Before we jump in, こんにちは! Since this is the first article from Evil Martians’ Japanese office, a bit of an introduction is in order. In May 2022, we established a new office and fully opened up shop here in Japan. Being here certainly has special benefits for our team. For instance, we’re avid fans of open source and anime (although this is true for the entire Evil Martians crew), but we probably have a much easier time buying obscure anime-related paraphilia from the 80’s here in Osaka than those who are based out of our New York or Lisbon offices.
Usually, we spend our days in Japan writing Ruby and eating gelato, but since our new office is relatively new, RubyKaigi, an annual conference for Ruby programmers held since 2006, was a great opportunity for us to get to know people here in Japan.
Most of us probably know that Ruby was born in Japan, being spawned from the mind of Matz, the benevolent leader of the Rubyist community. Early on—especially in the time before Rails—Ruby was primarily popular in Japan, and while that is no longer the case and its since become an international treasure, Ruby still enjoys popularity in its birthplace.
Heading to RubyKaigi for the first time
This year was my first time going to RubyKaigi. As the previous conference was held way back in 2019, it’s been a while since the last event, so it felt like everyone was excited to meet each other. (Although, it took some time for us to warm up, because, after all, it had been three years since we’d really had this sort of substantial interaction with people offline and in person.)
The city of Tsu
RubyKaigi was held in Tsu this year, which is located in Mie prefecture. Fun fact: the station name “Tsu” is the shortest station name in the entirety of Japan. The city of Tsu itself is pretty small too, but we found some excellent restaurants and izakayas there, so it was actually a really nice choice, plus, there was this electrifying feeling, and it felt like the whole city was full of Rubyists. If you went out at night, you could be sure you’d meet others who were into Ruby.