Portland Ruby Brigade

The Portland Ruby Brigade, also known as pdxruby and pdx.rb, is a user group for Ruby programmers in the Portland, Oregon area. The group welcomes all programmers interested in the language and its implementations, tools, libraries and frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails. The group has been meeting since August 2002 for presentations, demos and discussions applicable to all skill levels, from newbies and experts. Every month 35-75 people come together to share their knowledge, projects and enthusiasm for Ruby – join us!


There are many ways to participate in pdxruby:

  • Attend our meetings: we have a number of regular meetings that everyone is welcome to attend:
    • General meetings for formal presentations, lightning talks and group discussions on topics of interest to those working with Ruby. Meetings are usually the first Tuesday of the month, “Ruby Tuesday”. Let us know if you're interested in presenting.
    • Beginner's meetings for one-on-one help. Programmers with any level of Ruby experience are welcome at these so they can get and offer help at these. Meetings are every week except the first week.
    • Lunch meetings to hang out and eat lunch with your fellow Ruby enthusiasts. Meetings are usually the last Wednesday of the month.
  • Give a presentation at one our our monthly meetings and share something you've learned in the world of Ruby with the group. You can also suggest a presentation if there's something you'd like to learn or a speaker you want us to recruit.
  • Subscribe to our online mailing list: "pdxruby" to receive meeting announcements and notes, get suggestions of interesting events, and participate in technical discussions. You may post information about Ruby-related jobs and gigs near Portland if you follow the job posting guidelines.
  • Subscribe to our beginner's mailing list: "pdxruby-beginners" to discuss topics of interest to those new to Ruby or programming. This is a super friendly list that wants to help you learn and share information with others.
  • Follow us on Twitter for meeting announcements and notes.
  • Join us on ePDX to tell the world that you're part of this user group and find others.
  • Learn about pdxruby's history, we're not merely a user group, but an open source culture incubator.
  • Edit this page! (See also: the wiki joke)

Learn about Ruby and programming

New to Ruby or programming? Take a look at our list of resources for learning Ruby and programming. Also join us at the monthly Ruby Beginners Meetups, details are in the “Participate” section above.

Notes from past meetings

Every pdxruby meeting is full of awesome, but we often forget to take notes, so this is just a fraction of what we talk about in person. The most recent content is at the top:

  • May 2013 meeting videos:
  • February 2013 Videos: Ruby Hangman by Markus Roberts and Ruby Engineering at Twitter by Lennon Day-Reynolds
  • Notes from pdxruby's 10th anniversary meeting, with details on group history by Phil Tomson and Igal Koshevoy, travis-ci continuous integration by Igal Koshevoy, and “I Know Kung Fu (or Using Neo4j on Rails Without JRuby)” by Rogelio Samour.
  • Notes for getting the most out of Ruby Beginners Meetups; dealing with complicated views; tools for blogs, CMS platforms, and static sites; optional curly-brace hash syntax; git tools and techniques; Sublime Text, Sass, CoffeeScript, etc.
  • Notes for “DCI (Data Context and Interaction)” by Keith Swallow, $SAFE by Markus Roberts, Heroku assets, avoiding external dependencies in tests, making desktop apps with FreightTrain, and more.
  • Notes for Rails search forms, Rails partials, deploying to Heroku, Inherited Resources, Haml, Sass, Ruby editors, web application settings, factories, Behavior-Driven Development (BDD), and more.
  • Notes for Rails localization in Citizenry by Igal Koshevoy, MagLev 1.0.0 release by Monty Williams, timezone consistency and MySQL INSERT WTFs by Markus Roberts, Google Chrome's NativeClient, concurrency and ruby.io by Jesse Cooke, girl_friday, YAML problems in MRI Ruby 1.9.2, evils of monkeypatching as demonstrated by mofo and RubyGems, Cucumber breakage with Rails 2.3.x, and more.
  • Notes for Ruby Koans, Ruby Monk, Ruby Toolbox, Railscasts, Guard, Enumerable, Sinatra, ActiveRecord associations, Entity-Relationship Diagrams, Acts as Tree, ActiveRecord nested sets, trees with Ancestry, RSpec, MiniTest::Spec vs. Test::Unit, Presenter, DRb, and more.
  • Notes for making a Redis clone with Maglev, and later ruby.io and concurrency by Jesse Cooke; Vagrant tutorial, useful metaprogramming in ePDX / Citizenry, and Yard documentation by Igal Koshevoy; metaprogramming in Sinatra by its maintainer Konstatin Haase; Padrino web framework; and more.
  • Notes for Koichi Sasada (ko1), creator of YARV, on Ruby MRI 1.9.3, 1.9.4 and future research; deploying to Heroku and using Toto, a simple Ruby-based blog engine, by Milind S. Pandit; debugging code in MagLev by Tim Felgentreff of Maglev; and more.
  • Notes for working with Bundler by Igal Koshevoy, Cascadia Ruby Conference recap by Sam Livingston-Gray, rants on upgrading old code by Reid Beels and Markus Roberts, and more.
  • Notes for Rubinius 2.0, pdx-tech-workshops, troubles with Heroku, Unicorn vs. Passenger, MagLev transactional memory, Celluloid concurrency framework, Lock-Free Data Structures, graph traversal with cyclists, Schemas microformats in HTML, RDF graphs, and more.
  • Notes for CLOS, bitcoin, Geoloqi MapAttack, EventMachine.synchrony, Goliath, Rubinius Hydra, CAP theorem, MongoDB distributed MapReduce, mysql2 gem, Trigram, HBase, Cassandra, Thrift, Riak, Tokyo Cabinet, Kyoto Cabinet, Neo4j, FlockDB, and more.
  • Notes for hosting services, popular operating systems for running Ruby in production, “CouchAppSpora” by Max Ogden, presented “MacRuby and HotCocoa” by Reid Beels, discussions on making tests faster, dealing with invalid HTML/XML/etc, using JSON, and lightweight testing frameworks, and more.
  • Notes for “Each: A Brief History of Iteration” by Rein Henrichs, adding Rails 3 support for New Relic RPM by Justin George, BodyParts gem by Max Ogden, safely applying and tracking non-migration database changes by Bryan Stearns, yield vs. to_proc, colorizing nested data structures, and more.
  • Notes for Rubinius by Brian Ford of Engine Yard, MagLev by Monty Williams of Gemstone, OpenConferenceWare by Igal Koshevoy, and an awesome list of our most frequently used gems.
  • Notes for “Machine Learning and Data Mining” by Randall Thomas, factory_girl tutorial by Igal Koshevoy, and more.
  • Notes for Luz music visualizer by Ian McIntosh, versioning ActiveRecord data, implementing undo, garbage collection, RSpec and Cucumber BDD/TDD best practices, and more.
  • …and there are many more older notes in the mailing list archives. Please lend a hand by adding links and summaries for them.

Old site

You can access a static archive of the old website to get at old content. However, all the functionality of that old site has now been replaced with this wiki, Calgator and ePDX.