JSConf Colombia Recap
This year, we felt the event has hit the sweet spot. The feedback from the attendees and speakers visiting could not have been more positive and encouraging. We, as organizers, work especially hard to create a unique and authentic experience. We always want to show what Colombia has to offer to all our visitors, and create an immersive experience in the local culture - where gastronomy and lovely landscapes are part of the event. Our primary goal with this is to change the unpopular image perceived by foreigners about Colombia as a country due to its violent history.
Organizing conferences in the third world has its challenges but is an amazingly gratifying experience when looking at the outcome. We had an amazing response - the event sold out two months prior to the event. The venue can hold up to 350 people, so that was our cutoff - despite that, we ended with a waiting list of nearly 150 people.
The whole event was held in the magnificent venue of Ruta N, the same building where NodeSource Medellin's office is located. This site has also served for the previous events, and is owned by the local government - who has sponsored all the three events, providing the venue and assisting with some speakers' expenses.
Day 0 - Pataconf
This event was free to attend and was held in the same venue by Colombia.dev, a national organization grouping most Meetups about software development across the country.
There were talks about Security, Machine Learning, Open Source Hardware, Deep Learning, and several others. A total of 150 people attended this event - limited by available space, as the main auditory was being prepared at the same time for the big event starting the next day.
Day 1 - Workshops
The main event opened with the workshops day, a total of 16 workshops were held, with four scheduled to be held simultaneously. Local and visiting speakers shared their knowledge with over 300 attendees. There were many topics: microservices, Electron apps, Nodebots, CLI tools, mobile apps, WebGL, WebSockets, to name few.
Day 2 - Talks
The second day featured 12 talks, by three invited speakers and nine selected from more than 150 proposals received in our CFP.
The main auditorium was full to see Mariko Kosaka opening talk about how to be a compiler
Toward the end, we had an excellent Node.js community overview delivered by Tracy Hinds, who invited the audience to get involved with the Node.js Foundation. She explained the variety of different ways you can start helping the project.
Finally closing the day, we had our very own Thorsten Lorenz with a funny and extraordinary talk about performance, where he began joking in Spanish and finished explaining a very complex problem in the easiest way for mere mortals to understand.
An Authentic and Life Changing Experience
What we truly think is the most remarkable about the event is the effect it has on the people who usually do not get the chance to attend similar events events. It's an honor to be able to assist in providing a venue for those people to be able to grow and learn their craft.
Additionally, JSConf Colombia is a highly diverse conference, we had committed to maintain a good amount of diversity scholarships, even sometimes is a fully funded scholarship including travel expenses (as long as our usually tight budget allow us), and due to this, you can find beautiful heart touching stories like this one.