Good news, everyone!

Good news, everyone!

Recently there has been a fair bit of talk about conferences and what they can and cannot pay for their speakers. If it were possible, we’d love to pay for all our speakers’ costs, but unfortunately we don’t have the financial wherewithal to do so.

This year we’ve decided to cover accommodation costs for all our speakers (for at least three nights). Speakers do not, of course, have to pay for a ticket to the conference. However, covering flight costs is a bit out of our reach.

At Frozen Rails we do our best to keep tickets affordable for a wide range of attendees (which is also why we offer discounts to students and Rails/Ruby contributors). The Ruby community in Finland is comparatively tiny, and the demand for Ruby conferences is correspondingly tiny too. We don’t think it is entirely unfair to say that Frozen Rails is essentially the only Ruby conference held in Finland.

We use a CFP to acquire most of our speakers and we get talk proposals from talented developers from all over the world (and very few proposals from Finnish speakers).

Paying for all our speakers’ flights would mean that we’d have to at least double our ticket prices, assuming that we could sell the same amount of tickets at those prices (and we don’t think we could).

While Frozen Rails is technically not a non-profit event, it’s also not exactly a money maker for us. We basically break even every year, at least as long as we don’t take into account the amount of time we spend on organising it. Kisko Labs is not in the business of organising conferences. Our main business is creating web applications for our clients. We do it because we think that the Ruby community in Finland deserves to have a local conference.

What’s more, most of our sponsors will only commit once we have a relatively full roster of speakers, which is fully understandable from their point of view. However, this means that until we have committed to specific speakers the conference budget hangs in the balance.

Rough ticket price breakdown

Cost of a normal ticket: 249€

Out of that 27€ that’s left of the ticket price (and what sponsors contribute), we have to cover flights for our two keynote speakers (we invited them so we can hardly ask them to pay for their own flights), hotel rooms for our speakers, and a bunch of miscellaneous costs which are bound to crop up.

And that’s before we even mention the time we spent putting everything together for the conference and the time that we don’t spend working on client projects during the conference (time that would otherwise be billable).

tl;dr

Frozen Rails will cover all our speakers’ hotels. If you want to make lots of money, don’t organise a small Ruby conference.

Kisko Year In Review 2013

This year we made a bunch of things happen and thought it would be nice to compile a list.

Here’s a list of some accomplishments from this year:

Kisko people have also been doing their own projects during the year:

What did you ship this year? What are you going to ship next year?

Carpentry version 2.1.1 released

We just released a new version of Carpentry.

The chief change is that the method by which the engine is mounted in your application has changed:

MyRailsApp::Application.routes.draw do
  # Old method
  # mount Carpentry::Engine => "/p"

  # New method
  mount_carpentry_at => "/p"
end

Please update your Rails routes file after updating Carpentry. Updating to the latest version is highly encouraged in order to get the full benefits of the Carpentry prototyping system.

The old mounting method no longer works in Carpentry 2.1.1. This change is require to get access to the parent Rails application’s route helpers, etc…

Carpentry version 2.0.0 released

gem install carpentry

Carpentry version 2.0.0 has been released. This is the first update to Carpentry in over two years.

Changes include:

What is Carpentry?

Carpentry gives you access to easy prototyping in Rails. Prototypes live peacefully with your normal Rails application and can either use the application layout or a separate prototype layout. All Rails helpers are available in Carpentry prototypes.

Rails Rumble 2013: How to vote for our entry

Meals/Feels Rails Rumble 2013 entry

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, Kisko Labs took part in the Rails Rumble coding competition with our meals and feels tracking app: Meals/Feels

Voting has now opened up to the public, and you can vote for our app by following a couple of steps:

  1. Head over to our entry page on the Rails Rumble site: railsrumble.com/entries/73-meals-feels
  2. Click the Sign in button in the upper left corner to sign in via Twitter or GitHub
  3. After signing in, click the Favorite button on our entry page (feel free to favorite other entries too)
  4. Finally, head over to the Favorites page to put your favorites into order (if you made more than one pick)

The expert judges and public will be able to vote for entries from the 22nd to the 24th of October (judging ends on October 24th at 23:59 UTC).

Don’t know what the Rails Rumble is?

Have no fear, here’s a quick explanation: “The Rails Rumble is a distributed programming competition where teams of one to four people, from all over the world, have 48 hours to build an innovative web application. After the 48 hours are up, a panel of expert judges will pick the top ten winners.”

There is also a “Public Favorite award based on picks from the competitors themselves, as well as anyone from the public.”

Rails Rumble 2013: Meals/Feels

Meals/Feels

Log your meals and feels to spot food allergies

⇒ Voting is now open (until October 24th 23:59 UTC)

Track what you eat and how you feel afterwards. Use this information to figure out what foods consistently cause problems for you.

So check out Meals/Feels and give us Feedback via our Rails Rumble entry.

And as a bonus, here’s a quick visualization of our two day development sprint:

Rumble at the Kisko office!

Rails Rumble

Kisko Labs will be wielding a team in this year’s Rails Rumble (look out for team Kisko Disco!).

Since we’ll be hanging out at the Kisko office (Köydenpunojankatu 13), feel free to drop by to say hello if you happen to be in the area this Saturday or Sunday (though it’s probably best to ping @kiskolabs on Twitter first to ensure that someone is actually here).

Using MockSMTP or MailCatcher only if it's running (with Rails)

humanizer 2.5.0 released

gem install humanizer

humanizer version 2.5.0 has been released and is now available via RubyGems.

The main changes are:

Source code: https://github.com/kiskolabs/humanizer

Middleman on Heroku – 2013 edition