Starting Up Fast: Lessons from the Rails Rumble - RailsConf

The Rails Rumble is a 48-hour innovation competition in which teams of up to four developers embrace their environmental constraints to create a number of compelling microapps with Ruby and Rails.

In this panel we’ll talk to a number of Rumble participants and discover the tips, tricks, and techniques they used to successfully launch innovative web properties in an extremely short time frame.

Panelists will include a number of winners and other developers (and designers) who performed impressive feats during both the 2007 and 2008 contests. Attendees should come prepared with lots of questions for the panelists, such as:

How they leveraged Rails, various Gems, and plugins authored by the community to help them succeed.

How they scoped their projects and structured their Rails applications to enable them to launch early and iterate often.

How they embraced the mantra of “simplest thing that could possibly work”, removing extraneous features and setting reasonable goals for themselves.

How they found partners whose skills complemented their own, and how they organized their team.

General productivity tips and work habit recommendations.

Their advice will be applicable to both future innovation competitions (such as the upcoming 2009 Rails Rumble) as well as to any project that attendees may hope to bootstrap in their own copious spare time. We’ll also discuss how to get involved with innovation competitions and why their condensed nature and marketing opportunities can be a great motivator.