RailsConf 2008 Speakers

RailsConf speakers help attendees by teaching from experience. New speakers are being confirmed daily. Please check back often to see the latest additions to the RailsConf program.

Scott Barron (EdgeCase)

Scott Barron was set to swear off computers forever and become a plumber when Rails was released. He immediately found salvation in the warm embrace of Ruby and has never looked back.

Aaron Batalion
Aaron Batalion (LivingSocial)

Aaron is a founding partner at Hungry Machine who likes long walks in the park and developing web applications. Prior to Hungry Machine, he was portal architect at Revolution Health, where he led the organizational shift to Rails.

Kent Beck
Kent Beck (Three Rivers Institute (TRI))

Kent Beck is the founder and director of Three Rivers Institute (TRI). His career has combined the practice of software development with reflection, innovation, and communication. His contributions to software development include patterns for software, the rediscovery of test-first programming, the xUnit family of developer testing tools, and Extreme Programming. He currently divides his time between writing, programming, and coaching. Beck is the author/co-author of Implementation Patterns, Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change 2nd Edition, Contributing to Eclipse, Test-Driven Development: By Example, Planning Extreme Programming, The Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns, and the JUnit Pocket Guide. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oregon.

His business activities include contract programming using Java/Eclipse, writing, consulting (mostly remote), and presenting workshops with... Read More.

Aaron Bedra
Aaron Bedra (Relevance, Inc.)

Aaron is a developer for Relevance, LLC in Chapel Hill North Carolina. He is a very active member of both the open source and information security communities. Aaron is also involved with the Metasploit Framework, a very large Ruby codebase that provides security researchers the necessary tools to prove new exploits as well as test for existing vulnerabilities. Most of Aaron’s background comes from researching patterns in software development and proper techniques behind design and development. Aaron has worked with a number of fortune 500 companies around the country performing both software architecture services and advanced hacking and penetration testing services.

Dan Benjamin
Dan Benjamin (Rails Machine)

Dan Benjamin is a software developer, user interface designer, broadcaster, and writer. Dan was a speaker at RailsConf 2007, and is keynoting Acts As Conference 2008. He co-founded Cork’d, the web’s first social network and reviewing application for wine aficionados (built in Rails), which was later acquired by WLTV. He also built the content management systems for A List Apart (also in Rails), Capgemini and others, and has developed software for companies including Convergys, MCI, Vitalsource, Helium Report, and Tupperware.

You can visit Dan’s website Hivelogic, where he has been writing articles and technology tutorials since 2000.

Wilson Bilkovich
Wilson Bilkovich (Engine Yard)

Wilson Bilkovich has been a Rubinius contributor since it was first revealed to the public. These days, Wilson works on Rubinius full-time, thanks to Engine Yard, having suspended his career as a freelance Rails developer. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, USA with his laptop and heavy metal collection.

Ola Bini
Ola Bini (ThoughtWorks), @olabini

Ola Bini is a Swedish developer currently working for ThoughtWorks in London, United Kingdom. He has been one of the core developers for JRuby since 2006 and is the author of APress book Practical JRuby on Rails. He has much experience with Java, Ruby and LISP. He has been involved with several other open source projects but JRuby takes most of his time.

He has been known to like implementing languages, writing regular expression engines, YAML parsers and other similar things that exist at the border computer science.

Ola has presented at numerous conferences including The Server Side Java Symposium – Europe, RailsConf Europe, JavaPolis and

Rick Bradley
Rick Bradley (OG Consulting)

Rick Bradley was conceived a hillbilly but programmed his way out of the womb and into a lucrative position as punch-card eater at the local Burroughs plant by age 3. These days he is recently released from a multi-year sentence to work in the “enterprise” on one of the largest Ruby on Rails applications on the planet (you may remember him talking about it at the 1st Railsconf). These days he has his hitch on, his house on (which seems to involve a lot of getting his hammer on and his duct tape on), and his Ruby consulting on, as part of Flawed Logic (a wholly-pwned subsidiary of OG Consulting) for clients too distracted to know any better.

Be excellent to each other.

Avi Bryant
Avi Bryant (Dabble DB)

Avi Bryant is a founder and co-CEO of Dabble DB, a venture-backed startup based in Vancouver, BC. He’s also the creator of the Seaside web framework, and has given keynotes at RailsConf, Smalltalk Solutions, and elsewhere about his unusual – some say heretical – approaches to web development.

Michael Buffington
Michael Buffington (Grasshopper Labs)

Michael Buffington is the co-founder of Grockit Inc, a company building a massive multiplayer online learning game using Rails and agile development practices.

Michael also an author and speaks frequently about technology. He’s worked on several well known Rails projects including Stikkit, MeasureMap, and the once famous but now poorly neglated Rails based game llor.nu.

He works remotely from his home office in Portland Oregon with Grockit teammates in San Francisco, Rochester New York, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale. When not starting interesting projects, he can be found enjoying time with his wife and two painfully brilliant children, skateboarding the glorious concrete Oregon skateparks, illustrating, and saying embarrasing things about himself on his personal site (http://michaelbuffington.com)

Ninh Bui
Ninh Bui (Phusion), @phusion_nl

Ninh Bui is the co-founder and CEO of Phusion, a company that specializes in offering top of the line app deployment and server monitoring/scaling software.

