[Brug-admin] Post-FOSDEM momentum

Peter Vanbroekhoven peter at xaop.com
Tue Feb 26 06:00:55 EST 2008

Hi all,

The devroom at FOSDEM was quite successful, so cheers on that. After
FOSDEM we had 15-20 more subscribers to brug-talk than before FOSDEM, so
some people already took the bait. So all's well. But...

It isn't the time to sit still. We should use the momentum we've built
to keep going. But enough motivational talk...

First off, there has been a gap of almost 5 months between the first
BRUG meeting and the FOSDEM devroom. I'm probably not alone in thinking
that this is a bit too much. I'm not saying that we should have an event
like FOSDEM every month, but I still think we should meet more often.
The way I see it now, we could discern the following categories of meet-ups:

* Regular BRUG get-together: a monthly meeting in a cafe or so where we
can talk about Ruby, life, anything we want. No pressure to attend each
time, no pressure on topics, just getting together and socialize. This
should be low overhead, i.e., we pick a date and come who can/wants to come.
* More formal BRUG meetings: these could be anything, from hackatons to
semi-formal presentations. I wouldn't put the pressure on this one
either, but rather do this when it arises. So if someone feels like
giving a presentation, we could organize a meeting. If someone wants to
kick off a new project and is looking for a few fellow developers to
help, we could organize a coding session. I'm sure at some point we all
have thought about implementing a small utility, a Ruby lib or a Rails
plugin. These coding sessions are great to kick such a project into
gear; it's surprising what a few motivated programmer's can put together
in a few hours. It's how Rubygems got started :-)
* Formal seminars: I was thinking along the lines of some of the events
organized by SAI, i.e., http://www.sai.be/nl/eventdetail.aspx?ev_id=153
. We could advertise this to companies and such. This could be an
important vehicle in promoting Ruby in Belgium. Many companies see Ruby
as a hype and are thus hesitant to jump on the bandwagon out of fear of
investing in a fad that will be over before they got back what they
invested in it. We should convince them that it is worth it. Once we get
going, we could even invite prominent speakers (although then we'll need
to charge for it probably).
* The big guns: once we get going, we can organize bigger events like
half/one-day conferences. This one is still way off in the future, but
it is something to keep an eye on. We already did this in the form of
FOSDEM, but I was thinking about something stand-alone, something we
advertise to companies.
* BRUG-admin meetings: although we can have discussions online, nothing
beats a real-life meeting where you can brainstorm on important

My feeling tells me that the first and last type of meeting could very
well turn out to end up the same. It's likely to be the hardcore group.
But anyway, it would be nice if we could get these regular meet-ups
going. Because we don't need any infrastructure for it, we can easily
vary the location.

Another important thing is to build a decent website. Currently, we have
some information online, but it's certainly not sufficient. Instiki was
great to quickly get some information online, but it is certainly not a
durable solution. I think we need to brainstorm on what we will need to
build a decent website. I would like to organize a BRUG-admin meeting
for this in 2 or 3 weeks time. And then have the first regular BRUG
meeting a few weeks after that, just to start going. Sound reasonable?


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