In the last ten days, I have met two charming German Rubyists: Hagen Overdick and Urban Hafner. I missed meeting Armin Roehrl because my travel schedule caused me to miss the München.rb meeting on the 15th and we were never able to connect otherwise (sorry, Armin; I really did want to meet you).
Hagen has been using Ruby in his degree program and his practicum study for the transformation of business model descriptions to web sites, etc. He lives in Potsdam, just outside of Berlin, and we met him on the evening of Thursday the 13th after we picked up our rental car (an Opel Zafira). He showed us around the Sans Souci palace park built by the Austro-Hungarian emperor Frederick II. Absolutely beautiful and a worthy trip. He was very knowledgeable of his town and obviously likes it a lot. We made it back to the car just before the rain came down on us (after what had been a very hot—35 °C—and humid day in the Berlin area) and stepped into a nice Italian restaurant just as the deluge began. After a wonderful dinner, we drove Hagen back to his apartment and went on our way to Dresden and ultimately family in Lohr am Main.
We went to München on Monday, the 17th, and met up with Urban on the evening of the 18th. Urban saved my iPod from being useless on this trip by bringing his charger. (It had fully discharged and would only charge through my laptop; the USB-based charger that I had brought did not provide enough power for the iPod.) We met Urban near the fish fountain on Marienplatz where he was wearing his Munich.rb t-shirt and went to a nice Bayernisch restaurant east of Marienplatz. During dinner we learned that Urban used Ruby to process his raw data for his bio-informatics degree (equivalent to a master’s), although he was not asked that in his thesis defence.
My traveling companions are just computer users (not programmers at all!) and have pleasantly been pleasantly surprised by how nice, friendly, and well-rounded the Rubyists they have met have been.