When Ninh is not writing software, designing UIs or organizing conferences he can be found mashing Shoryukens at Street Fighter 4 tournaments like a World Warrior. Ninh holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Twente.

Scott Chacon
Scott Chacon (GitHub)

Scott Chacon is a cofounder and the CIO of GitHub. He is also the author of the Pro Git book by Apress and the maintainer of the Git homepage (git-scm.com). Scott has presented at dozens of conferences around the world on Git, GitHub and the future of work.

Lewis  Cirne
Lewis Cirne (New Relic, Inc.)

Lew Cirne is founder and CEO of New Relic, Inc., which focuses on Rails Performance Management. He has a passion for Rails and for helping Rails teams build extremely fast, reliable and available web applications. Lew has spent the past 10 years helping companies dispel their application performance and scalability myths.

Mike Clark
Mike Clark (The Pragmatic Studio)

Mike is the author of Advanced Rails Recipes and runs
The Pragmatic Studio, a series of public
workshops on Ruby, Rails, and other technologies.

Drew Colthorp (Atomic Object)

Drew Colthorp is a software developer at Atomic Object, a consulting company based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been working with ruby since 2004 and Rails since 2005.

Blaine Cook
Blaine Cook (Poetica), @blaine

Blaine Cook is London-based sociotechnologist and co-founder of Poetica, a place to write better together. He is a hacker dissatisfied by simply building software. Through numerous collaborations, he has developed protocols and concepts that are forming the basis for many social internet technologies yet to come. His past work as the founding architect of Twitter has seen broad adoption both culturally and technologically.

Jon Dahl
Jon Dahl (Phronos)

Jonathan Dahl is a developer and entrepreneur who started using Ruby on Rails in 2005, as a founding partner at Slantwise Design. He has written gems and plugins and led development on more than a dozen Rails applications, which run the spectrum from Web 2.0 to the enterprise.

Most recently, he has focused on Zencoder, a distributed video transcoding product, and Tumblon, a web-based service for parents to track and share their children’s growth.

Brian  Dainton
Brian Dainton (PeopleAdmin)

A ten-year veteran of Austin high-tech startups, Brian has taken over a dozen commercial applications from napkin sketch to general availability. Originally a Java developer of 12 years, he began working with Rails in late 2006 and later joined FiveRuns to develop Ruby professionally. Brian blogs at The Budding Rubyist.

Robert Dempsey
Robert Dempsey (Atlantic Dominion Solutions), @rdempsey

An agile development expert and Certified Scrum Practitioner with more than 10 years of experience in technology, Robert Dempsey is a highly sought speaker, trainer, and consultant in web application development – specifically with Ruby on Rails – and the Scrum project management framework. Robert is the CEO and Founder of Atlantic Dominion Solutions, a company providing custom web and iPhone applications, Agile training and consulting, and Scrum’d, a project management tool for Agile teams.

Zach Dennis (Atomic Object)

Before joining Atomic Object Zach spent the previous six years developing software including a visual sales tool and web-based project management system for one of the nation’s largest companies.
Zach is passionate about solving problems and believes in ongoing improvement to the methods and practices used in solving those problems. He agrees that people matter most and is very interested in improving the communication between technical developers and non-technical business people.

His passion about software development led him to learning Ruby in late 2002. In 2005 Zach started developing with Rails and by 2006 he was developing with Ruby and Rails full time. In February 2005 Zach started the Michigan Ruby Users Group. In late summer of 2006 he helped organize and spoke at... Read More.

Patrick Farley (ThoughtWorks)

Patrick Farley is a developer and occasional tech lead with ThoughtWorks. He blogs on Ruby and Rails at www.klankboomklang.com

Dave Fayram (Powerset, Inc)

Dave Fayram has the Top Gun Anthem as his phone’s ringtone. Everything else is left as a logical exercise for the reader.

Obie Fernandez
Obie Fernandez (InfoQ)

Author of The Rails Way, the definitive reference guide for Ruby on Rails, Series Editor of the Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series and well-known member of the international Ruby community.

Scott Fleckenstein (Stellar)

Scott Fleckenstein is the Lead Developer at getsatisfaction.com

Brian Ford (Engine Yard)

Brian knew within 2 minutes of reading Evan’s blog post on adding Continuations that Rubinius was going to be successful – he grabbed the code and hasn’t looked back since. Brian was enamored with RSpec and decided a full set of specs for Ruby would be key to developing Rubinius as fast as possible. Ruby is his all-around favorite language and his hope for Rubinius is to make it possible to continue adopting the best features of other languages into Ruby. Brian is finishing his math degree at Portland State and snowboards on the weekends on Mt Hood.

Neal Ford
Neal Ford (ThoughtWorks), @neal4d

Neal Ford is a senior application architect at *Thought*Works, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery. He is the designer and developer of applications, instructional materials, magazine articles, courseware, video/DVD presentations, author of 3 books, including Art of Java Web Development (Manning 2003), and editor/contributor for the 2006 and 2007 editions of the No Fluff, Just Stuff Anthology (Pragmatic Press). He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, having spoken at numerous developers’ conferences worldwide. Check out his web site at www.nealford.com. He welcomes feedback and can be reached at nford@thoughtworks.com.

