029: Organizing Conferences

May 15th, 2019 · 44 mins 55 secs

About this Episode

Parent Driven Development

Episode 029: Organizing Conferences

00:57 Balancing Conferencing with Parenting

  • Andy has organized RedDotRubyConf, still organizes Brighton Ruby, and has spoken the past few years at RubyConf.
  • Andy also puts out an email newsletter, with one Ruby/Rails technique delivered with a ‘why?’ and a ‘how?’ every two weeks. It’s deliberately brief, focussed & opinionated, and called One Ruby Thing.
  • Chris helps to co-organize Ruby For Good.
    • Systems, systems, systems.
    • Staying in the speaker hotel during crunch time.
    • Getting paid helps.
    • Having no co-organizers = no extra communication challenges.
    • Relying on your partner.
    • Staying local helps.
    • Having a venue.

06:52 Conference Sizes: How Big is Big?

  • Andy runs Brighton Ruby as a single track, one-day conference of 300-400.
  • Ruby Central conferences by comparison are up to about 1,000 attendees and multi-track over 3-4 days.
  • Ruby For Good is about 80 people, but has less of a conference feel because it's groups of people hacking on different projects over a few days.

09:46 Classifying These Gatherings as "Work-Adjacent Hobbies"

  • Benefits the career.
  • Meeting, networking, and making friends.
  • Feel-good factor.
  • Prioritization.
  • Time frees up as kids have gotten older.

19:30 Family Involvement

  • Kids on stage are cute.
  • Teenagers can help volunteer!
  • Osmosis of exposure. This is what mom/dad does!
  • Showing that work does not necessarily equal drudgery.

22:30 Behind-The-Scenes Tradeoffs

  • The best track at any conference is the speaker track.
    • Coaching, mentoring, and cheering on first-time speakers.
  • Repetition of putting on conferences over the years = it gets easier, more fun, and less stressful.

28:21 Meal Kits and Meal Planning Conversation

  • We all have tried them. We all have opinions. We are definitely open for sponsorship. Email us! 👇🏻

32:36 Getting Involved in Conferences (for those who are brave enough)

  • Speak.
  • Volunteer.
  • Conference Scholar/Guide Programs. i.e. Ruby Central's
  • Community Meetups

37:46 Genius / Fail Moments

  • Andy's kids learning empathy from movies. (#Genius)
  • Chris forgot to pack his son's main lunch entreé and left it in the microwave! (#Fail)
  • Josh's daughter revealing she has a video clip of the two of them from when she was very little and being fond of watching it often. (Genius)
  • KWu's son fell and hit his head 🤕. (#Fail)

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Chris Sexton
Josh Puetz
Andy Croll