LRUG is a London-based community for anyone who is interested in the Ruby programming language, especially beginners.
- discuss Ruby and related topics
- socialise with friendly people who are interested in Ruby
- find or fill Ruby-related jobs
We want LRUG to be a diverse and inclusive community, united by an interest in Ruby, and so we want anyone who is interested in Ruby to be able to participate.
- Code of Conduct
- Organisation Team
- About This Document
Code of Conduct
- behave respectfully towards other people — they’re real humans, just like you
- be considerate of people’s time and attention
- contribute positively and constructively to discussions (online or in-person)
On the mailing list, we want to maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio and while the organisers will step in as soon as they see poor behaviour, we encourage you to say something if you see it first. So please:
- lead by example — if a discussion is devolving into snark and name-calling, either let it die or raise the tone
- keep standards high — if someone acts disrespectfully, make that crystal clear to them
We want everyone to feel welcome at LRUG, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. Accordingly, we will not tolerate harassment of our members in any form; not at the talks, not at the pub after the talks, or any other LRUG social meeting; not on the mailing list or on any other online platform.
Harassment includes invasions of personal space, exclusionary jokes/comments, and sexual language and imagery in talks, but this list is non-exhaustive: if you make anyone feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, you will be asked to leave.
If you’re still in need of clarification, there are a number of good resources online which we encourage you read. The main thing to remember though, is that if someone feels harassed or excluded by your words or actions, then those words or actions constitute harassment or exclusion. Your intent is not a factor.
All LRUG participants are accountable for their own behaviour. If you’ve behaved badly elsewhere, that may count against you here, because of the effect it has on other attendees.
If you experience or witness any harassing behaviour, please report it to a member of the organisation team.
LRUG is run by a team of volunteers from the London Ruby community:
- James Adam (@lazyatom, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Frederick Cheung (@fglc2, email@example.com)
- Paolo Fabbri (@jabawack81, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Chris Lowis (@chrislowis, email@example.com)
- Alessandro Proserpio (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Murray Steele (@hlame, email@example.com)
Feel free to contact one of the organisers directly using the details above if you have any questions or comments about LRUG. As well as the individual details above, the following group contact details are available that will get in touch with all the organisers:
- firstname.lastname@example.org - to volunteer a talk or to find out about giving a talk
- email@example.com - to find out about sponsoring LRUG events
- firstname.lastname@example.org - if you need to report an incident in relation to our code of conduct
- email@example.com - for general enquiries about LRUG
During a meeting, the members of the organising team will make themselves known at the start so you can talk to them directly should anything occur during the meeting.
We meet once a month usually on the second Monday of the month (e.g. the Monday that falls between the 8th and 14th of the month). Occasionally we have to move the meeting from this schedule, but we’ll let you know via the mailing list with plenty of time if we do.
We try to meet in-person somewhere in central London, usually around the Old Street / Shoreditch / City area, although sometimes further afield depending on who can host us. If we cannot find a venue, or there are other reasons for us not to meet in-person, we run the meetings remotely usually via zoom. We don’t currently run “hybrid” meetings with in-person and remove attendees.
The meetings aim to open the doors at 6pm for some networking until 6:30pm when we start the meeting formally with some admin information. We roll on through the talks without a break, and aim to finish by 8pm. If it’s an in-person event, we encourage people to go to a nearby pub to discuss the meeting and do more networking. If it’s a remote event, we usually leave the call running for people to chat afterwards, although it is a diminished experience for networking.
We do not currently have a permanent home for LRUG meetings, and so we tour the offices of various companies around London. In the most generous cases, this can mean there is food + drink available at the meeting, but you shouldn’t rely on it. See our details on sponsoring below for more details.
To stay informed about our upcoming meetings you can:
- subscribe to the mailing list
- subscribe to the lrug.org meetings RSS
- subscribe to our calendar
@lrugon mastodon and, begrudgingly, on twitter
- follow the LRUG account on eventbrite
Most of our meetings have talks from community members and we’re always looking for people to give a talk. If you’d like to give a talk you should email firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest it.
Our goal is to accept any offered talk. There’s more discussion on subject matter below, but in brief:
- if your talk is obviously about Ruby there’s no question about it; you can definitely give your talk.
- if it’s not so obviously about Ruby we’ll have a discussion first to see what the hook is for Rubyists. We’re quite an open-minded group, so the hook doesn’t have to be that clear. In the unlikely event that it turns out that LRUG isn’t a good home for your talk, we’ll do our best to come up with some alternative ideas for places you could give it.