Chad Fowler
Chad Fowler (LivingSocial)

Chad Fowler is an internationally known software developer, trainer,
manager, speaker, and musician. Over the past decade he has worked
with some of the world’s largest companies and most admired software
Chad is VP of Engineering at LivingSocial. He is co-organizer of RubyConf and
RailsConf and author or co-author of a number of popular software
books, including “The Passionate Programmer:
Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development“.

James Garlick (HoboCentral)

James is a freelance web developer and a member of the core Hobo team. He has been developing using Rails for two years and has built a wide range of small and large sites, specializing in e-commerce.

Justin Gehtland
Justin Gehtland (Relevance, Inc.)

Justin co-founded Relevance in 2003 to put agile practices and new technologies to work solving problems and making waves.

Stuart Halloway

Stuart Dabbs Halloway is co-founder and CEO of
Relevance, Inc.. Relevance provides consulting, training, and development services for Ruby, Rails, Ajax, and Agile Java. Stuart is the author of
Component Development for the Java Platform. Stuart regularly speaks at industry events including the No Fluff, Just Stuff Java Symposiums and the Pragmatic Studio.

Prior to founding Relevance, Stuart was the Chief Technical Officer at DevelopMentor, the industry’s leading training company focusing exclusively on software developers. He received his B.S. and M.P.P. from Duke University in 1990 and 1994, respectively.

Philippe Hanrigou
Philippe Hanrigou (ThoughtWorks)

Philippe Hanrigou has over ten years of experience developing enterprise software and web applications. As a software engineer and ThoughtWorks consultant, he focuses on designing enterprise software — understanding what makes a good design and implementing practices that encourage it. For the last 2 years he has enthusiastically embraced Ruby and used it to deliver large enterprise systems.

Philippe is the author of Troubleshooting Ruby Processes , an Addison-Wesley Ruby Professional Series shortcut, that introduces key system diagnostic tools in the context of Ruby development. Philippe is also the principal developer and author of Selenium Grid, a tool that transparently distribute your web testing infrastructure so that you can run Selenium tests in parallel.

Christopher Haupt
Christopher Haupt (Webvanta Inc.), @chaupt

Christopher Haupt is a software architect, developer, author, and educator with over 25 years experience. He’s currently CTO and co-founder of Webvanta Inc., where he is building a SaaS product that enables web designers to quickly and inexpensively launch sophisticated web sites using structured data driven content and no need for back-end programming. He likes to contribute back to the Ruby on Rails community via BuildingWebApps.com, a resource for web developers built on the Webvanta platform. He is the co-host of the popular LearningRails.com pod and screencasts.

Christopher was previously the Director of Engineering of Consumer and Hosted Application and Online Services at Adobe Systems. Much of his focus while at Adobe was on architecture and building a wide variety of online-enabled... Read More.

David Heinemeier Hansson

David Heinemeier Hansson is a partner at 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary.

37signals’ products include Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard. 37signals’ products do less than the competition — intentionally.

He is also the creator of Ruby on Rails.

Orion Henry
Orion Henry (Heroku)

Five years ago when a truck full of rocket fuel crashed into a tanker full of sugar free rock star, and as luck would have it, a bolt of lightning struck them both. From the burning wreckage Orion emerged. He has been mingling with humans ever since and looking for adventure and code to hack.

Tony Hillerson
Tony Hillerson (Tack Mobile)

Tony Hillerson is a partner and mobile developer at Tack Mobile.

Brian Hogan
Brian Hogan (NAPCS)

Brian has been developing web sites and web applications for over 12 years. He currently trains and mentors application developers, focusing on Ruby on Rails applications. He has written the book “Rails for Windows” for O’Reilly and has contributed to “Deploying Rails Applications” for Pragmatic Programmers.

Chad Humphries
Chad Humphries (Relevance, Inc.), @spicycode

Chad currently spends his time as a partner and founder with EdgeCase, LLC in Columbus Ohio. Prior to to EdgeCase he worked in .NET and Java with Fortune 500 companies to help them evaluate and implement open-source technologies.

Chad now works heavily in the Ruby open-source community on projects such as RSpec, RubyFurnance, and others.

Nick Kallen (Pivotal Labs)

Nick Kallen has been developing Ruby on Rails applications for two years at Pivotal Labs in San Francisco. He is a prolific blogger on Rails idioms and Ruby metaprogramming tricks, and is the author of the popular HasFinder gem.

Erik Kastner
Erik Kastner (Kickstarter)

Rails, camping and other hacker with over 10 years experience in webdev

Yehuda Katz
Yehuda Katz (Tilde Inc), @wycats

Yehuda Katz is a core team member on the DataMapper project, and the creator of the DO.rb project. He is a contributor to the Merb and Rubinius projects, and is a contributing author for the upcoming Manning Publications book Ruby in Practice.

He recently accepted a job at EngineYard. He has been working on Ruby on Rails applications since 2005, and has just spent a year working on a very large and complex data-driven Rails app (http://procore.com).

