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Kaigi on Rails - creating a tech conference in the era of online

Kaigi on Rails - creating a tech conference in the era of online

Masafumi Okura

January 29, 2021

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  1. Kaigi on Rails - creating a tech conference in the

    era of online OKURA Masafumi, 2021-01-28, Ruby Galaxy
  2. Me? • Name: OKURA Masafumi (“Masafumi” is my first name!)

    • Twitter, GitHub, etc.: @okuramasafumi • Job: Freelance web application developer • Activities: Some OSS contributions, some own OSS, giving talks in several conferences/meetups • Organizing: Kaigi on Rails, Grow.rb, Entaku.rb, and a few local Ruby communities
  3. What am I talking about today? • Brief introduction of

    Kaigi on Rails, a new tech conference focusing on Ruby on Rails • Motivation behind it • Some problems and difficulties • Future plan
  4. Kaigi on Rails is… • A new tech conference focusing

    on Ruby on Rails and web development starting 2020. • Started as an online conference by accident. • Website: https://kaigionrails.org
  5. Kaigi on Rails 2020 was… • A one day, one

    track conference • Driven by a small team • Composed of 14 wonderful talks including 2 keynotes from @tenderlove and @a_matsuda • Domestic conference but we accepted one English talk
  6. Kaigi on Rails was created because… • Environment: there is

    no tech conference focusing on Ruby on Rails in Japan before. • There was a plan of “RailsKaigi”, but it was dropped. • Personal motivation: I realized that I had so many ideas that could be real with a new conference. • Friends and mentors: People around me pushed me to make it real, including some people from RubyKaigi.
  7. Why are YOU the founder of Kaigi on Rails? •

    Background: I have been grown up by the Ruby community since 2015 and I love it. I felt it’s time to give back something to the community. • Job: I’m a freelancer that means I can make time when others are busy. • Capacity: I’ve been a co-organizer of a few conferences before. • Relationship: I have friends who help me, which is essential.
  8. Ideas behind Kaigi on Rails were… • Content: A tech

    conference balanced with practical tech talks and emotionally motivating talks. • Position: To be “the first conference” for newcomers • Also to be “a great conference” for experienced devs • Future: Being a “web” conference, covering varieties of topics not only Rails but also Ruby/Frontend/DevOps/Protocols/…
  9. We turned online because… • Yes, of course, COVID-19. •

    Timing: We faced COVID-19 soon after we made the team so we just decided “OK, let’s go online”. • Being free: We have nothing to compare to since it was the first Kaigi for us. We didn’t have anything to lose to try online. • We first said we “practice for the real one” 2020, but actually it went official :)
  10. There are some difficulties about online such as… • Concentration

    and talk length: We let speakers choose talk length from 10 mins and 20 mins, shorter than usual since both giving and listening to long talks online are hard. • Format: We also let speakers choose their talk style between live and recorded since we know some prefer talking live while others prefer recorded style. • Questions and answers: We omitted it because we didn’t have enough time and it’s hard to let people raise their hands online.
  11. There are even more difficulties… • Sponsors: There is no

    booth or other physical spaces for sponsors, which makes it hard to persuade them that it’s a good expense. • After party: We all love parties. Now we cannot drink beer and talking with friends together after the conference, such a sad thing. • We prepared virtual space with SpatialChat, which went pretty successful. • I18n: Due to time gap, it’s hard for people all over the world join the same conference at the same time.
  12. Kaigi on Rails 2021 will be… • Still online •

    Hopefully 2 day conference • Still domestic, but accepting more English talks • More interactive for both participants and sponsors • Workshop and joint events such as Rails Girls are in our idea list
  13. The future of Kaigi on Rails will be… • Fully

    international conference after it goes offline. • The conference valuing interactivity and communications among people while it’s online. • The place for various kinds of people to come together and have fun!