Slots for talks are first-come, first-served. Once you’ve decided to give your talk we’ll let you know when a free slot will be available at a meeting. We usually have two or three talks per meeting, so if there are four people on our list of volunteers when you offer your talk it’s most likely that the third meeting is the one we’d schedule you for. Of course, people drop out or aren’t available for a specific meeting so you might get a slot sooner.
Ideally we have some talks scheduled for the next meeting so we can announce them at the start of the current meeting. This means we try to arrange meetings about five or six weeks in advance. Combined with the depth of the volunteer stack, in extreme cases, this could mean a three to four month gap between you proposing a talk and getting to give it to the group.
If there is a specific future meeting that would be most convenient for you, let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate that.
As we said above, LRUG is a big tent for ideas. What connects our attendees is a love for the Ruby programming language, but that’s not all we’re interested in hearing about. Explicitly: we don’t need the talk to be directly about the Ruby programming language. If you are drawn to the group, and find your subject interesting, chances are we will too. Suggest your topic and we’ll work with you to make sure it’s a good fit.
LRUG is a mixed-ability crowd; we have talks from first-timers just learning Ruby all the way up to people that have been using it for years. This means you can pitch your talk at any level and someone will get something out of it. It’s also a mostly technical crowd, so don’t shy away from getting into the nitty gritty of your topic. We’d prefer an in-depth discussion of a single aspect to a shallow overview of the whole thing.
Your talk should observe the code of conduct. Any talks that don’t will be stopped and the speaker asked to leave.
If the event is in-person you should favour large fonts and a high contrast colour scheme with dark text on a light background in anything you show. The default settings for most presentation applications are a safe bet, but you might have to re-configure your terminal or editor if you are using those to show anything. We don’t have a fixed venue, so we can’t guarantee what resolution a projector will cope with. These days a 16:9 resolution is likely to work best (e.g. 1920x1080), most presentation applications will automatically scale to whatever resolution a 2nd screen has, but you might want to check your slides at that resolution just in case.
Resources for Speakers
Whether you’re a first time speaker or a conference veteran, giving a talk can be a daunting experience. Luckily there are plenty of resources out there to help make your talk great! Searching google for advice for new speakers yields plenty of results, but here are a select few to get you started:
- Matt Abrahams from Stanford Business wrote a comprehensive set of Tips and Techniques for More Confident and Compelling Presentations
- Jessica Stillman has written a neat summary of 5 Secrets of Public Speaking From the Best TED Presenters
- Rethink Testing have a three part guide for new speakers, covering important topics such as picking a topic to talk about, and dealing with the inevitable nerves.
- Russell Davies has a series of blog posts about writing good slides and Alice Bartlett has turned his advice into a template for several bits of presentation software.
- Zach Holman’s speaking.io is a website dedicated to public speaking. It covers all aspects of public speaking and features a couple of videos about delivering talks.
Our meetings are 1 hour 30 minutes long, with about 5-10 minutes reserved at the start for admin and announcements from the group. To make it simpler to organise filling the remining 80 minutes we offer three standard slot sizes for talks:
- 40 minutes
- 25 minutes
- 10 minutes
We combine these different slots to fill the meeting; for example two 40s, three 25s, or one of each. On rare occasions we use a single 80 minute slot for a panel discussion or practical event. Our February “lightning talk” meetings are always made up of eight 10 minute slots.
When proposing a talk think about the slot that it might best fit into. A slot isn’t how long your talk should be, but how much time you will get in front of the group. You can fill that time slot as you see fit (talk + questions, talk only, &c).
You shouldn’t feel like you have to fill the slot you pick. If you think your talk naturally lasts 15 minutes don’t feel like you should add another 10 minutes just to “fill” a 25 minute slot, nor should you attempt to compress it down to fit in a 10 minute slot.
To leave plenty of time for you to over-run, answer questions, and faff about with a laptop at the start we recommend a 30-35 minute talk in a 40 minute slot, a 20 minute talk in a 25-minute slot, and a 5-8 minute talk in a 10 minute slot.
After The Talks
When the talks are finished, usually around 8pm, most of the group head over to a local pub. This part of the meeting is your opportunity to socialise with other LRUG members and speak with the presenters about their talks.
