eurucamp day two

Day two of eurucamp welcomed visitors with a second day of beautiful weather. The conference started right on time, with some people straggling in late thanks to the opening party on the banks of the river the night before, which raged late into the night. Once again, the delicious coffee bar was a welcome addition to many an attendee.

In hall one, Laura Eck from testCloud started off the day speaking about cultural differences when launching a product overseas. Her main point: "Assumptions are evil". Always do your research, always test.

Rin Räuber from BitCrowd then spoke about building games with ruby using Gosu. In a courageous move, Rin live coded a game for us, the result of which was a pug trying to escape the death star. Her talk opened up a world of possibilities to those of us interested in expanding their language skills through ridiculous multi-coloured flying pugs and similar adorable creatures.

After more coffee, Michele Guido gave her popular talk entitled "It takes a village to make a programmer". Like a handful of us in the audience, Michele attended her first Rails Girls workshop a year ago, and after 365 days of writing her first "Hello, world" she got a job as a junior developer. Her talk was accessible to all, inspiring beginners to keep going, and experienced programmers to help out and give back.

Next up were the JRuby team leads Charles Nutter and Tom Enebo, followed by Daniel Bovensiepen, who spoke about particle sensors and air purifiers in China. In his unexpected and enjoyable talk, he revealed how he turned "from ignorant nerd to hysterical parent" in response to air pollution while living in China, and demonstrated some hacks for analyzing dust and sometimes even turning it into art.

Then, another amazing lunch provided by everyone's new favourite restaurant Knofi. Thanks Knofi!

Lunch was followed by a siesta break and free time. In contrast to the average tech conference, eurucamp offers visitors the option of attending workshops, or taking part in any number of activities, from kayaking and self defense, to a SoundCloud sponsored slip and slide. The camp's stenographer Kimberly Turnage also gave an impromptu workshop about the art behind her amazing real-time captioning services. For the rest of the afternoon, eurucamp's twitter feed was taken up with re-tweets of people enjoying the sun and surrounding areas, learning something new, exploring the area by bike or just taking a nap under a tree.

Austin Seraphin welcomed us back from lunch with his talk about RubyMotion and accessibility. Austin has been blind since birth, and coding since he was seven. In one of the most amazing talks of the conference, Austin live coded, praised Apple for its wealth of accessibility features, and demonstrated a number of apps to help the blind, such as money readers and colour detection apps. The entire audience walked away with a newfound sense of what it means to include accessibility features in code, learning: "those extra 10 minutes you spend labeling buttons or whatever make all the difference".

Local project group members and Rails Girls Summer of Code mentors, Maren Heltsche and Anja R. were up next to talk about speakerinnen, a project-group-fueled website to help get more women on stage. Already over 500 women have signed up to their project which promotes female speakers at conferences. A favourite quote, and one fitting in beautifully with the eurucamp weekend: 'diversity is always the better option'.

Tom Stuart wrapped up the indoor talks with a metaphor-less demonstration of refactoring ruby with monads, and then everyone headed outside for an open-air panel discussion about design, testing, and workflow.

Next up, slide-less lightning talks led by local ruby enthusiast and Rug::B organizer Tobi Pfeiffer. Highlights included a call for people to help out with codefor.de, a suggestion to revive the #rubythankful hashtag after Malwine's heartfelt thanks to the ruby community for their encouragement, and Jessica from The Barn teaching us all about the history of coffee. Unfortunately, the weather seemed to get the lightning talk memo and the evening ended five minutes short of a massive thunderstorm.