The founders of Ruby Central, Inc. (David Alan Black and Chad Fowler) were individually involved in organizing the first annual International Ruby Conference (RubyConf), held in Tampa in 2001. Shortly after that conference, they realized that there was enough interest in Ruby that the logistics for future events would only become more elaborate, including the search for corporate sponsors, the choice of new locations and venues, and the inclusion of a larger attendee base.

As such, Black and Fowler made the decision to establish a nonprofit organization to handle conference arrangements. Thus, Ruby Central was born. Ruby Central’s first official conference was RubyConf 2002 in Seattle, and since then, annual RubyConfs have been held every fall.

In 2006, Ruby Central added a dimension to the world of Ruby conferences when we produced the first official Ruby on Rails Conference, better known as RailsConf. Since that first RailsConf in Chicago, we have been holding RailsConf every spring. From 2007-2011, Ruby Central partnered with O’Reilly to co-produce RailsConf.

Outside of these two signature conferences, Ruby Central has partnered with organizations such as SDForum and Skills Matter (UK) to co-produce additional Ruby conferences. Through the Regional Conference Grant Program, established in 2006, we have also provided financial support and guidance to many other Ruby conferences.

Though planning and holding these conferences takes up a lot of our time, it is far from the primary goal of Ruby Central, Inc. We have always strived to become a hub for the robust support of a variety of Ruby activities. Our first non-conference project was the Ruby Codefest Grant Program, through which we offered support for local and regional groups of programmers working on Ruby library projects. Ruby Central also hosts Ruby Gems, provides support for the Ruby Summer of Code, and sponsors development of Bundler.