Just because we’re in a pub doesn’t mean you have to drink alcohol. If you do choose to drink alcohol we encourage you to explore the food menu and drink responsibly.
Although the venue for this part of the meeting is a pub and therefore feels more informal, be aware that the code of conduct still applies.
Most importantly, we do not have a permanent home and so we need sponsorship in the form of venues. We have opportunities for helping out in other ways if you’d like to enrich the LRUG experience in some way.
If you would like to provide sponsorship you should email email@example.com to find out when the next available sponsorship slot is and arrange the details.
LRUG does not have currently have a permanent venue — we are kindly hosted by an array of friendly companies across London. They let us into their office, provide some kind of AV setup, put in place any entry requirements, and, occasionally, even provide food + drink for attendees.
We always need venues, and if you think your office could host us please fill out this fairly detailed survey to help us understand your venue, how we’d use it, and what we need to do to book it.
- put your logo in the “Hosted By” side-bar on the relevant meeting page on lrug.org
- mention the specifics of your venue + sponsorship in the main details of the relevant meeting page on lrug.org
- add your logo to the meeting sponsors list on lrug.org
- mention the venue + sponsorship in the meeting announcement email on the mailing list
- mention the venue + sponsorship when we post to @lrug about the meeting at least once to announce it and once on the day as a reminder (we might also do the same on ugh twitter)
- thank you at the start of the meeting, and give you time during the meeting to talk to the group
Other Sponsorship Opportunities
We welcome sponsors of the meeting itself. In return for your sponsorship LRUG will:
- put your logo in the sponsor side-bar on the relevant meeting page on lrug.org
- mention the specifics of your sponsorship in the main details of the relevant meeting page on lrug.org
- mention the sponsorship in the meeting announcement email on the mailing list
- add your logo to the other sponsors list on lrug.org
- mention the sponsorship from @lrug at least once to announce it and once on the day as a reminder (we might also do the same on ugh twitter)
- mention you at the start of the meeting, and make sure you have 30 seconds or so during our announcements section to talk to the group
LRUG is not a legal entity and we don’t have a bank account. So if you decide to sponsor a meeting we’ll leave it to you to arrange and pay for things directly. We’re there to help with any questions and suggestions though.
Things that have worked well in the past are give-aways, food, and drinks. You can choose to provide any or all in combination, but we’re open to any other ideas for how to enrich the experience for our attendees.
Sponsor a give-away
Running a give-away is a real favourite among attendees and allows you to control the budget you have to spend as you see fit. For example in September 2016 we ran a give-away of 20 books and in May 2016 we gave-away 5 tickets to a popular conference. We will run the logistics of the give-away through the mailing list and announce the winners on the night. You arrange to pay for the prizes and deliver them to the winners.
Sponsor food (pizza)
If you’d like to feed LRUG attendees before the meeting we normally suggest Pizza - it’s a safe bet for all tastes and easy to arrange in vegetarian and vegan options. We get around 30-50 attendees for an average meeting and it’s sensible to budget £200-300 for pizza. During the Skills Matter days we used Firezza pizza, but others are available. You pay the vendor directly and arrange to have it delivered to our venue on the day in time for the meeting start at 6pm. We’ll make sure the venue know to expect it. We expect you to cater such that at least half of the food is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The easiest option here is to send someone with a card to the meeting, and have them create a tab in the pub afterwards. This way you can easily control your spend with a limit. Some of our venues may allow for you to ship some drinks to them so attendees can drink something during the event. We can put you in touch with the venue in this case. We get around 30-50 attendees for an average meeting so it’s worth budgeting £200-300 to provide drinks in a pub, probably less if you ship to the venue. Either way we expect that you make available both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
About this document
The first draft of this document was written by Murray Steele, Tom Stuart and Aanand Prasad, drawing on a number of sources and discussions on the LRUG mailing list. Github provides a full list of contributors following the initial draft.
While it contains some information that is uncontroversial and unlikely to become rapidly outdated, it is intended to be a living document. Contributions and discussion about this document are very welcome. There are a number of ways of contributing:
- By opening an issue, or suggesting your changes in the form of a pull-request at this document’s Github repository
- By proposing or suggesting your changes on the LRUG mailing list.
- By privately contacting one of the organisation team.
All contributions can and will be discussed by any members of the community, and can be incorporated into this document when consensus has been reached.
This text is licensed as CC0; in summary, it is in the public domain and can be used and modified with or without attribution.