Forming a Ruby meetup group

Where I work we have a local Ruby group that used to meet up, until the
organizer left the company. Now the responsibility has fallen on my
shoulders to lead the group. So I’m shopping around for ideas about what
would make for interesting topics for future meetings.

What sort of topics would you find interesting and would make you want
to go to such a group?

One idea I had was to have regular programming challenges [1], that can
be completed in about 15 minutes. Then the group could split up into
pair programming groups to tackle the challenge. Then we could wrap up
the meetup by discussing and comparing how we each solved the problem.

What I want to avoid is having the meetings be different people (or the
same people) doing presentations. They just feel really dry and turn the
meeting into a sort of Toastmaster for programmers. Since it’s a
programming language I’d rather have it be learning by doing.

What do you guys think? Ideas? Suggestions?

1 - Problems like at Project Euler - http://www.projecteuler.net/

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 08:51, Darryl L. Pierce [email protected]
wrote:

I’m shopping around for ideas about what
would make for interesting topics for future meetings.

That depends in large part on the local community. Do you have some
way to poll them rather than us?

If not, or if you’re getting not much interest from them, I’d suggest
offhand:

  • Look at the hot Ruby blogs and see what they’re talking about. Talk
    about that, as best you can without directly ripping them off. Be
    sure to give credit.

  • Explore the stuff advanced Rubyists do, like writing gems, Rails
    plugins, Rails templates, Rails site engines, etc.

  • What have you had difficulty with in Ruby (or Rails)? Having
    trouble with, say, STI? Have a talk on that.

  • Talk about what’s new in Ruby, like all the magic added in Rails 3.1.

  • Talk about the lesser known frameworks, like Sinatra. Yes it’s
    still fairly well known, but less so than Rails.

  • Talk about the other things often used with it, like MongoDB. Maybe
    compare and contrast the various SQL database options, the various
    NoSQL DB options, and the whole SQL vs. NoSQL concepts?

  • Talk about the various testing frameworks, why testing is good, and
    how to do the various kinds of tests.

One idea I had was to have regular programming challenges [1], that can
be completed in about 15 minutes. Then the group could split up into
pair programming groups to tackle the challenge. Then we could wrap up
the meetup by discussing and comparing how we each solved the problem.

Be sure to precede it with some brief instruction on pair programming,
and maybe on TDD. Encourage them to pair up such that at least one of
each pair, has experience in them both, and of course encourage them
to TDD.

What I want to avoid is having the meetings be different people (or the
same people) doing presentations. They just feel really dry and turn the
meeting into a sort of Toastmaster for programmers. Since it’s a
programming language I’d rather have it be learning by doing.

So take any of my suggestions above, and turn it into a hands-on
tutorial. Don’t just talk abot MongoDB, walk them through setting up
and using it.

-Dave

In Columbus we have two meetings. One night we have presentations, and
another we have a “Code Jam” where you bring a project to work on. Check
out http://columbusrb.com for more info.

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 2:08 PM, Daniel Lambert <
[email protected]> wrote:

meeting into a sort of Toastmaster for programmers. Since it’s a


Sincerely,

Isaac S.
Section C-4B Vice Chief, Order of the Arrow
Vice Chief of Administration, Tecumseh #65
Eagle Scout

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 8:08 PM, Daniel Lambert
[email protected] wrote:

One thing you can do is take some of the more interesting questions asked
on this mailing list and have the group discuss them, come up with an
answer and share the answer with the rest of us here.

+1

Other than that I second Dave to extract areas of interest from the
intended audience.

Kind regards

robert

On 11/09/2011 02:08 PM, Daniel Lambert wrote:

One thing you can do is take some of the more interesting questions asked
on this mailing list and have the group discuss them, come up with an
answer and share the answer with the rest of us here.

That’s a good idea! Thank you. :slight_smile:

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 14:08, Daniel Lambert
[email protected] wrote:

take some of the more interesting questions asked
on this mailing list and have the group discuss them, come up with an
answer and share the answer with the rest of us here.

Ooh, good one! And Darryl can do the same for any longstanding Ruby
questions on Stack Overflow, the various Ruby groups on LinkedIn, and
so on. (Fresh questions might be answered before the group can get
together to address it.)

-Dave

One thing you can do is take some of the more interesting questions
asked
on this mailing list and have the group discuss them, come up with an
answer and share the answer with the rest of us here.

On Nov 9, 2011, at 11:19 , Isaac S. wrote:

In Columbus we have two meetings. One night we have presentations, and
another we have a “Code Jam” where you bring a project to work on. Check
out http://columbusrb.com for more info.

I can second this and/or take it a bit further… Seattle.rb used to do
presentation in several different formats over the years. Eventually we
evolved into a weekly “nerd party” (aka, hack night). Totally free-form,
no presentations. We went from a rather dry presentation format to (at
the time) beer, pizza, and kiln cooked sandwiches and it ignited our
meeting attendance. There are three key components in there:

  1. weekly = no big deal if you miss one

  2. food & beer/coffee = much more relaxed environment = more inviting

  3. agenda-less format = more flexible and inviting

On Fri, 11 Nov 2011, Ryan D. wrote:

I can second this and/or take it a bit further… Seattle.rb used to do
presentation in several different formats over the years. Eventually we
evolved into a weekly “nerd party” (aka, hack night). Totally free-form,
no presentations. We went from a rather dry presentation format to (at
the time) beer, pizza, and kiln cooked sandwiches and it ignited our
meeting attendance. There are three key components in there:

Uh huh, you just want to encourge the sorts of really insanely BAD IDEAS
that have been coming out of the Seattle Ruby community. Yeah, I see
your
evil plan…

– Matt
It’s not what I know that counts.
It’s what I can remember in time to use.

On 11/10/2011 06:34 PM, Ryan D. wrote:

  1. food & beer/coffee = much more relaxed environment = more
    inviting

  2. agenda-less format = more flexible and inviting

I definitely like this. When we do the bar camp here in RDU it’s all ad
hoc organization at the last minute - people vote at the time as to what
they want to do with their time.

On Nov 10, 2011, at 16:01 , Matt L. wrote:

On Fri, 11 Nov 2011, Ryan D. wrote:

I can second this and/or take it a bit further… Seattle.rb used to do
presentation in several different formats over the years. Eventually we evolved
into a weekly “nerd party” (aka, hack night). Totally free-form, no presentations.
We went from a rather dry presentation format to (at the time) beer, pizza, and
kiln cooked sandwiches and it ignited our meeting attendance. There are three key
components in there:

Uh huh, you just want to encourge the sorts of really insanely BAD IDEAS that
have been coming out of the Seattle Ruby community. Yeah, I see your evil
plan…

Muahahahahahahaha

or something

-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: Ryan D. [mailto:[email protected]]
Inviato: venerd 11 novembre 2011 02:20
A: ruby-talk ML
Oggetto: Re: Forming a Ruby meetup group…

On Nov 10, 2011, at 16:01 , Matt L. wrote:

On Fri, 11 Nov 2011, Ryan D. wrote:

I can second this and/or take it a bit further… Seattle.rb used to do
presentation in several different formats over the years. Eventually we
evolved into a weekly “nerd party” (aka, hack night). Totally free-form,
no
presentations. We went from a rather dry presentation format to (at the
time) beer, pizza, and kiln cooked sandwiches and it ignited our meeting
attendance. There are three key components in there:

Uh huh, you just want to encourge the sorts of really insanely BAD IDEAS
that have been coming out of the Seattle Ruby community. Yeah, I see
your
evil plan…

Muahahahahahahaha

or something


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