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North West Ruby User Group

Thursday 15th June, 6:30pm

NWRUG is a community group in the North West of England for those with an interest in the Ruby programming language. Everyone is welcome at the monthly group meetups, especially beginners. All you need is to be friendly and have an interest in learning more about Ruby. Ruby is “a dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write”.

Monthly events

Each month there is an NWRUG event in Manchester, normally on the third Thursday. Most months there is a talk on a Ruby or Ruby-related topic, followed by a visit to a local pub. Attendence is free and there is no need to register, just show up on the day! General information about NWRUG events can be found on the NWRUG events page.

This Month: Cultivating Code; Supporting the Newcomers; Intro to Arel

Cultivating Code by Ceri Shaw

“The Pragmatic Programmer” first introduced me to the idea that writing software is like planting a garden. Over the years I’d forgotten the importance of the metaphor, until recently when I started working on my real-world garden. Musing on my day in the office whilst tending my plants, I realised gardening really does have a lot in common with working with legacy code.

With a 10-year-old, monolithic code base that’s still being worked on, staying on top of maintenance at FreeAgent is no easy matter. In this talk I’ll share how thinking about development in terms of gardening has helped me to understand the maintenance burden. I’ll talk about how we handle routine and exceptional maintenance in the product teams at FreeAgent and I’ll share some of the techniques we use to balance maintenance with feature development.

Supporting the Newcomers by Lola Odelola

Many companies often struggle to support junior developers properly. I’ll be sharing what has helped me progress as a junior developer. There are key things I think is necessary for juniors to properly take their careers to the next level.

Introduction to Arel by Eva Koleli

The talk will be an introduction to Arel, discussing: what Arel is and when to use it; the syntactic differences from ActiveRecord; and examples of query building with Arel.

About our speakers

Ceri Shaw has been developing software for almost 15 years in a variety of languages from C++ to Ruby. She is currently a Team Lead at FreeAgent where she leads the workflow team in developing new features for their cloud-based accounting software. She loves the challenge of figuring out how to develop the right software and much to her own surprise really enjoys being a technical manager as well.

Lola Odelola is a software engineer, poet, and founder of, an organisation that aims to encourage more black girls, women and non-binary people to learn and explore technology.

Eva Koleli is a software engineer at FreeAgent, working with the Workflow team. She has 5 years of working experience in Ruby on Rails and Java. Recently, she has been focusing on front-end technologies like React and Redux.

Mailing list

The NWRUG Google Group provides a forum for members to discuss Ruby-related topics, as well as a place for Ruby-related announcements relevant to the community. Joining this group is probably the best way to stay informed about upcoming meetings. Please adhere to the code of conduct when posting to the group. There are also specific guidelines for job posts.

IRC channel

There is an #nwrug channel on As with the mailing list, please adhere to the code of conduct when posting to the IRC channel.

Speak at NWRUG

Talks at the NWRUG meetings are given by members of the community and the group is always looking for people to give talks, especially those that are new to the group or have not spoken before. If you’d like to give a talk at NWRUG, get in touch. Talks can be anything from 15 to 40 minutes in length, and don’t necessarily have to be about Ruby specifically. As long as it’s a subject that will be interest or relevant for Ruby developers, then it is likely to be accepted. If you are a first time speaker or would like any help or advice preparing your talk, the group will be more than happy to help.

Sponsor NWRUG

NWRUG is a community-run group and are always grateful for sponsorship from companies looking to support the work that the group does. If you would like to sponsor NWRUG, get in touch. The group generally uses sponsorship money to buy refreshments for events, or for a bar-tab after the meeting at the pub. In return for your sponsorship, NWRUG will:

  1. mention the sponsorship on the details page for the corresponding event.
  2. mention the sponsorship on the announcement email sent to the mailing list.
  3. tweet about the sponsorship from @nwrug at least once.
  4. mention the sponsorship at the event itself and give you the opportunity to make a short 30 second or so announcement at the start of the event so you can talk to the group.

About North West Ruby User Group