The First Cut is Deepest
Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki said that “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few”
Being a beginner in any community can be tough, but it allows you to view the world with a fresh set of eyes. You see things as they are or how they should be. When you get to be an expert, you tend start making things more complicated and lose touch with the beginner’s mind.
This talk will look into how we can help beginners have more magical, simple moments with Ruby but also what we can learn from them to help make a better community.
Linda is one of the co-founders of the Rails Girls, a non-profit organization that runs workshops around the world for total beginners. From this experience, she has learned how to explain technical concepts for not so technical people to get them curious and included in the world of webmaking. For instance, you can describe an app stack as a bento lunch box where each part like storage, logic, or style has it own place.
After being a Rails Girls coach, Terence got reminded again what it’s like to be a beginner. One of the things he realized was getting a basic Ruby and Rails environment up and running was way too hard. He started working with Yehuda Katz on Tokaido, a OS X Ruby and Rails installer meant to be extremely simple. Instead of requiring the developer to understand how to compile their own Ruby, it follows the standard OS X app installation. This means that a new user of any skill level can get up and running in minutes, not in days.
Reaching out and including people is important to the growth of the community. It allows us to grab a whole new audience of users like parents, siblings, or kids. With them they bring a refreshing perspective to the table which leads to simpler tools and a more awesome ecosystem that benefits veterans and newcomers alike.
- Preferred presentation day: [no preference]
- Presentation language: [English]
My name (required)
- Linda Liukas
- Terence Lee
My affiliation (required)
- Linda Liukas, Community Manager at Codecademy, co-founder of Rails Girls
- Terence Lee, Señor Ruby Engineer at Heroku
My bio (required)
Linda is a casual programmer from Finland and now a community manager at Codecademy. Having never really outgrown fairytales, she sees the web as a maze of stories and wants to hear more female voices in that world. Dividing her time between Helsinki and New York, Linda loves 3D printers, Muji and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Terence works at Heroku, maintaining the Ruby stack and some OSS projects such as Bundler and Resque. On his free time, he helps the Rails Girls movement. When he's not going to an awesome Heroku or Ruby event, he lives in Austin, TX, the taco capital of America.