Opportunity Scholarships

RubyConf 2017 is offering a limited number of full conference registration scholarships, open to anyone who would not normally attend, though we specifically encourage students, women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups in the technology sector to apply. The Opportunity Scholarship is a chance to jump in to learn more about Ruby specifically and software development in general.

What You Get:

  • A free ticket to RubyConf 2017.
  • Pairing with a Guide, an experienced programmer or conference-goer who has attended RubyConf before and is already familiar with many key players at the conference.
  • An invitation to a welcome gathering to meet all of your fellow Scholars and the Guides the night before the conference
  • An instant connection to the other Scholars, who are also new to the Ruby community
  • The chance to level up your skills by attending awesome talks throughout the conference and meeting influential people in the community
  • An invitation to a Slack community for the Scholars and Guides. This is a great place to ask any questions of each other before, during, and even after the conference.
  • Note: unfortunately, we are not necessarily able to provide transportation or accommodation support for Scholars. Generous donations from our Sponsors and community have allowed us to do this at some past conferences, but we are not able to make any guarantees at this time.

Also, if it applies to you, we’re pleased to share that RubyConf 2017 offers complimentary childcare and a lactation room for all attendees. Just let us know if you will require this!

Testimonials from Previous Scholars:

"Coming to any new place and meeting so many new people can be especially daunting, but this program allowed me to feel immediately more comfortable. I met so many incredible people and learned so much!!" Amy Dusek, Scholar

"Being gifted with the opportunity to meet so many AWESOME people who share my interests and aspirations was a life-changing experience I will never forget!" Rene Sanchez, Scholar

What are you waiting for?

Scholar applications will be accepted until 11:59pm CT on August 25, 2017 (Please note TIMEZONE).

Apply to be a Scholar

Be a RubyConf Guide!

Want to help bring a new community member into the RubyConf 2017 community? We're looking for volunteer Guides to partner up with this year's Opportunity Scholars.

Scholars are folks new to the Ruby community, or maybe even new to writing code altogether, and they're ready to have their first -- hopefully transformative -- RubyConf experience. They've been telling us the amazing stories of their path to RubyConf, and we genuinely think they're going to be wonderful additions to our community. What we need from you is to help welcome them in and make them feel at home!


  • Be available as a friendly face for your Scholar throughout the whole conference.
  • Recommend talks for your Scholar to attend based on his or her interests, current skill levels, and experiences.
  • Make introductions between your Scholar and established developers, especially ones that might be particularly influential in his or her areas of interest.
  • Give feedback on breaking into the Ruby world, as your Scholar is likely looking for his or her first Ruby gig!


While Guides are responsible for obtaining their own tickets to RubyConf, we also realize that the deadline for this application may come up before you are ready to commit to attending RubyConf. If you think there is any chance that you’d attend, we’d ask you to apply anyway, even if you might have to withdraw at a later date.

Application Logistics:

Please fill out the entire application, as we use what you've written here to make the best Scholar/Guide matches that we can, ones that we hope are highly beneficial for both parties. If we don’t have a good sense of who you are and what type of Guide you’d be from your application, it’s difficult to make a good match. We anticipate this application takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

Testimonials from Previous Guides:

"The Scholar program is a great way to bring new people into the fold. I've been a programmer for a long time, and I'm still intimidated at times by some people. Being a newbie is also pretty intimidating with all there is to learn. So it's nice to be able to break down walls and do a little mentoring along the way." Barrett Clark, Guide

"Conferences are overwhelming when you're a first-timer: where do you go? Who do you talk to? Are you allowed to ask the speakers to sign your laptop? The Scholar program helps newbies bypass all those worries. Being a Guide lets you be a big part of shaping someone’s first conference into a positive, empowering experience, and that is hugely rewarding. This program is one of my favorite parts of RailsConf." Louisa Barrett, Guide

Guide applications will be accepted until 11:59pm CT on August 25, 2017 (Please note TIMEZONE).

Apply to be a Guide