He also does front-end web work, is a coauthor of the Manning book jQuery in Action and a core team member of the jQuery project.

Jeremy Kemper
Jeremy Kemper (37signals)

Jeremy Kemper (bitsweat) is a programmer at 37signals hailing from Pasadena, California. Hot on the heels of DHH, he has been the most active contributor to Rails. He’s knee deep in pretty much all aspects of the framework and one of the top batters against new, incoming tickets.

Adam Keys
Adam Keys (Gowalla), @therealadam

Adam is a software developer from Dallas, TX. He writes on his weblog, The Real Adam on topics ranging from Ruby to pizza. When not writing bios in the third person, Adam volunteers for dog rescue and as a feral cat caretaker. In general, Adam also likes to make those around him laugh. You’ve been warned.

Rich Kilmer
Rich Kilmer (LivingSocial)

Rich is VP R&D for LivingSocial. Rich is leading LivingSocial’s efforts to dominate the local commerce marketplace through technological innovation. Rich, previously CEO and Co-Founder of InfoEther, also co-founded Ruby Central, a non-profit promoting Ruby and its community. Prior to InfoEther, Rich was CTO & Co-Founder of Roku Technologies. In his 20 years as a software technologist, he has been a CEO, CTO, sales engineer, designer, consultant and a systems security manager in the Air Force at the Pentagon.

Michael Koziarski
Michael Koziarski (Koziarski Software Limited)

Michael “Koz” Koziarski is a software consultant specialising in Ruby on Rails, database architecture, web based businesses and object oriented design. He’s been a contributor to Rails since 2004, a Rails Core Team member since 2005 and helps other programmers improve their code on The Rails Way, a popular Rails architecture weblog.

Hongli Lai
Hongli Lai (Phusion), @phusion_nl

Hongli Lai is the co-founder and CTO of Phusion, a company that specializes in offering top of the line IT products and services to high profile clients.

Prior to founding Phusion, he has had the pleasure of working on a myriad of open source products such as Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and Autopackage, where it’s perhaps worth mentioning that the latter is being used by the Dutch Tax Department.

From his computer science study and work, Hongli has also become well versed in a variety of computer languages and paradigms and also possesses an (almost) uncontrollable hunger for knowledge. In particular, his current interests lie in the domain of Software Engineering, where the emphasis is put on software architecture.

John Lam (AZURE) (Microsoft)

John Lam works on the IronRuby Open Source project at Microsoft.

Michael Latta
Michael Latta (TechnoMage)

I have 32 years industry experience; 8 of it in Smalltalk, and 25 in Objects of various kinds. I have worked on most aspects of the tool chain from compilers to SCM systems, and high end engineering modeling tools to financial modeling tools. I am on my third startup, and glad to be back into the Smalltalk/Ruby family of languages.

Kevin Lawver (AOL)

Kevin has been with AOL for a decade, most of that as the lead UI developer on AOL’s flagship search product. He’s also spent time consulting, training and acting as the “web standards guy” for one of the largest development organizations at AOL. Kevin recently returned to full-time development as one of the architects on AIM Pages, where he is heavily involved in standards support, evangelism and rapid development.

James Lindenbaum
James Lindenbaum (Heroku)

James Lindenbaum is a hacker and entrepreneur with a background in agile development and enterprise software consulting. He was a principal at Bitscribe, is a cofounder of Heroku, and is technical advisor to several startups. James loves open-source; his most recent project was Bitswiki. His OCD perfectionism got him hooked on the beauty of Ruby back in 2005, and he’s been an addict ever since.

Tom Locke (HoboCentral)

Tom is the father of the Hobo project and a freelance web-developer and technical trainer, specialising in Ruby on Rails. He has been working exclusively on custom Rails application development for the last two years and has built many sites both small and large. Having a fanatical aversion to repeating himself, he has extracted the Hobo framework from these projects. The code-base for each successive project gets smaller as Hobo gets better!

Denis Lussier (EnterpriseDB)

Prior to co-founding EnterpriseDB, Denis was the CEO and Chief Architect at Fusion Technologies, a profitable, 200-employee technology services business that he founded in 1994. Fusion was a pioneer in global development, establishing distributed software development centers as early as 1999. Prior to founding Fusion, Denis was an architect at Magna Software and a senior consultant at Ernst & Young. Denis received a BS degree in Management Systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Dan Manges
Dan Manges (Braintree Payment Solutions), @dan_manges

Dan Manges is a passionate programmer who currently focuses on Ruby and Rails development. He enjoys giving back to the community by working on open source projects. After successfully bringing Rails into the enterprise at JPMorgan Chase, he is now a developer with ThoughtWorks.

Mike Mangino
Mike Mangino (Elevated Rails)

Since obtaining his BS in Computer and Information Science from The Ohio State University, Mike has held a variety of positions in both large and small companies. Most Recently, Mike was a Vice President at JPMorganChase, responsible for software architecture and development for the Global Storage division.

After living through the .com highs and lows, Mike decided it was time to better understand the world of the startup. In 2004, he earned his MBA through the part time program at the Fisher College of Business where was was recognized by the faculty for academic excellence. More recently, he has been a featured speaker at The Rails Edge and Ruby East.

