UbuConLA 2015: The other side of things. Day 1.

by José Antonio Rey

“Welcome back, everyone, to UbuConLA 2015”.

In the past months I have been organizing UbuConLA. And today, it started. I had always seen conference organizers running around crazy, talking with people over walkie talkies, and trying to make everything perfect. It basically summed up to that today.

Yesterday (or, well, today), I stayed up until 2:30am checking on some conference stuff. Tickets, schedules, slides. I went to bed thinking on how things would develop, the registration flow we had, if my opening talk was good, and more. Woke up at 6:30 in the morning to keep on checking for logistics, and at 7:00 am, off we went.

I arrived to University of Lima at 8am. Crew and university staff were waiting for me. Yeah, I got stressed. Still, I had a big smile on my face. UDS Oakland (May 2012) was my first conference ever, and I had always wanted to have a conference in my own city. I guess this finally happened today!

Over 100 people showed up to Day 1. I started with my introductory plenary, and then we started handing off credentials. Pablo Rubianes and Elizabeth K. Joseph gave some great keynotes in LoCos and building a career on FOSS. After that, we headed to the cafeteria for lunch. And there it was. Papa a la huancaína, arroz con pollo, mazamorra morada, all waiting for us. One hour it took to be done, and head back to the conference auditorium. I hope people enjoyed their lunch!

Suddenly, a little problem arose. One of our speakers was not there. Buy Naudy Villarroel was quick enough to swap slots with Yannick Warnier! Everything ran as expected, and JuanJo Ciarlante continued with two hours of cloud talks.

After we were done with the conference, the crew earned some pizza for their hard work. Then, I went with 7 of the speakers to have dinner at La Bistecca, a restaurant that serves an all-you-can-eat buffet with all food you could imagine. We all tried different things. I, personally, tried a bit of everything, got to taste different dishes, and see how they prepared them for you, live! And now I’m back home, writing this blog post.

So, that was my day in a few lines. However, I’m missing something here. You know what’s the most amazing part of any conference? Meeting other people. I got to meet Sebastián Ferrari, a fellow Juju charm contributor for a long time, as well as JuanJo Ciarlante, who has solved some of my RT tickets, and Sergio Schvezov, who I hosted at Ubuntu on Air! a couple times. Also, I saw Lyz again, it had been almost 6 months since I last saw her! I always say it, but feel the need to say it again: I love the Ubuntu community. You’re all so amazing, and your stories are wonderful.

Working at the conference as an organizer has definitely been as expected. Yes, I did run around like crazy (ask these guys!), I did talk to people over a walkie talkie. Mission accomplished! And the best part is when you see everything finally being put together and working as or better than you expected. I am happy, tired but happy.

I’m going to check on a couple more things and go to bed. I really need some rest from today. However, I can’t wait for Day 2. If Day 1 was amazing, then Day 2 is going to be even more awesome. If you are not in Lima but still want to watch, you can find a livestream for each session on summit.ubuntu.com, and see past sessions at youtube.com/ubuntuonair. If you are around, hope to see you tomorrow, and come and say hi! As you see, I love meeting people, so if you see I’m a bit relaxed it’s always nice to meet new faces 🙂

See you in a couple hours!