SCALE 8x Slides Posted

Yesterday I did a talk at SCALE 8x called “Moving the Needle: How SF Ruby Got to 18%.” Broadly, the topic was how to get more women into a technical community. I talked about how, specifically, we took the SF Ruby monthly meetups from 2% women to 18% women over the past year.

Short version: it was a lot of work.

A lot of people have asked us about this, though, so it seemed worth distilling. The slides don’t convey everything I talked about. In the next few weeks I’d like to try putting together a blog post that does a better job. But for now, here they are.

Update (3/6/2010): MP3 audio is now available – thanks SCALE folks! Also, I’ve posted a PDF version of the slides for those of you without flash.

9 comments to SCALE 8x Slides Posted

  • Hi Sarah,
    This is awesome information and I wish I could have seen it in person. You’re doing a great job bringing Ruby to women and women to Ruby – kudos to you for all your efforts. They are clearly paying off! I look forward to reading your full blog post on the subject. :)

  • […] slides are here, and Josh Wehner has asked how we can achieve the same improvements in Toronto. (Thanks to Andrew […]

  • mpm

    Any chance you can post this in a non-Flash-based form?

  • @Elizabeth – thanks! I added a link in the post to the audio, plus Jake Edge over at Linux Weekly News did a decent summary article.

    @mpm – thanks for the suggestion. I’ve edited the post to add a link to a PDF. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Sarah, congrats on all the progress you guys have made bringing more women developers into the Ruby community. It seems like there are more women interested in and skilled at Ruby/Rails now than ever before.

    I haven’t yet seen too many women entering the Ruby workforce outside of the main Ruby consulting companies though. I’m not a recruiter, but I’m currently tasked with hiring a new in-house Ruby/Rails dev for our engineering team here in SF. It would be great to add to our team’s diversity, but I’m not sure where to go about looking. Do you have any advice for those of us on the hiring end?

    Keep up the great work!

  • @Rob – I think recruiting (in general, maybe, and particularly within underrepresented groups) is a long-term process. When I’ve seen it be successful, it involved a lot of relationship-building over time with connectors and other folks in the community. Sarah Allen, in particular, who I work with on the workshops, is a great connector. And of course I recommend you come to the SF Ruby meetups – here’s the calendar. :)

  • Thanks for the advice Sarah. Just joined the SF Ruby meetup group. Perhaps I’ll see you around! : )

  • Hi Sarah,

    I followed the link from and I realized that I saw you and your talk at Scale8x!

    Awesome essay on pair programming :)


  • […] teaching women Ruby on Rails in weekend workshops.  Over a year later, we have significantly changed the gender balance in the community, but more importantly the workshops created a fundamental shift in the ecosystem, […]