When not running Elevated Rails, Mike can often be found running along the Chicago... Read More.

Al Mannarino (CodeGear)

Al Mannarino is a Lead Systems Engineer and Evangelist for CodeGear. Prior to transferring to CodeGear, his last 5 years was spent as a Senior SE helping to sell Borland’s ALM/SDO solutions. Al has over 25 years of Software Development experience including OOAD and the responsibility for developing and deploying production applications.
Prior to Borland, Al was an SE for Objectivity, Versant, Red Brick Systems, Information Builders, and an Electrical Engineer with Grumman Aerospace where he performed real application implementations on complex electrical-mechanical systems.
Al has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College.

Emil Marceta (E-Xact Transactions)

Works for E-Xact Transactions where in the last two years helped migrate their existing payment processing solution to Rails.

Micah Martin
Micah Martin (8th Light, Inc.)

Micah Martin is a Software Craftsman and President of 8th Light, Inc. He is co-author of the book “Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#” and lead developer of the open source FitNesse tool. He has 8 years of experience consulting, training, and developing software focusing on agile development practices. Since 2006, Micah has been working almost exclusively with Ruby, stressing it to the edge, developing enterprise systems.

Craig McClanahan (Sun Microsystems, Inc.)

Craig is a Senior Staff Engineer for Sun Microsystems. His current responsibilities include being architect for a large scale “next generation web” application suite that utilizes many Web 2.0 technologies and design paradigms. Previously, Craig was architect for Java Studio Creator (now NetBeans Visual Web Pack), a visual IDE for building web applications based on JavaServer Faces. He was also co-specification lead for JavaServer Faces 1.0 (JSR-127), and the original creator of the Apache Struts framework.

Yossef Mendelssohn
Yossef Mendelssohn (OG Consulting)

(please see speaker’s bio information on other proposal)

Jim Meyer
Jim Meyer (LinkedIn)

With a career that’s ranged from freelance graphic design to large scale distributed computing systems architecture, Jim Meyer is obviously an advanced case of ADD in search of the next challenging distraction. While he can only blame Ruby and Rails for his sleep deficit dating back to RailsConf ’07, he’s particularly delighted to join a community where agility is valued, iteration is key, and testing is cool.

Jim is the father of two and husband of one, all three of whom make him a better person on a daily basis.

Stephen Midgley
Stephen Midgley (Hutz.com)

Steve is currently the founding CTO at a small internet real estate venture called Hutz.com. He also consults regularly with the California Department of Education on a project called Brokers of Expertise, which will use web systems to share and build the expertise of educators.

Previously, Steve served as a Program Manager for the Stupski Foundation for six years, where he designed and implemented various grants for technology in K-12 education.

From 1995 to 2001 Steve worked as Vice President of Engineering and Senior Software Architect for LoopNet Inc., a commercial real estate listing firm. He designed and built LoopNet’s technology and web systems from its inception in 1995. He left the company in early 2001 to get involved with non-profit and philanthropic... Read More.

Adam Monago
Adam Monago (ThoughtWorks)

Adam Monago is the Product Manager for Mingle by ThoughtWorks Studios. In this role, Adam brings to bear the best practices of ThoughtWorkers around the globe to incorporate them into the vision and development of the preeminent collaboration tool for project teams worldwide.

Tom Mornini (Engine Yard)

Tom Mornini recognized Rails as something special in 2005 and then designed the basic Rails cluster computing platform in early-2006, along with Jayson and Ezra. Tom published a short Rails deployment PDF booklet through O’Reilly Media in late-2006.

TJ Murphy (Mobian Design)

TJ is the Rails architecht leading the Social Games Network and has experience launching fast, scalable Rails web application. He comes from the core team of Java developers at Freewebs . He has launched several large games into social networks like Facebook and Bebo.

Guy Naor (Morph Labs)

CTO of Morph Labs (http://www.morphexchange.com) a company poised to be the first Asia-based exchange and enabling platform for Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. Guy has been a veteran of the computing and technology world since 1981. With experience that spans evolution and revolution eras, he was involved in multiple companies and projects, working with a wide variety of computing platforms from mainframes to hand held devices as well as dozens of languages and operating systems. Previously Guy served as the CTO of Famundo, a Web 2.0 startup. Prior to that he lead the development of Goldmine software for four (4) years and has served as an adviser, mentor and a consulting architect on a variety of Web 2.0 products. Guy is an... Read More.

Chris Nelson (Christopher Nelson Consulting)

Chris Nelson came very much the long way around to find happiness coding Ruby. He has been doing software development for 10 years at companies with small Fortune numbers and those without, where he finds it much easier to actually get things done. He has published several articles and spoken at numerous conferences including eRubycon, JavaOne, and OSCON, as well as local Java and Ruby user groups. Currently Chris is an independent consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, 4 children, and 2 cats.

