard. The best
way
I've found to learn is to just pick a project and figure out piece by
piece
what the next thing is that needs to be done. But when your learning,
it's
really easy to get paralyzed and either not know what to do next.

I really think in person mentoring is one of the best ways for newbies
to
learn. That's why I started a Ruby user group (http://tr.im/ruby).

Are there ways we can encourage and support the Ruby and Rails user
groups that
are out there, and build an ecosystem so that more groups are started?

:brainstorming => "true"

Miles

Chris Conrey

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Apr 2, 2009, 1:15:16 PM4/2/09
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+1 to User Groups.    Everyone should be helping to support the local ones around them both in Rails and Ruby proper.  The opportunity to help newcomers, meet new people, and learn from others is paramount to building a truly active community.

Chris Conrey
chrisconrey.com
Human->Geek Relations at Integrum
@conrey on Twitter

Miles K. Forrest

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Apr 2, 2009, 1:24:08 PM4/2/09
to Rails Activism
Is there an official list of RUGs / Ruby Brigades / Whatever? I use
meetup.com, but it seems kind of silly to me that we're all about web
applications, yet we're using a non-Rails web app to organize
meetings.

I like the idea of meetup.com though. I'd like to see something
that's free for Ruby Brigades, that's blessed by DHH and the core/
activists as being the official list of real world meetup groups (ie:
linked from rubyonrails.org), and where really, really, REALLY small
user groups can still feel like they're apart of something bigger
(think one or two people out in a rural prairie town that just got
1Mbit broadband).

I would build something like that, but my skills still suck. Is there
anyone out there who'd be willing to help build such an app who'd be
willing to mentor a newbie like me? I'm willing to do design stuff/
HTML/CSS cutting, I'd just like to work on a real project that will
actually be finished.

Miles

Elomar França

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Apr 2, 2009, 1:29:24 PM4/2/09
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+1 to user groups.

I created a Rails User group in my college and it's being a great experience. We could create a place to group leaders share what and how they're doing, so small groups (like the mine) can learn with the already successful and well-stablished ones (like ATLRUG - http://www.atlrug.org/).

Miles,
Such an app would be really useful for the user groups out there. I could help a bit, but I don't have many free time. Any more interested can contact us in private.

When your group get more than 10 participants, I suggest you to join some "User Group Programs", as the one from O'Reilly (http://ug.oreilly.com/) or Peachpit (http://www.peachpit.com/user_groups/).

Best,

Elomar França
elo...@maisweb.org
twitter.com/elomar
+55 84 8855-0248


Gregg Pollack

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Apr 2, 2009, 1:29:40 PM4/2/09
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Love the idea of producing a website catered to listing and finding Ruby Users Groups.  I can picture a google map with little dots for each Users Group.

Working with Rails has a groups listing http://www.workingwithrails.com/browse/groups, which could probably be used as a basis for a website.  This is a great example of a small project that could become an awesome community resource.

-Gregg

Jeff Schoolcraft

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Apr 2, 2009, 1:31:21 PM4/2/09
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I'm working on something called UserGroupFinder but it's been on hold for a while, I need to dust it off.  Basically a clearing house for usergroups of all kinds (mysql, linux, mac, ruby) based on geographical search.

I've done some initial legwork with a lot of UG communities trying to get some seed data entered (the hardest part to getting a good search engine is having data).

This could spur me along to do it.  MySQL groups use meetup and it annoys me I have to register to see the details.  Annoys me even more that they're paying however much to list the meetings.

Jeff
--
Jeff Schoolcraft
http://thequeue.net/blog/
Microsoft MVP

Jeff Schoolcraft

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Apr 2, 2009, 1:32:51 PM4/2/09
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Anyone want to pair with me and get UserGroupFinder up and running?

Miles K. Forrest

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Apr 2, 2009, 1:39:52 PM4/2/09
to Rails Activism
I think it's key that the centre focus be on building, maintaining,
and starting new user groups. The WorkingWithRails is good, but it's
centered more around individuals. A site that can walk people thru
different steps like finding a group, starting a group, ideas on how
to make your group better, overcoming problems, inviting rockstars
like the <suckup>Rails Envy guys to do a Skype visit during meetings</
suckup>.

I did a Skype call with Geoffrey Grosenbach last night at our Ruby
Brigade (http://tr.im/ruby), and we talked a bit about the need to
build and support clubs. I'll see if I can get that conversation
posted sometime in the next day or two.


On Apr 2, 10:29 am, Gregg Pollack <greggpoll...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Love the idea of producing a website catered to listing and finding Ruby
> Users Groups.  I can picture a google map with little dots for each Users
> Group.
>
> Working with Rails has a groups listinghttp://www.workingwithrails.com/browse/groups, which could probably be used

László Bácsi

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Apr 2, 2009, 3:07:59 PM4/2/09
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This is exactly why we use meetup.com for budapest.rb. The structure of the site, the tools that it provides and mostly the tips it gives us along the line are invaluable. I'm not against the idea of creating a site which brings together RUGs though. I just don't think we need a Ruby version from everything. Meetup.com is great and worth every penny if your group is bigger (say more than 10 people).
LacKac

Miles K. Forrest

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Apr 2, 2009, 4:10:28 PM4/2/09
to Rails Activism
I agree with you. Meetup.com is great, and I don't think there's any
reason to displace it. However the majority of people out there who
want to learn Ruby and Rails and are struggling cannot get a group
bigger than 2 or 3 people because they're not geographically near a
city. Budapest is coming up on 2 million people, so meetup.com works
great for you. I live in a city of about 120,000 people and it's too
small to hold a club here (I know, I tried 3 times over the last 4
years!), so I drive 40 minutes east towards Vancouver where there are
more people. I use meetup.com as well, but even so I don't think our
group will grow beyond 4 or 5 people at its core.

