What is Ruby by the Bay?
Ruby by the Bay is the west coast edition of Ruby for Good.
What is Ruby for Good?
Ruby for Good is an annual event based out of the DC-metro area where Ruby programmers from all over the globe get together over a long weekend to build projects that help our communities. Think hanging out in communal space for a weekend with a bunch of developers and designers to build something useful. Participants stay in on-site dorms; hacking and socializing takes place in communal areas. Join us just for the fun of giving back! Questions? Check out the FAQ below or drop us a note.
Why was Ruby for Good started?
Lots of organizations need the sort of technical help we can provide but are unable to afford it. We want to be the do-gooders that volunteer to solve non-profit business/technical problems. Very little effort on our part can make a huge difference to a non-profit. We want to help!
Why Ruby by the Bay?
Several of our projects could benefit from a weekend worth of gooding more than once a year and we’d like to bring the Ruby for Good experience to more people more places.
What skill level do I need to be to attend?
All experience levels are definitely welcome! We have a wide variety of skill levels – some people have next to no experience in programming, some people have decades. But the same applies to other areas too! We have a wide variety of skill levels in pair programming, teaching, or product building – and these don’t necessarily correlate with years of programming experience. The event is as much about learning as it is about building great things. Groups are very collaborative and you’ll definitely have the opportunity to work closely with others and push a lot of code. :)
Do I need to be a programmer?
We need both developers and designers at Ruby by the Bay.
Do I need to be a Ruby programmer?
How do you choose projects?
A lot of cold-calling/emailing individuals and organizations, soliciting suggestions from people we know, and from YOU in the community. We go through a process of vetting possible projects and select based on viability of completion, need, open-source status, and general impact on business functions.
What’s an appropriate project?
Good projects can be completed in about a weekend, help improve the efficiency of a non-profit, and are open-source so we can help give back to the community. Have the beginnings of an idea? Suggest a project!
How do I suggest a project?
Have a project you’re jonesing to work on? Suggest a project!
What ARE the projects this year?
This year projects are focused around issues facing our local communities and we have some great organizations lined up! We’ll announce project details, including available teams to join, the first night of the event.
I want to lead a team. What do I do?
During registration we’ll ask if you’d like to lead a team - say yes! We’ll match you with a project about 6-8 weeks before the event. We’ll brief you on expectations and put you in touch with representatives from your project’s organization so you can work with them in advance of the event to set up project requirements, milestones and initial set up so you can hit the ground running with your team at Ruby by the Bay. Setup includes creating a github repo under the Ruby for Good github, filing issues and making some technology suggestions. You can read about the team lead process here.
I don’t know if I want to lead a team. What do I do?
In general, leading a team entails connecting with stakeholders, initial architecting, planning out project milestones, and keeping your team moving forward. Here’s more information about leading a team from Brandon Rice, a team lead in 2015 (who was SUPER awesome. Just sayin’.). Still not sure and want to talk about it with an organizer? Drop us a note.
Do you allow remote teams at Ruby by the Bay or Ruby for Good?
Unfortunately we’re unable to accommodate remote teams this time around. If there’s interest, maybe we can start a meetup in the area after the event. Come to Ruby by the Good and let’s talk some evening over hot chocolate and a campfire!
How can I help?!
- Suggest a project - We always need worthy projects! We’ve compiled a google doc to help you figure out a project. Suggest a project!
- Lead a team - a great way to up your skills, especially if you’ve been programming for a while and are eager for the experience of leading a team.
- Donations/Sponsors - we need lots of help with fundraising. The long weekend experience is expensive and we’d like to offer tickets to the wonderful folks who volunteer for as little as possible. This is only possible with donations and sponsors! Reach out to your employers to see if they would be willing to help us give back to our community. :)
- Attendees - we need both developer and designer expertise!
Is this a hackathon?
No. This is definitely not a hackathon. Sean cringes everytime someone mentions ‘hackathon’ and ‘Ruby for Good’ in the same sentence. (Try it.)
When do I need to purchase my tickets?
By March 25 or when we sell out, whichever comes first!
Oops, I bought my ticket and now I can’t go. Will you please refund/transfer?
