Ruby Conf Portugal

I’m a pretty lucky person. When I started doing Ruby 8 years ago, I became a part of a community that was vibrant and exciting. I’ve been to many conferences and made many friends.
This year, I was invited to be the MC at Ruby Conf Portugal 2015 in Braga, Portugal. I spoke at the conference last year and was amazed. The team that puts this conference together does it in a way that makes it look easy. As a fellow conference organizer, I’m impressed with the team effort they put in, the way they make it look so flawless while being laid back during the whole process.

MCing is always a bit different than being a speaker. On the plus side, there no need to create a talk, build a slide deck, worrying about your slot…all the things that make speaking hard. The down side, you need to know something interesting about every speaker, those you know and those you don’t. For me, the answer was 3x5 cards with cues to myself on them.

This year, the organizers went all out. I was invited to kick the conference off dressed as none other than Bilbo Baggins and delivering a modified version of his birthday speech from Lord of the Rings. This took the fun to whole new level. After I put on “the ring” (a ring pop in cherry flavor meant to be a ruby (get it)), music played, an actor playing Gandalf set us on our Journey and an organizer dressed in a rabbit mask made horse sounds with a coconut to play the part of Shadowfax. And of course, there was a smoke machine.

João, one of the organizers, is in love with that smoke machine.

This is just symbol of their dedication to the theme. Ruby, and development in general is a journey, it can be difficult, but we can band together in fellowship and have some fun while we’re at it. All in the auspices of the Theatro Circo, one of the most amazing venues I’ve been in for a conference.

I had the privilege to announce some amazing speaker who I consider friends, like Sam Phippen, Steve Klabnick, and Piotr Szotkowski. I was delighted to intro new friends like Kylie Stradley, Sergio Gil, and Pedro Moreira. And that’s just some of the speakers.

The attendees were all excited to be there. There was no bored “going through the motions” at this conference. People were sincerely interested in the talks and loved having time to mix, mingle, and make friends with speakers, other attendees, and organizers alike.

It all came to an end after two days, to the sound of rain outside and the voice of Avdi Grimm teaching us about how we shape the world. If every conference was like this, we’d be a truly lucky community of people.

I was honored to be invited and hope we can do this again next year.

Obrigado Ruby Conf Portugal!!


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