RubyConf Argentina 2012 was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at a theater in the Paseo La Plaza area. This area is in the center of Buenos Aires near the obelisk landmark. Attendees came from Buenos Aires, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, the United States and Europe. All the conference talks were posted on Vimeo.
This was my first experience in South America and I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and give a talk.
Speaker Day Asado and Talks
The day before the conference, the organizers held an asado outside of the city center. An asado is kind of like a BBQ in the United States, where tons of meats are grilled, people are chatting, eating and drinking. It was a great event to meet the other speakers and organizers.
My talk was scheduled in the second slot on the first day. By the time I was giving the talk, I had practiced a lot, but I was still nervous because I’d never done any public speaking on an actual stage before, and I was planning an introduction in Spanish. The Bmore on Rails group was nice enough to listen to a (rough) first version of the talk. The talk went ok and several people came up to me afterwards for more information, which was nice.
That evening, GitHub sponsored a drinkup at Temple Bar, a short walk from the venue. The second day of the conference had sessions given in Spanish and English. There was another social event at Paseo La Plaza following the second day, which was a more relaxed outdoor place to socialize.
Food, Drink, Sightseeing
I was surprised to see a lot of pizza shops in Buenos Aires! I was able to join a group for some local pizza and it was great. I was also able to try the drink fernet and of course some Alfajores cookies filled with Dulce de Leche.
Sunday I did some sightseeing, checking out the San Telmo flea market, and the Retiro and Recoleta neighborhoods.
Giving a conference talk was a challenging experience. However being able to travel internationally, meet some new people, and share some of my experience made it worth doing.