Ruby Ireland Meetup Group – A Place to Learn and Meet Like-Minded People

Declan McGrath, a software developer from Limerick, who works for Clavis Insight, is one of the organisers of the Ruby Ireland meetup. The group has approximately 1,200 members, who are passionate about the coding language. They get together once a month in Dublin city centre to discuss all things Ruby related.
Founded over 10 years ago due to the growing popularity of Ruby at the time, Declan describes the meetup group as ‘a grass roots kind of movement’. He explains: “It sprang up organically and it’s really something special.”

Some of those attending the meetup work with Ruby on a daily basis and are knowledgeable about it. Others are simply interested in learning more or considering switching over to it in work.

A Good Mix of People

The meetup is open to all levels, Declan notes: “We get a real mix of people coming to our meetup. All are welcome, once they’re over the age of 18.”

Declan first became interested in Ruby around 2005.  He recalls: “It just happened that the company I was working in at the time had some Ruby projects and it peaked my interest. I found it to be clean and expressive. I wanted to learn more about it.”

He found he wasn’t the only one. A typical meetup usually has about 40 to 50 people in attendance. He says: “When we started we used to meet up in hotels and conferences rooms – anywhere we could get space. But as the tech scene in Dublin started to expand, a number of them offered to host our group.”

These days, they meet regularly in the ZenDesk offices in Grand Parade, Dublin 1 and host talks by tech experts.  Declan explains: “We try to alternate between speakers with a beginners approach to the subject and those with more in-depth knowledge of it. It’s a great way to get ideas about things or simply to learn about the coding language and what you can and can’t do with it.”

Good Networking Opportunity

The meetup is not just about Ruby however. It’s also a good networking opportunity, offering the chance to meet likeminded people.

And it has spawned numerous friendships. Declan notes: “It’s common to see the same people again and again and we all get to know each other. Meetup groups in general are a great way to make friends and this is no exception.” In recent years, they’ve been able to get sponsorship to cover the cost of food and drinks, which allows them to have refreshments at the event. It’s also quite common too for members to continue the evening in the pub afterwards.

The crowd at the Ruby Dublin meet up

Increase in Tech Meetups

It’s not the only tech meetup in Ireland however. In fact, as the country has become a tech hub, a vibrant and thriving tech scene has established itself here.

Declan says: “It’s absolutely incredible the number of people here these days who are focused on tech and are going to tech meetups here whether it’s Ruby or JavaScript or Python.” He adds: “It’s a really exciting time for the country in terms of tech, I would advise anyone thinking of making the move to do it.”

Interested in Ireland’s tech meetup scene? Head over to our events section to see the events coming up this month.