I can't imagine how frustrating it is for people in towns with only a
couple thousand people. Getting two people connected in areas like
that, or working towards creative ways to connect people over the web
I think is a noble and important goal.

There's just something about being in the same room with another
person that gets stripped out when meeting over the Internet. Maybe
it because over 80% of our communication is non-verbal, and for
newbies learning Ruby, Rails, or any difficult technical material that
extra bit of communication make the difference between "getting it"
and not being able to comprehend stuff in a tangible way.

Miles

Joe Fiorini

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Apr 2, 2009, 4:57:07 PM4/2/09
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I run a user group in Cleveland, OH (CleRB) and we currently use meetup to organize our group. It's great for us, except that it's more than I want to pay for the features it gives us.

There's a new site, http://groupieguide.com, that can help. It's written in Rails (woo!) and has a lot of features we need available for free. Since it's new, I'm sure there's more coming!

The biggest challenge I've found in organizing a group is that there are very few devs in Cleveland who have real world Ruby experience. Therefore, if we want to have more than 10 people at our meetings, the standard faire of Rails talks don't really work too well. Instead, we've been taking the approach of doing group coding during our meetings. You can read more about those experiences at http://faithfulgeek.org/randori-all-inclusive-user-group-hackfest.html and http://faithfulgeek.org/randori-take-2.html. We've done group pairing sessions four or five times now and from the feedback we've received it's working well. I'd recommend it for any group that's trying to learn, or even one that's trying to tackle a larger problem.

I welcome any other thoughts/suggestions around educating future Rubyists!

Thanks all!
Joe
--
joe fiorini
http://www.faithfulgeek.org
// freelancing & knowledge sharing

Miles K. Forrest

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Apr 2, 2009, 6:03:47 PM4/2/09
to Rails Activism

> I run a user group in Cleveland, OH (CleRB) and we currently use meetup to
> organize our group. It's great for us, except that it's more than I want to
> pay for the features it gives us.
> There's a new site,http://groupieguide.com, that can help. It's written in
> Rails (woo!) and has a lot of features we need available for free. Since
> it's new, I'm sure there's more coming!

I've signed up and am taking a look. Styling has me a little put off
(am I addicted to the 2.0 look _that_ much?) but I'll give it a fair
shake.


> The biggest challenge I've found in organizing a group is that there are
> very few devs in Cleveland who have real world Ruby experience. Therefore,
> if we want to have more than 10 people at our meetings, the standard faire
> of Rails talks don't really work too well.

I think that problem is probably the norm, not the exception.


> Instead, we've been taking the
> approach of doing group coding during our meetings. You can read more about
> those experiences athttp://faithfulgeek.org/randori-all-inclusive-user-group-hackfest.htmlandhttp://faithfulgeek.org/randori-take-2.html.
> We've done group pairing
> sessions four or five times now and from the feedback we've received it's
> working well. I'd recommend it for any group that's trying to learn, or even
> one that's trying to tackle a larger problem.

Joe, that sounds very, very interesting. I'd like to give that a try
at our group. Our club has been meeting for almost 3 months, and we
spend most of the time talking without any coding getting done.
Having a label like "Randori" and setting people's expectations to
learn and teach would be very exciting if it could be executed
consistently.

I'm going to give this a shot next Wednesday and see how it goes.

Miles
> joe fiorinihttp://www.faithfulgeek.org

László Bácsi

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Apr 3, 2009, 6:34:35 AM4/3/09
to rails-a...@googlegroups.com
You're right, I wouldn't recommend meetup.com for 5-6 people groups either.
LacKac

Chris

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Apr 14, 2009, 10:32:17 AM4/14/09
to Rails Activism
Here in Louisville,Ky our Rails User Group is new with only 2 meetings
under our belts and less then 5 people attending (everyone starts
somewhere right?). I don't want to pay for Meetup, plus its
SurfControlled at our company so that kind of kills its as even an
option. Thanks for the http://groupieguide.com/home Groupie link, this
looks very good. I was going to suggest one of the larger User Groups
build a User Group Meetup site in Rails hosted on Heroku for all the
user groups to use but Groupie may just do the trick.

Given the there are groups in Lousiville, Ohio, and Indiana, all
relatively close together I'm wondering if we could organize some sort
of semi-annual mega usergroup get together with all the groups
participating. Think I'll contact the organizers and see.

We are going to work on creating a PBBG (Persistent Browser Based
Game) as our groups Rails/Ruby shared project.

Bob Martens

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Apr 16, 2009, 10:30:38 AM4/16/09
to Rails Activism
I've been interested in starting up a Ruby UG here in south-central
Minnesota for a while, and maybe after graduation it will be the time
to try and get it up and running again.

I know there is a pretty active UG up in the Twin Cities and I'm
planning on getting up there this summer at some point. http://ruby.mn
is the website.

On Apr 14, 9:32 am, Chris <chessm...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Here in Louisville,Ky our Rails User Group is new with only 2 meetings
> under our belts and less then 5 people attending (everyone starts
> somewhere right?). I don't want to pay for Meetup, plus its
> SurfControlled at our company so that kind of kills its as even an
> option. Thanks for thehttp://groupieguide.com/homeGroupie link, this

Joe Fiorini

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Apr 16, 2009, 10:33:16 AM4/16/09
to rails-a...@googlegroups.com
Chris - we should definitely take this offline. I'd love a regional
Ruby hackfest/unconference style event. It's just what the OH/KY/IN
area needs. Feel free to email me at joe at faithfulgeek dot org to
discuss further.

- Joe
--
joe fiorini - software craftsman & technologist
bio - http://joefiorini.com
thoughts - http://faithfulgeek.org
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