Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ruby Hoedown 2009 mini-Interview with Jeremy McAnally

Jeremy McAnally (@jm) is a good friend, and we've worked together on regional Ruby conferences and other projects. With the Ruby Hoedown looming, I thought it was about time to sit down with him for a mini-interview about his free conference.

How have the community and your sponsors responded to making the Ruby Hoedown free?

Jeremy Everyone has largely been in two camps: "Wow that's awesome!" and "What? Are you crazy? How are you going to do that?" I find myself somewhere between the two.

You've even announced a plan to help encourage registration, where did this idea come from?

Jeremy I was thinking about how to get more sponsors involved and how to get them involved with everyone more effectively. Book giveaways and things like that are great, but then only 5-6 people are getting to benefit and the sponsor is really only "touching" those people. Around that same time I was trying to think of another way to differentiate the Hoedown and add value to the conference, and the ideas sort of gelled together around the time one of my co-workers was talking about the MacHeist bundles he'd gotten this year.

You're getting really close, but this is the hairiest time as you get all the last minute stuff moving. How are you feeling about this year's Hoedown?

Jeremy I feel great. There's actually a lot less hassle this year than last year, so it's been going pretty smoothly thus far. I may not feel the same way in a month or so, but for now, I'm feeling good!

There are just hours left for people to get proposals in. Is there anything specific you're looking for?

Jeremy Anything even vaguely Ruby-related. I love a good technical talk, but I'd also like to hear why pomodoro timers are the best things since sliced bread or why eating celery can help improve not only your test coverage, but also your overall quality of life.

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