2 weeks ago I attended and presented at Euruko 2022 (The European Ruby Konferenz), a conference I’ve wanted to attend for many years!
As a volunteer organized and run conference that moves from city-to-city within Europe, having Helsinki as the host city since 2020 could be seen as unusual. But, these are unusual times and Euruko wasn’t the only conference impacted by “recent events”. In 2020 Euruko was cancelled for...“reasons”, in 2021 it was virtual, and finally this year it was held as a Hybrid event, with IRL attendees at Paasitorni, an impressive granite Art Nouveau building completed in 1908, that originally served as the Helsinki Workers' House.
The epic 25 hour journey was totally worth it because I finally made it to Finland! The furthest North I've ever travelled, and the place to be if you’re into Nordic Noir, bleak weather and Iitala and Marimekko. 🙋♀️
After bragging I had travelled the furthest I learnt that a group of German attendees travelled for 30 hours by Ferry, I know it's not a comptetition, but whilst I’m not the person who travelled the "longest time", I'm pretty sure I travelled the "furthest distance" – just sayin'. 🥈
2 days of learning and meeting new friends
More than 700 people from across Europe, the Americas and beyond came together over 2 days for 10 presentations, 4 lightning talks, and a lot of great conversation.
The thing I love about the Ruby Community is that no matter where in the world you are, no matter the event, you know you’re in for a safe, inclusive event that is full of fun, and top notch content (and always decent catering – apparently we like food and coffee). We were greeted each morning with breakfast (including the region's breakfast staple Karjalanpiirakka), the filter coffee was exceptional and just kept coming, and lunches were sit down, communally eaten affairs at fully set tables with tablecloths. 🍽 🍷
Uniquely Finnish things about Euruko:
- A pre-conference Sauna session 🧖
- Attendees wanted Metal gigs & Metal Karaoke 🤘
- Amazing filter coffee & food that just kept coming all day ☕️
I learned about and joined an online community for Non-binary & Women Rubyists called WNB.rb from Jemma and Maple, who took a group of us out for coffee and chats following Day 1's events. The group runs virtual meetups and a Slack group with; job posts, CFP submission writing help, friendly chats and generally good vibes all round. Check it out if you fit the profile!
There were 10 presentations over 2 days covering a vast array of topics:
- Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto's earnest opening keynote "MythBuster" busted some Ruby myths from the past and spoke about some of the tradeoffs and decisions made for the future.
- We had a fun look at "How music works, using Ruby" with Thijs Cadier (and even got Rickrolled).
- I spoke about "Applying SRE Principles to CI/CD".
- A deeply technical, accessible and engaging look at "Implementing Object Shapes in JRuby", with Jemma Issroff.
- Wiktoria Dalach, a Software Engineer now Security Engineer, taught us that there are a bunch of "low hanging security fruit" that we can check off when building our applications, to ensure they're secure in "Security Doesn't have to be a Nightmare".
- Maple Ong took us deep into Ruby's performance and benchmarking in "Looking Into Peephole Optimizations".
- The Ruby (and broader) community, and how our systems work and evolve were the central theme in "The Technical and Organizational Infrastructure of the Ruby Community", a fantastic talk by Adarsh Pandit.
- A look at the tradeoffs and benefits of trunk-based development for teams in "From massive pull requests to trunk-based development with Ruby" by Vesa Vänskä.
- Yarden Laifenfeld took us on a journey - we learnt how she discovered JRuby and what Ruby on the JVM can offer us in "Ruby & JVM: A (JRuby) Love Story".
- Andy Croll's closing Keynote "The Mrs Triggs Problem" was a poignant look at the real history of computing. He showcased the 6 women who were the real heroes and innovators of software engineering - a lesser known and almost un-written history. He encouraged people with privellege in tech to "be better" and commit to aplifying the voices and actions of those that are often not heard.
Having the opporuntity to present at Euruko was such an honor, not to mention it was my first, ever, legit conference talk. As a result I had so many great conversations with people about the pain they experience as a result of unreliable test suites, and a lack of ability to identify and fix flaky tests - the excitement for Test Analytics was real! 🥰
I hope to experience another Euruko in 2023, this time in Vilnus, Lithuania. Until then stay informed about Euruko on: