RubyConf 2005 was amazing!

I’m sitting here in the San Diego airport for another 7 hours because I missed my flight. It was my fault. I had the departing time wrong in my head and cluelessly arrived at the airport 2 hours after my plane took off! Of course, Murphy’s Law stepped in to help… it was the last flight out to St. Louis for the day!

Fortunately, I found a comfortable chair next to a power outlet, so I can power my notebook and do some useful stuff—like write this. Unfortunately, all of the food concessions at this airport are on the other side of the gate security and I can’t go in there until I check in and have a boarding pass (which I can’t do until 5:00am). So, my dinner consisted of peanuts and cheetos off off a small snack cart.

The most striking thing about this year’s RubyConf was the number of people who came (and where they came from, more on that later). The first RubyConf in 2001 drew about 39 people. That slowly increased each year, and just last year people were amazed that 70 people came. Well, that 70 was dwarfed by this year’s 200. And it would have been higher, but the conference could only accommodate 200 and registration was cutoff. Dave Thomas predicted that next year there will be over 500!

Absolutely amazing! And, for the first time ever, there were women in attendance—7 of them. Quite a few people traveled long distances from overseas to attend. The following numbers are estimates because we just asked for a show of hands in an informal poll. There were about 15 people from Asia, 10 from Eastern Europe/Middle East, 10 from Europe, and (if I remember correctly) 1 from Africa.

OK, enough of my rambling… If you want to know what went on at RubyConf2005, you’ve got a couple choices. First, all every talk was recorded and can be downloaded in MP3 or OGG formats from here:

Or, if you prefer to read summaries, a number of people blogged about the conference, but Jon Tirsen of ThoughtWorks had more complete coverage than most:

I hope that more of you can make it next year.

UPDATE: Muness Alrubaie also blogged some excellent, and very complete coverage of RubyConf:

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