Keep Ruby Weird was this past weekend in Austin, TX and I had the good fortune of being in attendance.
Hosted downtown at the awesome Alamo Drafthouse, we were treated to a series of outstanding speakers. While all the talks were excellent and are worth a watch, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites here.
Sandi Metz (@sandimetz) took us on a journey examining the results of several groundbreaking psychological experiments. Walking us through the Asch conformity experiments, the Milgram experiment, and Bystander intervention in emergencies, she provided insight into a few unpleasant aspects of human behavior demonstrated through the studies. Sandi discussed how we can become our best selves with these effects in mind, allowing us to achieve diversity, independent thought, and action on software projects and in workplaces alike.
Kerri Miller (@kerrizor) recounted some of her lessons learned in ‘20 Years of Mistakes, Failures, and Fuck-ups’. Full of relatable anecdotes, she showed us how inevitable mistakes can be turned into opportunities by taking charge.
Brandon Hays (@tehviking) crafted an RPG-style character creation system to examine various career tracks such as lifestyle business founder, code slinger, and manager. Starting with skills and ‘inventory’ for each, he guided an exploration of what income, stress, free time, satisfaction and impact may look like over the years in each scenario. Brandon encouraged us to build up our personal platform as a Voltron, combining some of each of these archetypes into our own.
Ernie Miller (@erniemiller) launched a whole new type of talk - ‘choose your own adventure’. He created a system allowing the audience to vote on our phones and laptops, with the winning options driving the talk by deciding what to do next just like in the classic childrens books. Choices have consequences was the theme, and the energized crowed enjoyed taking the reins.
KRW was a great conference filled with fantastic people, and I’d like to thank the speakers, organizers, volunteers, and sponsors who made it all happen.