Just Another Tech Journal



Singapore Rails InstallFest

07 OCTOBER 2013


For the last year, I have been toying with the idea of starting a basic Ruby on Rails class to help people get started with Ruby on Rails.

I wanted to do it to grow the Ruby community in Singapore, and because teaching is FUN! However, I didn't have time to work on the materials, and so I never got anything started.

One day, I came across this thread on "Ruby or Rails Oceania" about Rails InstallFest, and I was immediately excited as it seems to be aligned with what I had in mind.

And so, I emailed Mikel of reInteractive to enquire about the possibility and he referred me to Chloe, reInteractive's Community Manager who was really enthusiastic about helping us get started with the Rails InstallFest.

The Event

Rails InstallFest happened on 5 Oct 2013, 9:30am at Silicon Straits CO.LAB.

At first, I was really worried about the turnout as it poured heavily in the morning on 5 Oct. But my fears were unfounded as we saw a total of 27 partcipants and 8 volunteer coaches. The particpants came from all sorts of background including product/business folks, developers, designers and students.

For our first Rails InstallFest, this is what the partipants have to do:

  • Get Ruby on Rails installed on your machine using the Rails Installer
  • Follow this blog post and get a blog deployed on Heroku

At the end of the day, all of the participants got Ruby on Rails installed on their laptops, and about half of them got a simple blog deployed on Heroku. Yea!

Thank You

reInteractive really helped a lot in making the first Singapore Rails InstallFest a success. Especially Chloe, who helped made sure I have all that I need - materials and vouchers! Without them, the event wouldn't have happened. Thank you reInteractive and Chloe!

We also required a venue for the event, and James readily offered his space for our use. Silicon Straits was really cosy and conducive for learning as remarked by a number of the participants in their feedback, and I am really grateful to James for loaning out his space! Thank you James and Silicon Straits!

And finally, all I can say is that the Singapore Ruby community is sooooooo full of love! After I annouced the event and asked for volunteer coaches, many stepped up!

Thank you Chong-Yee, Jeffrey, Jaryl, Kevin, Paul, Ray Chuan and Sean for volunteering your time on a Saturday morning as coaches!


We collected feedback from the participants and the overall sentiment is that the class was a really useful session to help them get started in Ruby on Rails.

At the same time, most remarked that the volunteer coaches were friendly and helpful. Together with the conducive environment, they found learning RoR to be easy.

However, it would have been better if we did a brief walkthrough of the blog post exercise, so that the participants can better appreciate and understand what they were doing, and not just blindly follow the blog post.

In addition, there's also a suggestion to group the participants into small learning teams so that they interact and learn from one another within their small groups.


Overall, I enjoyed running the first Rails InstallFest in SG, and I am sure we'll continue to have more RoR training sessions in the future. =)

Time for some pictures!

Silicon Straits Attendees Attendees Attendees

comments powered by Disqus