Articles about Copenhagen.rb

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.

BarCamp Copenhagen

I am going to BarCamp Copenhagen on Friday. This being my first encounter with the BarCamp concept I have pretty much no clue what I am going into, and I am both excited and a tad nervous – I mean, it’s not every day one looses ones BarCamp virginity.

Looking over the list of attendees I can’t help but notice that quite a few Ruby developers – many from the jolly Copenhagen Ruby Brigade crew – are attending; we’re making up 10% of the attendees.

I probably won’t be giving a talk there unless I am hit by a massive amount of inspiration particles before then, but seeing that Casper is presenting I am sure the good word of Ruby will be spread. I will make sure to contribute in some other way at the event, though – in accordance with the rules of BarCamp

I am looking forward to it – and it’s probably a good idea to read up on the whole concept before Friday.

Happy birthday, Copenhagen.rb

I’m a bit late on this, but nevertheless: Last Friday marked the one year anniversary of the first gathering of Ruby and Rails geeks in Copenhagen, that which should later be formalized as the Copenhagen Ruby Brigade.

That initial meeting has been well documented online, both in words and in pictures.

A year, really?

So what has happened since then, I can hear the masses of inquisitive readers ask.

  • We have hosted around 10 official meetings – initially in offices around Copenhagen, but lately we have settled in at our gracious hosts, PROSA. The topics covered have been many and varied, from technologies like Puppet over building Gems to question likewhat CMS’s to choose for your Rails applications. And every meeting continues to feature new people.
  • We have held informal meetings in bars, hosted a free-for-all hackday, and a 14 hour night of contributing patches to Rails.
  • We have been visited by prominent Rubyists like Obie Fernandez, David Black, and David Heinemeier Hansson.
  • The pool of Copenhagen.rb images on Flickr has grown a fair deal.
  • The mailing list – which is our primary mean of communication – is up to 89 subscribed members.

Ruby adoption in Copenhagen

At the initial meeting, we did a quick poll asking what programming language the crowd present wrote for a living.

  1. Java, 7 (35%)
  2. .NET, 7 (35%)
  3. PHP, 4 (20%)
  4. Other, 2 (10%)
  5. Ruby, 0 (0%)

Recently I posted a poll asking not entirely the same question, but rather what language is the primary language of the people on the mailing list. The results paint a quite different now, a year later:

  1. Ruby, 17 (44%)
  2. Java, 8 (22%)
  3. Other, 6 (17%)
  4. .NET, 3 (8%)
  5. PHP, 2 (6%)

While this is hardly scientific in any way, or any indication that 44% of all programmers in Copenhagen use Ruby, the numbers are sweet music to my ears. I am thrilled that so many people in our small group have been able to go from wanting to do Ruby to actually naming Ruby their primary programming language (it obviously helps that I am one of them). Being able to work on stuff you like in the language you love is a great motivator.

To infinity and beyond?

I am sure the coming year is going to be even more interesting and prove an even higher adoption rate of Ruby in Copenhagen – and Denmark in general. The number of publicly available, danish Ruby-based projects is steadily increasing and is bound to continue to rise.

2006 in retrospect

It’s a new year, and of course, this calls for looking back at the year that passed. The short version: 2006 has been a great year for me on several levels.


Career wise 2006 has been coloured primarily by Ruby on Rails.

I founded my freelance web application development shop in January and started having fun building Rails stuff for clients (with the launches of Pluggd and MedBillManager being the highlights).

On the day job, my boss finally caved in after hearing me evangelize and rave about Ruby, and in March we started looking at the possibility of Rails as our new platform.

The final decision, which was luckily a go, came in July and the actual rewrite began making my dayjob ever so more interesting.

On the more social side of Ruby and Rails, 2006 also became the birth year of the Copenhagen Ruby Brigade. By now we hold (almost) montly meetings usually with around 20 smart and fun participants, healthy discussions and unhealthy fast food.


The life of mentalized has been a exciting ride throughout 2006 as well.

The year was kickstarted when my satirical Building your very own web2.0 layout reached the Digg hordes in February and became the most visited page on mentalized in 2006 with 175K pageviews.

The runner ups in the category “top content of 2006” are my free AJAX progress indicator images with 107K pageviews. These are still going strong and getting a fair amount of hits every day.

Honorable mentions go to some of my Rails related tutorials: No such file to load — mkmf and Putting Debian on Ruby rails.

It looks like the advice I can take away from 2006 is that writing jokes, giving stuff away for free, and posting images of scantily clad women are great ways to increase your pageview statistics…

What's going on around here

It’s been pretty quiet around these parts lately – if you ignore the posts about Copenhagen.rb meetings at least. That’s primarily because I am having tons of fun at work, which for some reason doesn’t leave me much time for blogging. Not that I would ever think of blogging at work, no siree…

Anyways, here are some tidbits about what’s be going around my life recently:

  • The BiQ rewrite is going really well, and I am thoroughly enjoying this.
  • Copenhagen Ruby Brigade has taken off and the two meetings so far have been visited by 20-25 Ruby heads. I’m really enjoying these meetings and the more social side of software.
  • My girlfriend started blogging – primarily for a school project, but it will be interesting to see if she keeps blogging.
  • Substance Lab is busy with client work.
  • The puppy is growing bigger – she’s almost a real dog now.

Copenhagen.rb August meeting

Last Wednesday the Copenhagen Ruby Brigade crowd got together for our first “real” meeting. Approximately 22 people showed up, proving that it wasn’t only the sponsor beer that lured people last time.

Stuff that happened

Jesper introduced his Localization Simplified plugin, which aims to be a dead easy way to alter the default English messages that Rails uses pretty much everywhere. It has since then been added to RubyForge, and support for pirate talk has been added. :)

I gave a brief presentation titled “Legacy stinks” in which I more or less concluded that while it can be tedious and timeconsuming to put legacy database schemas on Rails, it is not as impossible as it used to be.

Finally Casper gave a quick rundown of his experiences and the major topics from RailsConf in Chicago.

The whole shebang took place in the offices of Nordija, who (I think?) also kindly sponsored the pizza for the evening.

About the website

At the meeting I more than alluded that I’d try and get a website up and running last week. Unfortunately the place I registered the domain with apparently hadn’t seen my order until I emailed them to get them to cancel it. Here’s hoping the new registrar has a better sales system. Basically I guess this means the website will be there eventually.

Next meeting

Next meeting of Copenhagen.rb is going to take place September 19th at 17:30. We still need a venue and preferably some topics/demos/presentations, so do sound off on the mailing list if you can provide either.

Copenhagen Ruby/Rails Brigade

Thursday marked the first, casual gathering of what is hopefully going to become the Copenhagen Rails User Group or something like it. We had a great evening with great people, and spent most the time presenting ourselves and discussing what came to mind.

As promised, I’ve set up a mailing list so we can figure out where we go from here, and generally keep in touch etc. Head over here to sign up.

Jesper has posted images from the evening, Olle live-blogged the event, and Kasper has posted his thoughts on the evening and the format.