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By Rachelle LeQuesne

Giving Back to the Ruby Community

The creator of Ruby, Yukihiro Matsumoto (Matz) is often quoted as saying “For me the purpose of life is partly to have joy. Programmers often feel joy when they can concentrate on the creative side of programming, So Ruby is designed to make programmers happy.”

You read that right - it’s about making programmers happy while they are creating the tools that drive our internet-connected world. Understanding that, you begin to see what it is about Ruby that we’re passionate about.

We’re proud to share that love at reinteractive and we love doing our part to help grow the Ruby Community. Primarily we share it through our InstallFest and DevHub events, helping beginners and experienced programmers alike learn Ruby on Rails in a fun environment. We encourage attendees to continue learning and to join our awesome and friendly Ruby community.

We also know that the University students of today are the developers of tomorrow.

So what better way to grow the community than by taking InstallFest to the universities? With that in mind, we hosted our very first in-house InstallFest at the University of South Australia in April.

43 students attended an event during their mid-semester break. Along with our own senior developers, a number of the UniSA teaching staff took the time to familiarise themselves with the content so they too could help mentor.

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Above: Students at the UniSA InstallFest

The student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with one student getting up to tell the whole room "This was the best experience I have had so far at university."

While the positive feedback from April was encouraging – we received the ultimate confirmation in July when we held a second event at the university. This time around, there were 70 students in attendance, including more than 30 who returned to continue their learning.

This second event was created especially for UniSA based on the second guide in reinteractive’s InstallFest series. Students learned all about writing automated tests to provide confidence that their Rails application does what it is supposed to do. We held a morning session, which was the usual introductory-level InstallFest, and ran the more advanced session on automated testing in the afternoon.

reinteractive founder and CEO, Mikel Lindsaar, is a UniSA alumni and he took the opportunity to return to his old stomping ground and help mentor students at the two events. Mikel also held a lunchtime seminar on how to get your first job as a developer. Students from the morning session came along to hear insights from Mikel and kept him busy asking questions well past the intended finish time!

All in all, this was a very positive experience for both the students and for reinteractive. UniSA are keen to run more of these events and we will continue fine-tuning what we bring to each event to suit their requirements.

Following on from our UniSA success, QUT Foundry invited us over to hold another university InstallFest, this time for the students who are part of the entrepreneurship program at QUT.

Once again, the event booked out, and attendees learned the power of rapid prototyping that Rails is well-known for. It really is a great tool for entrepreneurs, allowing them to get their proof of concept in front of investors and stakeholders in a very short timeframe.

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Above: Attendees at QUT Foundry

We are planning more of these university partnerships, with an InstallFest to be held at Melbourne's Deakin University this month. UTS Hatchery in Sydney have also expressed an interest to get their students started with our InstallFest and plan on holding one in late 2017.

If you would like an in-house event at your university, please get in touch with me at community@reinteractive.com.

I'd love to share the joy of Ruby on Rails with your students!

ps. If we still haven't convinced you to check out our events – there's free pizza. The good stuff, real authentic wood-fired pizza. I personally guarantee no chain store pizza at any event I am involved in! :-)

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