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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. What’s Kaigi on Rails?

  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Why Kaigi on Rails?

  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. What ideas did you have?

  11. 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/…
  12. Were them achieved?

  13. 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 :)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. What the future of Kaigi on Rails look like?

  17. 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
  18. 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!