The state of Ruby in Denmark

Yesterday marked the 5 year anniversary of Copenhagen Ruby Brigade. Five years ago, I was part of founding that group. Five years, imagine that.

Back then, you could have heard me claim I knew all the Ruby developers in Denmark. While probably an exaggeration, it wasn't far from the truth. Thankfully that is no longer the case. Yesterday, as I was sitting in the conference room at Podio looking at the other people present, I realized I didn't know half of them. This got me thinking about how far we've come in the danish Ruby community over the last years.

Yeah, I know 'em all

At the founding meeting, we asked how many were working with Ruby and how many just wanted to be. The majority were stuck with some language or another, trying to squeeze in as much Ruby as they could on their own time. Today, most of us are making a living writing Rails apps and enjoying every bit of it. And when we finally look up from our screens, we meet with other Ruby developers and thrive on Ruby success stories from all over the world. It feels like we've won.

Winning

In many ways we have. Plenty companies use Ruby as their primary programming language. We've got solid communities in the largest cities. Trade publications write about Ruby news. Regional conferences have talks about Ruby. Heck, even bosses and clients have occasionally heard of Ruby these days. Ruby is no longer a fringe language in Denmark.

We're not halfways done

But we've become too contented. We're still a small community in Denmark, so there is plenty of room for us to grow.

We are the birthplace of Rails. Ruby should be like a second language to all developers. We've climbed the first part of the mountain and gained acceptance. Now it is up to us to reach the summit and prove staying power.

It's up to you

We don't have the budget of .NET nor the massive following of PHP. We can't rely on the success of Rails in Silicon Valley to aid us. Our growth has to come from us.

Who was the last person that looked at you in awe as you tried to explain the virtues of Ruby? When did you last try to convey your joy of writing Ruby to a fellow geek? We - you and me - should be writing, blogging, talking and teaching until we can no longer find anyone willing to learn.

This is my challenge to you: For the next five years, share your passion for Ruby with at least 5 fellow geeks. Your happiness is bound to be contagious.