Committee Meeting - 21st February 2017

Ruby AU Februrary Meeting Agenda

Start: 7:32pm, 21st Feb


  • Ryan Bigg (RB)
  • Lauren Hennessy (LH)
  • Rachel LeQuesne (RL)
  • Tom Ridge (TR)
  • Toby Nieboer (TN)
  • Anton Katunin (AK)
  • Ana Djordjevic (AD)
  • Nick Bruning (NB) (RubyConf 2018 organiser)


  • Jo Cranford

Role responsibility / committment and what happens if someone has a hard time in their role (everyone)

  • RB gives a general introduction – people have been voted into the Committee, but then didn’t really put in much time / effort – and opens the floor.
  • LH starts us off.
  • LH: Hoping for a general discussion, as this has happened with the Committee and organisational groups for events. People have joined and then not fulfiled their role / obligations. It’s tough for everyone to deal with when it happens.
  • LH says that she mentioned at a previous RailsCamp that she wanted to organise one. One person offered to help and then really didn’t do much.
  • LH says that this has happened with a previous member of the Committee too.
  • LH: want to talk about the conf, Nick? NB: Sure. One of the organisers committed to doing a lot of work and then became non-communicative. They admitted on the day of the conf that they hadn’t organised an event and the other conf organisers had to work around that.
  • LH: You (NB) and Mel (Kaulfauss) have talked about doing a retro for RubyConf organisers to learn from these types of experiences. NB agrees that it would be good to do that.
  • TR: You’d hope that people are going to be upfront about how much they can actually commit to a camp/conf… but it does come down to what happens in your day-to-day job and life too.
  • AK: Lauren, what’s the goal of this discussion?
  • LH: This is something that has happened before and is bound to happen again. We should try to make people feel comfortable about admitting when they feel like they can’t do something. We should try to help people who this happens to.
  • TN: We should ask people to document things that you’re doing as you go along. This helps with handover; you have the information you need to pass along to someone else if you feel like you need to quit.
  • LH: I agree. This serves the dual purpose of being able to check with people where they are and for people to take over if they need to. This isn’t about blaming people; we can only expect so much of people in volunteer roles.
  • AK: Should we create a guideline for conference organisers to advise them that they should try to counteract things like this? Should we advise them to have a few “trusted” people on the team?
  • NB: I think after last RubyConf we decided 5-6 people was the best size. Communication was spread a bit thinly.
  • LH: Trish (Jacoby) opted to use Trello. NB: But this relies on people keeping the board up-to-date.
  • LH: In terms of the Committee aspect of it, we have the same kind of issues. We’re not adapt at giving people guidance and communicating goals. We should have a better culture of supporting people speaking up.
  • TR: With RailsCamp I was able to cut people or pull them in depending on how much they were interested / pulling their weight.
  • RB: This is a bit nasty… but: The Constitution allows us to vote out committee members if we have a majority.
  • LH: Yes, that’s definitely something we have.


  • NB will run a retro for RubyConf AU organisers, gather up feedback and then report on it at a later committee meeting.

RubyConf AU 2018 hosts (Lauren / Nick / Jo)

  • NB: It’s just me and Mel (Kaulfauss) on the “committee” at the moment. That’s as far as we’ve gotten it.
  • TN: Mel’s going to be busy this year becuase she’s pitching in for the end-of-year RailsCamp 2017.
  • TR: Does that mean a Melbourne Conf next year?
  • NB: It’s looking very likely.
  • TR: I’d love to help if I can.
  • TN: Me too.
  • AD: I’d be keen to help too.


  • Let’s get some more info about RubyConf AU.

Handle Slack / 1Password / Google Accounts permissions (Lauren)

  • LH: Yes that’s mostly done now. There’s a new “job” to clean out the conference people considering that the conf is over.


  • Remove conference people (Lauren)

Setup Trello boards for committee work (Anton)

  • AK: We’re making some great use of Trello, particularly in the documentation and forums team.

