I’ve founded and, with the help of countless people, organized 6 editions of the NSConf Argentina. I’ve learnt many lessons and made many friends in the process, in many ways this experience changed and shaped who I am today. Some of you will probably be dissapointed to hear that there will not be a next edition and I wanted to properly explain why the NSConf Argentina has come to an end.
The idea of organizing the NSConf Argentina started to form a little over a year after having founded the NSCoder Buenos Aires. The NSCoder was growing larger and a sort of de-facto meeting point for many –if not most– of the top iOS Developers in Argentina. Apple-ish developer conferences where springing and thriving everywhere in the US and Europe. We had enough potential speakers to kick something off. All we needed was a website, a place and some food.
I knew the sort of conference I wanted to attend, so I thought I’d give it a try at organizing such conference. As with the NSCoder, I wanted to aim high, to grow slowly but steadily, to prove that there was great local potential and to inspire others to share their knowledge and also to create their own community events.
While over time I started having people helping me with some of multitude of tasks at hand, I was still running it. Julito was in charge coaching and directing the speakers, Eze brought lighting, sound and talks recording and edition to the next level, Nico handled the reception and check-in, Tincho took a sort of organisation assistant role and Lucas was a sort of crowd control something. Even with that much help, the amount of energy required to run such an event is huge.
We started recruiting speakers in October, we held regular meetings with them to track their progress, we coached and helped improving their slides. We made sure we’d weed out people interested in the attendants and not the talks by personally and manually checking on every! single! attendee! who’d sign up for the event. We handled last minute cancelations from both speakers and sponsors, we begged (and bullied) people into speaking, we rehearsed in March and held the conference in April. We choose the music for the recesses, we checked the food was alright, we woke up at 7am two Saturdays in a row. We hoped another nearly hundred people waked up at 7 on a Saturday too. We hoped we would make proper use of their time. We comforted and gently pushed some of the first-timers when they were trembling right before their turn to speak, we humbly accepted their kind words for doing so afterwards.
It was madness but it was all worth it and I’m torn to have to make this decision.
Then, why stop doing it?
We launched incredibly talented people into speaking, we set the bar high up for new community events, we’ve grown as an organization and individually in numbers and in reputation, we’ve seen more people attending and showing interest as a result. We’ve watched (and helped) as other meetups and conferences sprung and grown locally.
My main goal was to show it was possible to have a locally hosted, developer-driven and -focused, world-class conference, so others would do it too and we’ve achieved that. My main goal was never to run this myself forever. The NSConf Argentina hasn’t changed in format or spirit since its inception nearly a decade ago and I feel it’s now time to make room for new people and ideas to take over.
I’m looking forward to see what you will make with this empty room that the NSConf Argentina is leaving behind.
I hope you are at least a bit curious about what I’ll do with the available time and energy I’ll have moving forward.