Nordic Ruby 2012

After running two successful Nordic Ruby conferences in Gothenburg (2010 and 2011), we knew we wanted to do something different this year. Since many of our attendees are from Stockholm, we decided to move the conference there.

We went for an "East meets West" theme representing both the move from the west coast of Sweden to the east coast, and bringing a Japanese programming language to western Europe. With that in mind, we found the perfect venue — Yasuragi Hasseludden — a Japanese style spa in the Stockholm archipelago.

The Yasuragi terrace

Having the conference at a spa also fit perfectly with what's always been our vision for Nordic Ruby; a great event that's brings people together, where everyone can have a shared experience, and leave recharged and inspired. Nordic Ruby has always been single track, with everyone having lunches and dinners together, to give that shared experience. We've also always had slightly different format than most other conferences, with short talks, each followed by a break at least as long. This ensures that everyone has plenty of time to meet and talk to other attendees and speakers, and gives everyone the chance to digest the avalanche of information that a conference can be.

Yasuragi proved the perfect venue to take these ideas to the next level. We included accommodation at the spa in the ticket price, which meant that people didn't disappear to different hotels at the end of the day, giving even more of a shared experience. The calm and relaxing atmosphere meant that people left the conference feeling energised, rather than drained as is the usual feeling after many other conferences. And of course, the Japanese style of the spa was a perfect homage to the origin of Ruby.

Corey Haines

We had some amazing speakers this year too, and we're very grateful to them for coming all the way to Sweden to share their knowledge and passion. We had fantastic experienced speakers such as Corey Haines and Steve Klabnik, but the speaker who blew everyone away was Katrina Owen. Katrina had never spoken at a conference before, but she presented her thoughts on the therapeutic aspects of refactoring in a masterful way. The audience was at the edge of their seats, spellbound by her pitch-perfect storytelling. She's since gone on to present at many other conferences, with equal aplomb.

Katrina Owen

What makes Nordic Ruby such a great experience for all of us though is the attendees. They embraced and added to the atmosphere of the conference, donning the yukata (traditional Japanese bathrobes) they were given, and taking full advantage of the environment. People reconnected with old friends, and made many new ones. In the end, that's what really matters. Our goal with Nordic Ruby has always been to facilitate this by providing a great opportunity and environment for it.

Some of the Elabs crew relaxing

We're busy planning next year's Nordic Ruby. As successful as this year's conference was, there are always things to improve. If you want to help out, we're always looking for sponsors. We couldn't make Nordic Ruby happen without the great support from our sponsors (Hashrocket, Engine Yard, Valtech, GitHub, and ProjectPuzzle this year). If you're interested in sponsoring next year, get in touch.

Nordic Ruby will be held June 6-9 next year. If you want to attend, you should follow @nordicruby on Twitter or track it on Lanyrd. We hope to see you there!

Working under the midnight sun

P.S. Check out more photos by our photographer Antony Sastre in our Flickr album.


Almost time for Nordic Ruby

Right now, all of us at Elabs are on our way to Stockholm for the 3rd annual Nordic Ruby – the conference that we organise every year.

Nordic Ruby is the highlight of the year for us. While organising it is a lot of work, we always leave refreshed and motivated. Listening to the presentations and meeting the attendees from all over the world is always inspiring. We can't wait for the conference to start tomorrow.

If you want to follow along, follow @elabs and @nordicruby on Twitter.


Campfire Stories: May 7-11

Monday, May 7

Mission: Small Business

LivingSocial launched a new initiative that lets small businesses apply for grants of $250,000. We built the app.

Tuesday, May 8

Interesting alternative to Skype or Google+ Hangout.

Wednesday, May 9


Fuzzy file finder for VIM.


Nice DSL for interacting with APIs in RubyMotion.

CSS arrow please!

Create boxes with arrows in CSS.

Thursday, May 10

Multiple Ruby version support on Heroku

Specify your Ruby version in your Gemfile on Heroku.


Create custom icon web fonts.



Anders T shows us his ninja skills.

Friday, May 11

Radio buttons

Ever wondered why HTML radio buttons are called that?

Radio buttons


Campfire Stories: April 30-May 4

Monday, April 30

Irish Apple conference bears fruit

Irish Apple conference bears fruit

I (CJ) attended Úll, a conference in Ireland about development for Apple platforms. During the conference I attended a reception with the Lord Mayor of Dublin together with the speakers and got a picture of me holding an iPad published in the Irish Times. Good times.

Brydge iPad keyboard

Very cool keyboard for the iPad.

Tuesday, May 1

Everyone had the day of for May Day, so no updates.

Wednesday, May 2

Spotify for iPad

Spotify on iPad

Spotify launched their iPad app. Congratulations to all our friends who worked on the project!

Sketch 2

The designer's toolbox.

Thursday, May 3

Voice & Tone

MailChimp's copywriting style guide.

Nordic Ruby banners

Nordic Ruby banners

Jimmy designed some very nice banners for attendees, speakers and sponsors of Nordic Ruby.

Friday, May 4



Write iOS applications in Ruby. Amazing stuff.

Star Wars Day

May the fourth be with you.

Pry 102: Advanced features


Power tips for working with Pry.


Campfire Stories: April 23-27

Better late than never, here's last week's edition of Campfire Stories.

Monday, April 23

dConstruct 2012

The new site for this year's dConstruct conference looks great.

VIM Adventures

Learning VIM while playing a game. Lots of fun!

Adobe CS6 launched

We didn't upgrade to CS5, so Jimmy and Johannes are very excited about getting a new version of Photoshop now. We'll probably sign up for Creative Cloud.

Nordic Ruby schedule

The schedule for our annual Ruby conference is now online. Lots of great sessions planned.

Tuesday, April 24

Turnip: a tasty Cucumber alternative?

Our friends at Thoughtbot wrote a blog post about Turnip, Jonas' acceptance testing framework.

Elabs stickers

Elabs stickers

We're getting new stickers and iPhone decals made.

Wednesday, April 25

Type Connection

A typographic dating game.

Simple Modal

JavaScript plugin to create modal windows.

Thursday, April 26

SDC speakers' dinner

CJ, Jonas, and Joseph Wilk

CJ and Jonas chatting with Joseph Wilk at the SDC speakers' dinner. Joseph will be giving a talk titled "Someone is wrong" at Nordic Ruby this year.

PHP: The Good Parts

PHP: The Good Parts

Tom Hudson wrote a book about PHP.!/TomNomNom/status/195304317601849344

Rdio's new site

Looks great. Wish they would launch their service in Sweden.

Friday, April 27

racing dog