RailsConf 2017 Plans

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After successfully volunteering at #RubyConf in 2016 in Cincinnati, I was looking forward to volunteering again at #RailsConf this spring. Here are my plans for RailsConf 2017 this next week.

I love meeting new people! Contact me if you’d like to make plans together!

Twitter: @caseydriscoll
Email: hello@caseydris.co

The City

I know almost nothing about Phoenix. Mostly just jokes from Arrested Development and this FedEx commercial.

In fact I’ve only been to the West Coast once (San Francisco in 2007) and this trip to Arizona will be my first time back west again (is Arizona even considered ‘West Coast’?)

I’m staying at an affordable AirBnB just north of downtown, in what appears to be a nice little neighborhood. Being adventurous while traveling alone can be a bit dangerous at times as I like to explore and I’m from the midwest. But I’m learning it’s better to be safe than sorry. 🙂

There is a direct connection from my AirBnB to the Convention Center by way of light-rail which runs right up N Central Ave.

A map of Phoenix that shows my AirBnB is right of the light rail that connects directly to the RailsConf convention center
Straight shot between AirBnB and the convention center.

This is also my first time in a desert. The weather is looking to be hot. I always pack light, but I may need to bring extra shirts for days 3 and 4 (are shorts appropriate conference wear?). I’ll also need to remember to stay hydrated.

The predicted weather says it will be over 90 degrees everyday.
It’s gonna be hot. Like a desert.

The Flight

I’ll be flying from Reagan National Airport in DC (DCA) by way of American Airlines. I leave at 7am on Monday morning, arriving around 9:30 am MST at PHX. Apparently Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time, so time will be equivalent to Pacific Daylight Time. Flying west is very convenient.

The flight back will much less convenient. I’ll be leaving right before midnight on Thursday (11:59 PM) and arriving at DCA at 7:11 PM. It’s only about a 4 hour flight but the three hour timezone difference stretches that out. I’ve rarely flown at night, and never through the night, so this should be fun experience. It was this or eat up a large part of the day, so I’m hoping this works out well.

The Priorities

In order of priority, my objectives are listed below:

  1. Acquire stickers for fun and profit
  2. Master shabby old things
  3. Meet new people
  4. Learn cool new things
  5. Acquire new career prospects for fun and profit
    1. (I’m currently looking! Hire me!) 😀
  6. Explore the city (if time allows)

The Sessions

As a full-stack developer I have a lot of experience with lots of different tech. Sometimes learning new things exposes new knowledge in unexpected ways, but other times learning new things can be trivial. It’s always good to learn new things, but there is a tradeoff. Too broad of knowledge can take away time to further current knowledge

I love learning new things but try to maintain a balance of furthering knowledge and broadening my horizons.

For this conference I’ll be trying to keep a focus on mastering material to which I have already been exposed. I’m sure I will pick up some new material along the way, but I won’t be making an effort to shock my system with new information. Not for this conference at least.

The current capacity of my knowledge consists of a combination of ‘Knowns and Unknowns’.

For RailsConf this year, I’ll be trying gain new knowledge with this distribution:

  • Known Knowns 40%
    • Tighten up what I already know with a focus on mastering core concepts.
  • Known Unknowns 45%
    • Reach out to fill my weak spots.
  • Unknown Knowns 5%
    • (I don’t believe I can really control this going in)
  • Unknown Unknowns 10%
    • I want to broaden my horizons a bit this time around but not shock my system too much.

The links below have all the sessions I plan on attending.

The Plans

Here are some posts for my plans for each day with my volunteer schedule and the sessions I plan on attending. I’ll be updating them with content as events unfold.

  1. RailsConf 2017 Day 0 – Travel and Establish Bearings
  2. RailsConf 2017 Day 1 – First day with lots of Sessions
  3. RailsConf 2017 Day 2 – Shirts and Sessions
  4. RailsConf 2017 Day 3 – Final Sessions and Fly Back

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