Last night we held the inaugural Melbourne InstallFest, where twenty five Ruby newbies came along to Envato to get started with Ruby on Rails. Also coming along were twelve awesome mentors, enthusiastically standing by to help anyone looking lost or confused and to share their knowledge of Rails.
Over the last six months, we’ve now setup 175 new developers with Rails in Sydney, Singapore and Melbourne. Our goal being, to make it easier for the baggage handler, the real estate agent, the property developer or anyone for that matter, to get started, and build and deploy their very own app. We run these events not because it is impossible to get setup on your own, but to give those getting started a safe and nurturing environment to learn.
It is important for us to remember that although we may be comfortable as part of the Community, it can be intimidating for those getting started to get involved in a hack night or Ruby meetup. The InstallFest is a safety net for new developers, giving anyone from any background the opportunity to comfortably participate in a community event, without feeling foolish for asking beginner questions. We now know there are no stupid questions, even after running this event seven times, our developers still come across new problems to solve. So, for a newbie it is comforting to know that if something does go wrong, there is someone around to support you and help you through errors and issues without you losing hope.
We’ve designed the InstallFest for beginners, and as such we try to focus on getting newbies excited about Ruby on Rails and what you can do in just one night. On top of this, I believe much of the magic is just knowing that the Community is there backing you. It's pretty incredible to see how much participants are able to pick up in just an evening with the help of our guides and mentors. With attendees from all different backgrounds, many that have never written code in their life, it is really cool to see them hacking in just a few hours.
I know the InstallFest participants really appreciate all of the support from our Community, here is what our Melbourne attendees had to say:
"I want to thank you for this effort. This is really useful and the support is absolutely incredible. I appreciate it a lot.” - Maritza Concha
“Excellent! Will highly recommend to anyone interested in learning rails.” Han-Qing Tan
“Thank you for helping me install and create a simple app very quickly!”
“I could not expect anything more from this event. The ready help even without asking was great to keep going and utilise the time at its best. Thanks a lot for organising this event.”
“I liked the professional material and organisation and the interactive and cooperative atmosphere.”
“Really well organised, great group and lots of help!” Rhiana Heath
“It is a great event to interact with other Ruby enthusiasts and learn new technologies.” - Steve Shoup
“At last I built an application in ruby! It was easy to get rid of the many errors when there was someone there to help you.” - Kiarash Zamanifar
“Great! Very helpful mentors willing to spend time on issues that come up.” - Simon Goudie
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The Ruby on Rails Installfest includes a full setup of your development environment and step-by-step instructions on how to build your first app hosted on Heroku. Over 1,800 attendees to date and counting.
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