All you need to know about applying to be a RailsConf 2021 Opportunity Scholar or Guide! If interested, please read this in full, even if you've applied before.

Scholars and Guides

Opportunity Scholarships

RailsConf 2021 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 on Rails specifically and software development in general.

"This was my very first conference and I had no idea what to expect. But the initial scholars meet and greet set the tone. I was assigned a Guide but I lucked up and had two wonderful experienced Guides that took extra time to coach me about the conference, but furthermore about what to expect on my tech journey. There were so many special moments were I had dinner with speakers and this is all due to the exposure that the scholarship program allowed. I wish I could reapply and definitely look forward to attending the next Ruby Conference!!"
LaNice Powell, Scholar
Included in the Scholarship program
  • A free ticket
  • Pairing with a Guide, an experienced programmer or conference-goer who has attended RailsConf before and is already familiar with many key players at the conference.
  • An invitation to a virtual welcome gathering, to meet all of your fellow Scholars and the Guides the night before the conference.
  • An instant connection to the other Scholars in your cohort, who are also new to the Rails 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 the Discord community for RailsConf 2021 Scholars and Guides. This is a great place to ask any questions of each other before, during, and even after the conference.
  • A paid membership to Treehouse so that you can continue your Ruby/Rails education!
"I came to RubyConf fresh out of a bootcamp, a lot of silence on the job front and a void in the bank account. To say I was intimidated by professional developers and long time programmers was an understatement. What I found at RubyConf through the Scholar program was a group of welcoming human beings who had a variety of experiences and friends in the industry that they couldn’t wait to share with us Scholars. I met other Scholars at different points in their journey, some just like me. We formed a pack that meant lunch was never alone, the city was explored and the best talks attended. I left feeling like a part of community and with renewed confidence in my skill and job search."
Dana Weiss, Scholar
Scholarships applications have closed.

Be a RailsConf 2021 Guide! Apply

Want to help bring a new community member into the RailsConf 2021 community? We're looking for volunteer Guides to partner up with this year's Opportunity Scholars.

Scholars are folks new to the Ruby/Rails community, or maybe even new to writing code altogether, and they're ready to have their first -- hopefully transformative -- RailsConf experience. They've been telling us the amazing stories of their path to RailsConf, 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!

"We desperately need new blood in our community, both to bring new ideas to us, and to remind us of the things we already love about our community. Experiencing the conference (and the community) through the eyes of someone new is a wonderful thing. Volunteer to be a guide at your next Ruby conference. Otherwise, you're only getting half the experience."
Ernie Miller, Guide
  • 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 work-world, as your Scholar is likely looking for his or her first Ruby programming gig!
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. Even if you've been a Guide before, the more info you give us, the easier it makes the process. 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.

"When I attended my first RubyConf, none of the few folks I knew in tech were attending. I was fortunate to have been selected as an Opportunity Scholar and have an instant support system. I've continued to serve as a Guide every time I am able, because I want to help keep the Ruby community a welcoming space for newcomers. Every year, I meet other inspiring Scholars and Guides from all over the world and some of them have become some of my dearest friends. I'd recommend that anyone who wants to have an instant family at RailsConf get involved in this program."
Britni Alexander, Guide
Timing of Response

With our commitment to making productive Scholar/Guide matches, we will not be responding to Guide applications until we have made specific matches with Scholars, which we hope to do by Friday, March 26. Guide applicants whom we are not able to match with a specific Scholar will be waitlisted -- this is not in any way a statement on the strength of those applications, but rather just the result of the specific matches made with our accepted Scholars.

While Guides are responsible for obtaining their own tickets to RailsConf, we also realize that the deadline for this application may come up before you are ready to commit to attending RailsConf. 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.