That's right folks, it's official: we are working on the very first RubyConf Portugal. It's been a while since the idea first crossed our minds and now, after a lot of work put into contributing to improve the portuguese Ruby community, we are finally ready to take this big step. This is an event envisioned by Group Buddies, although everyone is invited to help us put it together. We want to join forces and unite the community, in order to create the best event we possibly can.
Nowadays, Portugal is going through some difficult times. We believe that the best way to move this country forward, is by investing in knowledge and to have a technology driven economy. This is already being partly done. We have excellent universities graduating highly qualified tech people, that ultimately bring value to companies. Some of them create their own companies, like I did, while others pack their bags and go abroad. Also, the number of foreign people choosing sunny Portugal to proceed with their careers or launch their own companies/startups is increasing, so great talent in Portugal is in high demand.
A large part of these people are working with proprietary technologies. But a significant number, mostly young companies and startups, are using OSS technologies. We truly believe that the right way to go, is the second one.
Last but not least, we are creating this conference to instigate the portuguese Ruby community to make a stand. I've written before about how we are going through a renaissance of this community. I ended that post by saying: "And to kick it off, we're thinking about organizing a conference in 2014. What do you guys think of that?" and you just need to look at the comments to get a feeling of how people are craving for something like this. I also received a couple more comments through twitter and email. So, what else could we do in face of such a challenge? We went for it, with a big smile on our face. :)
If you're not portuguese or you don't know Portugal very well, you're probably asking yourself "where the hell is Braga?". We're familiar with that question, as our own clients ask us the same thing. Braga is Portugal's third biggest city, with an amazing history and a great University. It was also the European Youth Capital in 2012. Braga is 30 mins away from Porto, the second biggest city of Portugal and the coolest city of Europe. You probably already heard of it, at least about the Port Wine and the OPO airport (which, by the way, was also considered one of the best in Europe).
Braga can be described as an ancient, historic city, filled with young people, determined to make a difference. We have great tech companies here, with major international relevance, as well as young companies and startups.
Being a growing tech hub led to the creation of a local government agency to boost investments in the city, called InvestBraga. This agency is the first official partner of RubyConf Portugal. Check the presentation video for InvestBraga, featuring our venue:
We will soon be launching the Call For Proposals and we will start selling tickets next month. Sponsors and partners are welcome, so we'd love if you could help us spread the word. We will have a list of voluntaries which you can apply for, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are aware of the challenge this represents. Creating such an ambitious conference from scratch is far from being an easy task. But we're confident that the portuguese ruby community will embrace this event as a way to unite itself and put Portugal on the map, not only amongst ruby conferences, but also amongst the OSS community in general.
So, this is it for now. We hope to see you all this fall in Braga.