RailsSummit – an amazing adventure

I have had the opportunity to go to and speak at many conferences but this year was the first time I had the chance to go to RailsSummit in São Paulo, Brazil.

I was really looking forward to this trip and I have to say it went beyond my expectations. I had really good feedback from people like the Phusion guys (Ninh & Hongli), Gregg Pollack and others.

For those who don’t know, RailsSummit is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Ruby event in Latin America. It’s organized yearly by Locaweb, the #1 hosting company in Brazil (props to Akita & Cristiane for their work).

As part of my involvement in the Ruby community I have met a lot of Brazilians always willing to help and especially giving time to translate content. (A good example would be the Portuguese version of the Rails wiki or José Valim GSOC contribution) However, I did not realize how fast Rails was growing over here.

To come back to the conference, I have to say it was one of the best conference I have gone to. Chad Fowler, who gave the opening keynote, later told me that it reminded him of the first Ruby conferences in the US . For me, what made a huge difference was the fact that it was a very positive conference. People were happy to be here, eager to share and you could feel the passion. Unfortunately, I missed the first few Ruby conferences, but I can totally imagine how must have been. Passionate people, not trying to push their products but instead, share the cool stuff they’ve been working on. This is exactly the feeling I had during this conference.

Maybe it’s because I don’t understand Portuguese well enough or maybe it’s just a cultural thing, but the people at the conference were just super friendly and always willing to help. I was really glad to meet those who have been using some of my work, some new people to Ruby and people who don’t do Ruby but were just interested in knowing what was going on in the Ruby world.

The schedule was pretty packed and the discussions very interesting, you could certainly feel the excitement in the air. Ruby seems to catching up quickly over there. Brazilian Rubyists seem to be very pragmatic and a good illustration of that was certainly made by Vinicus Teles, Brazil Agile XPert, who shared tips on how to release a successful product.

I stayed a few days after the conference and went to visit the Rubyists in Rio. Rio is a great city. It has some of the best soccer players in the world and some seriously talented software developers. Ruby & Rails are not just the new trendy startup secret to success, companies like globo.com, currently the largest TV network in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world, also started using Ruby and Rails. I had the opportunity to visit their office and meet their teams. It’s very exciting to see how they use Agile/XP and Ruby and how they seem to be so successful. But I will keep that for another post.

Overall, even though the actual traveling to/from Brazil was a bit long, RailsSummit was a blast. I really hope to be able to come back next year, and by then, hopefully my Portuguese will have improved.

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  1. #1 by Adolfo Sousa - October 23rd, 2009 at 11:34

    It was nice to have good speaker and people like here in Brazil. So see you next year. You’re very welcome.

  2. #2 by Vinicius Manhaes Teles - October 23rd, 2009 at 11:40


    It was really great to have you here in Brazil and in Rio, particularly.

    I also found the conference to be awesome and I back everything you said about it. The Brazilian Rails community is doing a good work and I hope we’ll see more and more people using Ruby around here in the next years.

    Thanks for the comment on our work and for the many tips you shared with me at #horaextra.

    I hope to meet you again next year. But this time in San Diego. :-)

    À bientôt,

    Vinícius Teles

  3. #3 by Matt Aimonetti - October 23rd, 2009 at 11:54

    Thanks Adolpho, vemos-nos no próximo ano!

    @Vinicius I really enjoyed reading your book on the way back home, lots of people told me you inspired them and I understand why. Keep up the good work and see you in San Diego next year :)

  4. #4 by MarcRic - October 23rd, 2009 at 14:21


    Thanks to so awesome speakers like you, and so friendly attendees, it was a really amazing event.

    I hope to get an equally amazing event in Rio soon.

    A Rio RubyConf perhaps?

    Be always welcome.

  5. #5 by Luiz Vitor Martinez Cardoso - October 23rd, 2009 at 18:08

    If you want some help with Portuguese language we can exchange something. Contact me by mail/gtalk/msn.

    A hug.

  6. #6 by Rodrigo Kochenburger - October 24th, 2009 at 11:51

    Hey Matt,

    Glad you enjoyed and glad to know you. Hope to see you here next year or maybe at some other conference.

    Take care.


  7. #7 by Hugo - October 29th, 2009 at 04:24


    Here is the video of your talk at Rails Summit:


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