After January 1 we will be unable to offer refunds but we will happily help coordinate exchanges until March 15. Drop us a note.
I’m, or want to host, an out-of-towner…
Welcome! We’d love to have any out-of-towners arrive early. If you want to be a tourist for a few days, we’ll find you somewhere to stay while you are here! If you are a local and have some extra space in your house for a Gooder to stay with you, either ping an organizer or join us on slack.
Which airport should I fly into?
The best airport is probably San Francisco International Airport (SFO), but if you are coming early we suggest coordinating with your host—they may live closer to a different airport (such as OAK). Both are within an hour’s drive to the venue. SJC is about an hour from San Francisco/Oakland, so please plan to rent a car if you fly to SJC.
Where do I park?
There is parking at the venue!
Can we drink alcohol?
Assuming you are of age, you are welcome to partake of fermented beverages. We do encourage moderation and require compliance with our Code of Conduct at all times.
Please note that we are on federal lands, and federal law (not California law) takes precedence.
What fun extra stuff do you have planned?
Anyone who has attended in the past knows that we do some really fun stuff when we’re not working hard helping the nonprofits; hikes, meditation sessions, dance class, grown-up coloring books, and more. If you have an idea for something you’d like to do or lead, join us on slack! Don’t worry, we’ll still have plenty of time for karaoke, werewolf, and the other standbys!
Our amazing venue also has a campfire so we’ll be able to do s’mores in the evenings!
What does my registration go toward?
We are a break-even event. Venue costs run about $330 per person – and that’s just for meals and lodging. Snacks (like s’mores making!), earplugs, nametags, office supplies, and other minutia aren’t included in that cost. It turns out conferences require a lot of funds to put on! Your registration fees go directly into funding the conference, and sponsorships (from organizations and individuals) help bring in our project partners and scholarship recipients.
We have a number of amazing scholarship applicants on our waitlist now who we don’t have the funds to bring in. If you’d like to help, please consider making a donation to bring in our project partners and scholarship recipients!
When do tickets go on sale?
Do I really HAVE to get there by 5pm on Friday?
Yeah, you really do. Teams will be chosen right around that time and you’ll spend dinner meeting with your team, chatting about your projects, and getting your environments aligned. We’ve found the event is most successful, with the most buy-in, when teams are a cohesive bunch from the beginning.
How early can I arrive on Friday?
Most of the organizing team is planning on arriving at 12pm but feel free to beat us there. There’s some amazing hiking (of different levels of ease or difficulty) just a few minutes from the venue.
How does food work?
All food is provided, you just need to bring yourself! We’ll also provide snacks in the evenings when we’re all socializing/playing games/werewolf!
I’m a vegetarian/dairy-free/vegan/gluten-free/paleo/allergic to… will you feed me?
What’s it REALLY like at Ruby by the Bay?
So glad you asked! For expert insight, here are a couple of blog posts written up by past Ruby for Good attendees:
Do you have scholarships?
We have a limited number of scholarship tickets but are unable to provide transportation funds. Criteria for selection includes the ability to get to the SF bay area on your own and a brief application form. Scholarship applications are now closed, but it’s not too late to fund a waitlisted scholarship applicant to go!
What do I need to bring?
Bring yourself, your laptop, a power source, some clothes, pillow, sleeping bag, and your favorite board games. Historically weather has been between 40-70°F, so please bring clothes appropriate for the weather. If you anticipate skipping group meals, bring some munchies. If you’re a light sleeper, bring earplugs.
Note that critter problems can be a problem, so please check in with an organizer if you brought food for proper storage.
If you have medication that needs to go in a fridge, please check with an organizer for directions to the medications-only fridge.
Reminder Our venue is located on federal lands and federal law (not California) applies.
How do I get there?
We will collect information about carpooling at and after registration. We will also be coordinating further in slack.
How do room assignments work? How do I indicate I want to room with a particular person?
Lodging is in bunkhouses. You may choose to be assigned to an all-gender, all-male, or all-female bunkhouse at registration. We’ll check in with you a little closer to the event for your preferences.
Do you have a code of conduct?
We are proud to have a code of conduct.
Is this the first year of Ruby by the Bay?
Yes! and we hope you can join us in the inaugural event!