Charles Nutter
Charles Nutter (Engine Yard, Inc)

Charles Oliver Nutter has been programming most of his life, as a Java
developer for the past decade and as a JRuby developer for over four
years. He co-leads the JRuby project, an effort to bring the beauty of
Ruby and the power of the JVM together. Charles believes in open
source and open standards and hopes his efforts on JRuby and other
languages will ensure the JVM remains the preferred open-source
managed runtime for many years to come. Charles blogs at blog.headius.com and tweets as headius on Twitter.

Joe O'Brien
Joe O'Brien (EdgeCase, LLC)

Joe is a father, speaker, author and developer. Before helping found EdgeCase, LLC, Joe was a developer with ThoughtWorks and spent much of his time working with large J2EE and .NET systems for Fortune 500 companies. He has spent his career as a developer, project manager, and everything in between. Joe is a passionate member of the open source community. He co-founded the Columbus Ruby Brigade and helped organize the Chicago Area Ruby Users Group. His passions are Agile Development in the Enterprise, Ruby, and demonstrating to the Fortune 500 the elegance and power of this incredible language. Joe is currently working on a book for the Pragmatic Programmers on building DSL’s with Ruby.

Rick Olson
Rick Olson (GitHub)

Rick is a Ruby developer at @github. He’s also developed several APIs for @entp.

Josh Owens
Josh Owens (Four Bean Soup), @joshowens

Josh started with rails back in early 2005. He has deployed several rails projects, including the Web 2.0 Show podcast he runs. He was 1/4th of the winning Rails Rumble 2007 team.

Evan  Phoenix
Evan Phoenix (Engine Yard), @evanphx

Evan Phoenix is the lead Rubinius developer, working on Rubinius fulltime, funded by Engine Yard.

Adam Pisoni
Adam Pisoni (Geni.com)

Adam Pisoni has been building large-scale web applications for over 10 years. He served as CTO of Cnation through the 90s and then as Architect and Director of Web Development for Shopzilla.com. He’s currently working as a Sr. Software Engineer at Geni.com, a family social networking startup. In his spare time he can be found backpacking and rock climbing in the Eastern Sierras or snowboarding on Mammoth Mountain.

Gregg Pollack
Gregg Pollack (Open SourceCraft), @greggpollack

Gregg Pollack is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about teaching software development online. Most recently he is the host of Open SourceCraft, a show about the people who are passionate about Open Source Software. He also founded Code School, an online software programming school which was acquired by Pluralsight, Envy, a web application development firm, and Starter Studio, Orlando’s first technical accelerator now in it’s seventh class. He is on the advisory board for the FireSpring Fund, Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Canvs Co-working space, and the Rollins Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship.

Chad Pytel
Chad Pytel (thoughtbot, inc.)

Chad Pytel is president of thoughtbot, inc. a web application development firm which focuses exclusively on Ruby on Rails. He is also co-author of “Pro Active Record: Databases with Ruby and Rails”, published by Apress, and he publishes, along with the rest of the team at thoughtbot, the blog GIANT ROBOTS SMASHING INTO OTHER GIANT ROBOTS.

Jason Rudolph

Jason Rudolph is a Principal at Relevance, a leading consultancy and training organization specializing in Ruby, Rails, Groovy, and Grails, and integrating them into enterprise environments. Jason has more than nine years of experience in developing software solutions for domestic and international clients of all sizes, including start-ups, Dow 30 companies, and government organizations.

Jason is the author of the highly-praised book, Getting Started with Grails, and speaks frequently at software conferences and user groups. Jason also contributes regularly to the open source community, and is a committer to both Grails and the Streamlined framework.

Jason holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Virginia.

Shelby Sanders
Shelby Sanders (CodeGear)

As an architect of development tools for CodeGear, Shelby Sanders is currently leading the 3rdRail team, whose goal is to create a comprehensive development environment for Ruby on Rails. Shelby has been developing software for more than fifteen years and was previously the technical lead of the JEE tooling and application server integrations team for CodeGear JBuilder, and is focused on building tools which maximize both individual and team productivity. Shelby currently lives and works in Scotts Valley, California.

Steve Sanderson
Steve Sanderson (FiveRuns)

Steve is a maker of software products. With an emphasis on products that are simple and elegant, he blends his passions for solving problems in software, creating something of true value and working with bright and creative people to lead those product development efforts. Read Steve’s blog at http://stevesanderson.com.

Rob Sanheim
Rob Sanheim (Relevance, Inc.), @rsanheim

Rob Sanheim is a software developer with over eight years programming experience and over fifteen years of IT experience. He loves the Ruby programming language, beautiful design, and simple software that makes people happy. Rob has been practicing and constantly learning agile since he first realized that agile is basically common sense applied to software.

Rob has worked with large corporate behemoths, virtual internet startups, and most recently, a small shop called Relevance full of amazingly smart people who are passionate about quality software. He has been a co-editor for Ajaxian.com, a frequent speaker at conferences and user groups, and has many open source projects and contributions.

Rob is a father of two and husband. He is a coffee snob and could eat Mexican food... Read More.

Jimmy Schementi

Jimmy Schementi works on IronRuby as one of the four core developers, and sometimes hacks on Python from time to time. But let http://blog.jimmy.schementi.com and http://twitter.com/jschementi speak for themselves.

