David Heinemeier Hansson

April 7, 2023

Go Rails World

Amanda Perino had barely settled into the role as executive director of The Rails Foundation before she secured a venue, a date, and the full support of the board for Rails World. This 650-attendee conference will kick off the worldwide ambitions for The Rails Foundation to host a new series of ecosystem gatherings at incredibly affordable prices (this first effort will be just €199-€299 for a ticket!). Way to make an entrance!

This new conference will kick off at quite a momentous occasion, too: Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Ruby on Rails! I started working on the framework in the summer of 2003 as part of the development of Basecamp. By October, the framework had a shape that would be completely recognizable today, with Active Record and Action Pack in place.

It's thus also fitting that we celebrate this anniversary on the old continent, since I wrote Rails a mere 800 km away from Amsterdam in Copenhagen, Denmark. But of course we also have our eyes set on taking Rails World to the new world in the future. It was in America that Ruby on Rails really took off, and where so many of the instrumental companies in our ecosystem reside.

Speaking of which, it's been fantastic to see the depth of commitment and support for The Rails Foundation, Rails World, and everything else we have planned from so many of these instrumental companies. It hasn't even been five months since Cookpad, Doximity, Fleetio, GitHub, Intercom, Procore, Shopify, and 37signals stepped up to fund the foundation with a million dollars in seed money.

It's that treasure chest, and the commitment to an ongoing budget, that's making employing Amanda as a full-time executive director and underwriting Rails World at such an accessible price possible. Huge thanks to these founding eight companies for their involvement. This is what believing in a bright future for Ruby on Rails looks like at the corporate level.

I'm personally also ever so keen to share my enthusiasm for Rails with attendees in Amsterdam this October. It never ceases to amaze me how much momentum, excitement, and passion we've been able to sustain for now two decades. I used to think the day would come when we'd just be "done", but I've surrendered to the notion that Ruby on Rails can always improve on it's mission to be a full-stack framework. The web continues to evolve, and Rails will continue to evolve with it.

It's also just fun to use a major conference as the occasion to present new work again. We've been working on a bunch of novel frameworks and libraries at 37signals recently. Some that have already premiered, like Kamal, and others we haven't even talked about in public yet. Come Rails World, I'll make sure we show all our cards.

I also look forward to working with Amanda and the rest of the program committee to cherrypick the very best presentations for what programmers looking to break into Rails or level up their skills ought to know about. From Propshaft to Zeitwerk to Hotwire to Kamal to the stables of Rails 7.1 (and perhaps a Rails 8 preview!). This is going to be one hell of a show, and I can't wait to hang out in person with everyone making the trip.

Go, go, Rails World!


About David Heinemeier Hansson

Made Basecamp and HEY for the underdogs as co-owner and CTO of 37signals. Created Ruby on Rails. Wrote REWORK, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and REMOTE. Won at Le Mans as a racing driver. Fought the big tech monopolies as an antitrust advocate. Invested in Danish startups.