RailsConf Day 3 – The Show Rolls On

3505094859_a37f102471Great day at RailsConf.

Its kind of interesting that Las Vegas is promoting itself as “Sin City” after 10 years of trying to position the place as a family vacation destination. I guess they figured Mom and Dad don’t spend enough time in the casinos when the kids are in town with them. Now the slogan is “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Leave the brats at home and roll those bones.

We were all in the New Relic booth all day. Today was the last of the exhibit hours. We probably gave away 200-plus shirts and maybe 500 “Free RPM Gold for a Month” promo cards. Thanks to all of you who stopped by to say hello.

New Relic hosted the Rails Entrepreneur’s Panel featuring DHH, Tobi Lutke, and Obie Fernandez with Lew Cirne as emcee. SRO crowd of 300-plus listened to their advice on starting and running your own company. They didn’t agree on everything but had some very thoughtful observations on how they got started, taking outside investment, building a team, contributing to open source (and still making money), and how to balance between running the company and staying hands on with clients. Some quotes: From David: “I think that most great businesses start as accidents, they don’t necessarily start because you want to be an entrepreneur.” And “I think you need to work at a crappy place to have the experience needed for forming a great place, because If you haven’t seen how sh*#%ty most companies work, you won’t know how not to do those things.” From Tobi “We knew all along we wanted to build a product, but we didn’ know we would go two years without any revenue at all.” And from Obie “My best advice for you? Make sure your clients pay you for the work. Don’t extend credit and don’t be afraid to stop the project until you get paid.” Its a very fun discussion from three guys who have built successful companies in three very different ways. Here is a video of the panel on the RailsConf site3505093919_42c7a7137d.

Heard in the halls: Ezra’s presentation was exceptional; Chris Wanstrath’s Git presentation was terrific; there will be a RubyConf China in a couple weeks in Shanghai – Scott Ballantyne expects 200 developers there; Ray Hightower of the Wisdom Group tells me that Windy City Rails conference in Chicago will be in September at the Westin River North; Heard from at least 5 different developers working on federal contracts in Rails – that’s pretty encouraging for adoption of the platform; Jesse Newland of RailsMachine stopped by (thanks for the spot on RailsLab, Jesse); Uri Benaya of TalkBack, a New Relic customer, says “check out our news service built on Rails”; Gregg Pollack of RailsEnvy was everywhere with his “parking meter camera.”

That’s all from RailsConf 2009. Great to see all of you!

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