Ben Scofield
Ben Scofield (Heroku)

Ben Scofield is a senior developer at Viget Labs, where he builds Rails applications for Web 2.0 startups. He’s been using Ruby and Rails for over three years, and is active in the community, speaking at Railsconf, Rails to Italy, and Rubyconf in 2007. In his copious free time, he spends time with his family, works on personal projects (like My Pull List), and wishes for more free time.

Chris Selmer
Chris Selmer (CSELMER LLC), @cselmer

Chris Selmer is a Ruby on Rails developer at Intridea with 10 years developing cutting-edge web applications. He is an active member of the Rails community and helps run the Washington DC Ruby User Group. Before Intridea, Chris worked at George Washington University and ran Better Endeavor LLC, a Ruby on Rails consultancy.

Nick Sieger
Nick Sieger (Sun Microsystems, Inc.), @nicksieger

Nick Sieger is a staff engineer at Sun Microsystems where he has been
working on a team building Project Kenai (http://kenai.com/), a large
JRuby on Rails application. He is a member of the JRuby core team,
leading the effort to improve Rails deployment on the Java Virtual
Machine. He created and co-maintains the JDBC adapter for ActiveRecord
that JRuby on Rails uses for database connectivity, as well as the
Warbler tool and JRuby-Rack library for dealing with Java application
server deployment. He maintains a blog on Ruby and JRuby-related
topics at http://blog.nicksieger.com/.

Ryan Singer (37signals)

I designed websites freelance for a few years before joining 37signals. Shortly after I joined, we began work on Basecamp. I’ve since been responsible for Basecamp’s interfaces as well as our other products including Backpack, Campfire and Highrise.

Michael Slater (BuildingWebApps.com)

Michael Slater is President of Collective Knowledge Works, Inc. In addition to developing and managing BuildingWebApps.com, he operates BoatingSF.com, a resource for boating on San Francisco Bay.

Michael was previously Director of Technology Strategy at Adobe Systems. He joined Adobe when it acquired Fotiva, a venture-funded startup he cofounded to create a better user experience for consumers moving to digital photography.

Prior to Fotiva, he was President of MicroDesign Resources, where he created the Microprocessor Report newsletter and the Microprocessor Forum conference.

Michael began his career as an R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard and was an independent engineering consultant from 1980 through 1987.

Michael is the author of several books, including Organize Your Photos with Photoshop Elements 3.0, The Photoshop Album 2.0 Book, RISC Microprocessors,... Read More.

Joel Spolsky
Joel Spolsky (Stack Overflow / Fog Creek ), @spolsky

Joel Spolsky is a globally-recognized expert on the software development process. His website Joel on Software is popular with software developers around the world and has been translated into over thirty languages. He created FogBugz, a popular project management system for software teams. Joel has worked at Microsoft, where he designed VBA as a member of the Excel team, and at Juno Online Services, developing an Internet client used by millions. He has written three books: User Interface Design for Programmers (Apress, 2001), Joel on Software (Apress, 2004), and recently, Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent (Apress, 2007), and writes a monthly column for Inc. Magazine, where he is a contributing editor. Joel holds a... Read More.

John Straw

John Straw led the development team which pulled off the YELLOWPAGES.COM Big Rewrite.

Josh Susser
Josh Susser (Pivotal Labs)

Josh Susser is a full-time Rails developer, a senior engineer at Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, and a frequent contributor to the Ruby on Rails open source project. If you’ve ever built a model that used a self-referential has_many :through association, you’ve probably read his blog.

Brian Takita (Pivotal Labs)

Brian Takita worked at Pivotal Labs 3 years doing TDD with Rails and Ruby. He works with some of the best talent in the software development industry.
Brian has also worked on a number of open source projects including:

  • rspec (core contributor)
  • SeleniumrcFu plugin
  • RR mock framework
  • Desert plugin framework
  • Rubinius
Nathaniel Talbott
Nathaniel Talbott (Spreedly, Inc.)

Nathaniel Talbott is President and Chief Bottle Washer at Terralien, Inc., a one-man, multi-person design and development consultancy that specializes in Ruby, Rails and helping people starting things. He’s been doing Ruby since 2000 and Rails since 2004, and loves to talk about how much fun he gets to have with Ruby.

Zak Tamsen (n/a/)

Zak Tamsen is a senior software developer for ThoughtWorks Inc. He has over a decade of professional experience as a computer scientist. He has been building large enterprise Rails applications for the last two years. Zak enjoys having confidence in his work and has successfully convinced others to implement his ideas for testing applications more effectively, including DeepTest and Selenium Grid.

Bradley Taylor

Parallel entrepreneur focused on high scale web and data problems.

Jamie van Dyke
Jamie van Dyke (Fear of Fish), @fearoffish

Jamie van Dyke has been a Rails developer since the beginning of 2005, working with some of the major players in the web market. He also played a large part in the documenting of Rails for the Caboose Documentation Project and teaches others on his blog and in training sessions around the world. Jamie is a core Rails contributor, and the publisher of multiple gems and plugins.

