Thinking of applying to this year's RailsConf Scholars and Guides program? Read on to hear from last year's Scholars about what it was like and why you should take the leap and apply!


Rae Stanton

Professional Title:

Software Developer

How did you get into Ruby?

I got into Ruby after deciding that I wanted to make a career switch. Ruby/Rails was recommended to me as a great starting point, so that's where the journey began.

Are there any Ruby projects you're working on that you're excited about? 

Currently, I am working on contributing to Ruby for Good open source projects! I love diving into new territory and debugging and solving issues as I grow my skill set.

Why did you decide to join the Scholars/Guides program?

I wanted to connect with someone during the conference who could give some great personalized insights on the conference and also personally.

What was the highlight of the conference for you?

Some of the people I met were so great, and we have continued to connect past the conference. There are a few people that really want to elevate newcomer experiences.

What surprised you, if anything about your RailsConf2023 experience?

I think it was surprising to see just how many people feel the same fears I do, but also just how welcoming the rails space is overall.

Any advice for first-time conference attendees?

Just go! You never know who you'll meet. Definitely make sure you're staying a hotel close by or at the conference location so you can easily grab dinner or hang out with people. Don't be too afraid to put yourself out there.

Any other final thoughts?

Conferences like this can be so overwhelming, but RailsConf in particular really brought a good variety of interesting talks and fun opportunities to meet like-minded people. Watch recordings if you need a break and make a note of them so you know which ones to find later. Try to go to talks or workshops that challenge you - it may not stick right away, but you can always make a note and research those things later on. Go out at least once. Fly in a day before and leave the day after if you can swing it - it definitely makes for a less stressful experience so you can focus on connections, learning, and having the best experience you possibly can.

Thank you Rae for sharing your story! Feeling ready to apply to be a RailsConf 2024 Scholar or Guide? Sign up here today! The application deadline is February 20th.