Onboarding documentation project (Anton / Lauren)

  • LH: We made a Trello board for onboarding. We added a bunch of cards; a bit of a braindump. I was hoping for some feedback from the committee, particularly the new members.
  • AK: It’d be good to have a first draft of these onboarding guide.
  • LH: We should refine the Welcome document first. (General Committee Member welcome)


  • AK: Go through welcome guide and see if fix ups can be done.

Membership database progress (Tom)

  • TR: We’ve got some PRs merged in and we’ve got someone working on the membership portion of it (to allow users to edit their details). Ed raised the idea of a “contribution guide” and a “style guide”. We’ll need to import users from RailsCamp and the developer survey

Inventory process (Tom)

  • TR: Rob (Jacoby) has just gotten back to Brisbane, will need to follow up this later.


  • TR to follow up with Rob Jacoby regarding inventory.

Bank card re-issuing (Jo & Ryan)

  • Jo and Ryan still need to follow up with the accountants regarding this. Jo has been busy due to RubyConf AU.

Annual statements (Jo & Ryan)

  • Jo and Ryan will follow up with the accountants regarding this too.

Supporting other camps (admin) (Jo & Ryan)

  • RB: Does anyone feel like helping out other organisations in starting up their own inc. associations?
  • LH: I think we have enough on our plate already.


  • Chill out. Relax. Breathe deeply. Help if you really want to.

2017 Summer RailsCamp (Toby)

  • TN: I’ve been in contact with 9 different venues, checking for availability & quotes. Ideal weekend being 27th-30th October. I don’t want to do a “full tour” of the venues yet. Just want to rule in/out some venues first… to make sure they can account for catering/dietary requirements. The area I’m looking at at the moment is the Dandenongs. Mel K. has agreed to help with the organisation of this camp.
  • AK: Are you looking for more people to join the RailsCamp team?
  • TN: Yes, but down the track a bit. Once we get a bit closer; a month or two from now then yes I will be.

Rails Camp 21 update (Lauren)

  • LH: They’ve sold 33 tickets. They’re going to be fine from here on out. Lots of demand.
  • TN: has there been any suggestion that the BYO alcohol policy has been a problem for anyone?
  • LH: I’m OK with it. I don’t see that it’s going to be a problem.
  • TN: It’s something that I’d like to do for RailsCamp 22. On a personal level, I’m a bit iffy about us as an organisation throwing money/drinks at people and saying “here, be responsible”. After packing up after Railscamp 20, we found that there were 23 cases of beer. Having BYO would probably reduce that.
  • TR: It’s hard logistically. Also if people BYO it frees up some money that we could then invest in the camp. If people BYO then it’s likely they’ll be careful about how much they consume.
  • AK: Seems like the dynamics of the audience have changed; it’s like people don’t want to drink at RailsCamps at all. I totally support that.
  • LH: At a previous CampJS they had a BYO and people got more drunk because they brought spirits because it’s easier to transport (than beer). Let’s see how Darwin goes and make further decisions based on that. We as a community definitely support you in this.
  • TN: It’s probably good that as an organisation we could take a stance that not all of our fundraising efforts are for drinks.
  • AD: Does no alcohol lower the ticket price?
  • LH: Ticket price is typically a base cost of accommodation + food. Sponsorship covers food.
  • TN: Darwin camp seems cheaper. Is that just me?
  • TR: It’s $10 less than the (Gold Coast) camp I ran.
  • LH: It’s nothing too different. It’s following the general upward trend of ticket costs.

Ryan boots everyone off Zoom

  • Ryan wasn’t on the pro plan like he thought. Meeting went for 30 mins and then was about to end.


  • Ryan to ask Jo how to get on the “pro” plan of Zoom to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Insurance for upcoming camps (Lauren)

  • LH: This was about getting documentation for the existing insurance so they could check for crocodile attacks and other Darwin-related (half-joking) events. I shared this with Rob and Jo. I haven’t heard anything from them so I think it’s OK.

Committee work night (Lauren)

  • RB: Did one of these get held?
  • LH: … No. I’ve made myself a calendar notification to do it 2 weeks from now. If anyone wants to do that then let me know. I think I’m going to do it online, so anyone can join in. Starting at CA has been a lot more disruptive than I thought it would be. So I’m going to set aside some time to do some Ruby AU stuff. It’d be good if other people could join in as well.