Thorsten von Eicken
Thorsten von Eicken (RightScale, Inc)

Before joining RightScale Inc., Thorsten was Chief Architect at Expertcity.com and Citrix Online, makers of GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, and GoToAssist. He was responsible for the overall architecture of these online services and also managed the 24/7 datacenter operations which allowed him to acquire deep knowledge in deploying and running secure scalable online services. Thorsten received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and was a professor of computer science at Cornell University.

Bob Walker
Bob Walker (GemStone Systems, Inc.)

After having lots of fun using computers for theatrical lighting, Bob migrated into enterprise computing. For the past sixteen years he’s done enterprise OO using Smalltalk, Java, and more recently Ruby. His interest in native-language object persistence eventually brought him to GemStone, where he¹s worn as many hats as days in the week: qa guy, engineer, architect, trainer, consultant, performance-tuner and project manager.

Daniel Wanja (Nouvelles Solutions, Inc.)

Daniel Wanja is a professional programmer since 1986 and started object-oriented development in 1988. He used several object databases and object to relational database mapping frameworks and languages since. Daniel is a Certified Flex 2.0 Developer and had formerly many Java certifications. Daniel now enjoys using a combination of Flex and/or Rails on all of his professional engagements. Daniel wrote flexonrails.com in early 2005, a first attempt of integrating Flex with Rails. You can find more of his current experiments of integrating Flex with Rails on his blog http://onrails.org. Lately, Daniel joined force with Tony Hillerson to write a book for Addison-Wesley on his favorite subject “Flex on Rails: Building Rich Internet Applications using Adobe Flex 3.0 and Rails 2.0”.

Jim Weirich
Jim Weirich (Neo Innovation), @jimweirich

Jim Weirich is the Chief Scientist for EdgeCase LLC, a Rails development firm located in Columbus Ohio. Jim has over twenty-five years of experience in software development. He has worked with real-time data systems for testing jet engines, networking software for information systems, and image processing software for the financial industry. Jim is active in the Ruby community and has contributed to several Ruby projects, including the Rake build system and the RubyGems package software.

Adam Wiggins
Adam Wiggins (Heroku)

Adam Wiggins is an entrepreneur, open source enthusiast, and programming bad-ass from San Francisco. He is a cofounder of Heroku. His past projects include Gyre (open source, web-based Rails debugger) and the Bitscribe agile screencasts, including the one that coined the term atomic coding.

He’s released some Rails plugins such as yaml_db and axeman, and is a contributor (two recipes) to the book Advanced Rails Recipes by Mike Clark & Chad Fowler, due out in March.

Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams (LivingSocial), @wbruce

Bruce Williams is a longtime speaker, trainer, designer, and book
contributor in the Ruby and Rails community and has experience in
everything from low-level data processing backends to front-end user
interaction. He is a senior software developer at LivingSocial.

Matt Wood
Matt Wood (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)

Matt Wood heads up software development at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he is responsible for the software that drives the Institute’s world class sequencing facility, along with the next generation of DNA sequencing technology.

Matt’s interests lie in adding value to biological data through scientific software: after completing his PhD, he’s built grid services in Nottingham, web-scale search engines in New York City and genes in Hinxton.

Matt is an advocate of agile development with Scrum, sensible semantics and, of course, the duck billed platypus.

Chad Woolley
Chad Woolley (Pivotal Labs)

Chad Woolley lives on the border in Tucson, Arizona, and has been developing Rails full-time for over two years at Pivotal Labs in San Francisco. Chad is an active open source participant, contributor, and creator, including the GemInstaller tool for automating RubyGems management. He presented a hands-on tutorial on Continuous Integration at the Agile 2007 Conference, and has over 5 years of experience setting up and managing Continuous Integration environments with different companies, languages, tools, and platforms. He is a winner of the November 2007 Rails Hackfest (with surprisingly little effort – you could do it too!). Find out more about him at thewoolleyweb.com

Andrea O.K. Wright
Andrea O.K. Wright (Chariot Solutions)

Andrea O. K. Wright enjoys organizing weekly ‘Ruby Tuesday’ tech lunch-and-learns for her colleagues at Chariot Solutions, a consulting firm based in Fort Washington, PA. A 15-year IT industry veteran, she currently works with Rails technology exclusively. At RailsConf 2007 she presented a talk about the respond_to mechanism and co-moderated a BoF about Hackety Hack (the Coder’s Starter Kit) and Ruby/Rails User Groups. She spoke about creating games with Ruby at several conferences last year, including RubyConf.

Ezra Zygmuntowicz
Ezra Zygmuntowicz (EngineYard)

Ezra Zygmuntowicz is known as a contributor in the Rails community, especially regarding deployment. Ezra took to Rails in 2004 and joined Engine Yard in mid-2006. Ezra published a complete Rails deployment book through The Pragmatic Programmers in early 2007.

News and Coverage
co-presented by Ruby Central, Inc. O'Reilly
  • Engine Yard
  • Sun Microsystems
  • FiveRuns
  • GotThingsDone
  • Heroku
  • ThoughtWorks
  • Atlantic Dominion Solutions
  • Blue Box Group
  • CodeGear
  • E-xact
  • ELC Technologies
  • EnterpriseDB
  • GemStone Systems
  • Intridea
  • Morph Labs
  • RightScale
  • TechRepublic

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