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Keynote & Invited Speakers at #GCRC14

Here is some background on how we went about choosing the keynote & invited speakers at #GCRC14:

The first four speakers (the Keynote Speakers at the conference) - Chad Fowler, Prateek Dayal, Keavy McMinn, and Ben Orenstein - were chosen at the very start of the #GCRC14 journey back in June/July. Coby Randquist and Ajey Gore were added as speakers later on.

Chad Fowler - being very popular in the ruby community in India and around the world - was my first choice for a Keynote speaker at the conference. The dates of the conference were set after checking his availabilty.

Ruby conferences in India haven’t had a Keynote speaker of Indian origin so far; chose Prateek Dayal to set a precedent here. Prateek is a long-time ruby developer based in Bangalore, and is remarkably successful in building product businesses; he should be able to bring in an unique Indian flavor to a keynote at a Ruby Conference.

Ruby conferences in India haven’t had a woman keynote speaker as well so far; chose Keavy McMinn in this context.

I had watched Keavy’s talk Must Try Harder at Mountain.rb Conference in 2010, and was amazed at the connection she could establish with everyone in the audience by being very vulnerable during the talk. Do check out a version of the talk here:

Must. Try. Harder. - Keavy McMinn

The fourth keynote speaker - Ben Orenstein - was picked based on a team member’s suggestion, and was a very easy choice to make because of his RailsConf 2013 talk - How to Talk with Developers - which can be watched here:

How to talk to developers - Ben Orenstein

Thanks to ThoughtBot for covering the travel expenses for Ben Orenstein, and allowing us a wider latitude to play with our travel expenses budget for speakers.

Coby Randquist - CEO of and organizer of LA RubyConf and Ruby on Ales - reached out to us as he had wanted to visit India for long; we grabbed the opportunity with both hands to get him to come over, and help us with the video recording of the talks as well as live-streaming of the talks at #GCRC14. In addition, he will be sharing from his experiences of running and organizing a couple of regional ruby conferences.

Garden City Ruby Conference is breaking a lot of fresh ground in being the first single-track & regional/city conference in India, and is expected to inspire and nurture more regional/city conferences in other cities in India, starting with Pune later this year, and possibly Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi, Chennai, Mysore, Jaipur, and more. Ajey Gore was added as the final invited speaker to set the tone for the conversation around regional/city conferences and to take it forward. Ajey has been at the fore-front of Ruby Conference organization work in India through Innovation & Technology Trust which has been putting up the hugely successful annual RubyConf India events since 2010.

Thanks to the keynote & invited speakers who made it possible for us to plan an awesome conference around their presence.

Our Call for proposals is now open; do take this opportunity to submit a talk proposal, and possibly share the stage with our distinguished keynote/invited speakers at GCRC14!

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