The Webstock Incident (Lauren)

  • LH: Webstock had a very public incident last week involving a speaker. Statement from Webstock organisers here. We should look at updating our Code of Conduct to account for these sorts of things.
  • TR & TN: I’d be interested in helping here.
  • LH: I think Colby Swandale wanted to help with this too.
  • TN: Webstock’s response has been “A1”, an excellent example.
  • AK: Colby doesn’t quite know where to get started.
  • LH: We could help out there.
  • AK: Do you want to list out your concerns, Lauren? Just something as a starting point?
  • LH: I can do that next week.
  • TN: To your point Lauren about not wanting to change things too quickly: I think that is the right approach for a bunch of other things. With the Code of Conduct it’s probably not as necessary. A Code of Conduct is non-negotiable. They’re necessary changes.
  • LH: I agree. Absolutely. Getting changes reviewed might be a hard process.
  • TN: If people have an issue with the CoC then they can contact us.
  • AK: Who’s going to lead this?
  • LH: I’m happy to call out the problems I have with the current CoC and then share some of the excellent examples I’ve seen elsewhere. Maybe we could make a Slack channel about this?

Sponsorship for Ruby Meetups (Rachelle)

  • RL: Ruby AU sponsors food + drinks for Sydney + Melbourne, what do other states have to do to get the same amount of sponsorship?
  • LH: This is because we had sponsors who were wanting to sponsor for Sydney + Melbourne. If we get a similar level of sponsorship for the next year then we can include those other meetups.
  • RB: I’d say to contact Jo and ask her to approve funding for those meetups. I don’t see it being a problem.
  • LH: It was a hope that we could bring in sponsors from those cities. I would like to encourage people to sponsor those meetups, but in the abscence of that I would like to support the meetups themselves.
  • AK: I think it’d be good to have the sponsored meetups follow some guidelines, like announcing sponsors during the meeting and perhaps posting photos of the meetup.
  • TR: I think that would be great. It’d be great to get out some attendance data from the meetups too.
  • RL: I’ve gone through the last 12 months of for each meetup and I have that data now.
  • TR: Excellent! I don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to say that if we give you $X then you adhere to the Ruby AU Code of Conduct and you promote our sponsors.
  • TN: How do the drinks orders happen?
  • RB: I call up Wigs and place the orders. I also place an order for Crust pizza through their website using the Ruby AU website.


  • Rachelle to contact Jo about funding approval.
  • Jo to supply sponsorship information ($$$$) for Melbourne & Sydney meetups.

Documentation team (Anton)

  • AK: Pat has decided to rewrite the documentation for RubyConf. You can see some of the docs here.
  • AK: We should also have some guides for organising the meetups. We have one for Melbourne. I’ve reached out to Sydney and they’ve written their own guide.
  • AK: We’ve been doing work on merging the old committee repo into the new repo.
  • AK: We’ve also been doing some work on a “memorable moments” page for the last 10 years.
  • AK: Going to merge the documentation project to the ruby_au GitHub.

Forum project (Anton)

  • AK: We’ve agreed that we’re going to be using Discourse, and the forum will be called “Ruby Down Under”, hosted at There’ll be a few admins, and at least one of those will be a committee member. We’ll start off with some respected members of the community. We had two options for hosting: self-hosting and managed hosting. We’re leaning towards managed-hosting. It will cost us $100/month to have this forum running.
  • LH: It’ll be interesting to see what the adoption of this forum going forward is.
  • TN: I think that’s a fair question. The measurement is uptake of the forum vs ongoing use of the mailing list. We agree that either of the mailing list or forum is necessary. If the mailing list keeps going but the forum doesn’t, then I think that’s a pretty obvious thing.

Richie Khoo building out Ruby.AU

  • LH: We discussed Richie taking us on as a client; with Richie’s team doing some design work on the website.


  • Lauren to follow up with Richie & discuss with committee regarding website design.