How important is the community for you? I get asked this sometimes and inevitably end up reminiscing about Subvisual’s origins. At the time, there wasn’t a Subvisual, if I’m honest. No, that was still a few years down the road. There was a Group Buddies, however. A small Ruby and Rails consultancy firm. We were still taking our first steps and barely made by. This was in 2012, a year that, in retrospect, defined us. We were presented with the opportunity to support a small Ruby conference called Ruby Norte and decided to bite the bullet. Sponsorship was "only” 250€. The use of quotes is not an exaggeration since, at the time, when we stared at our bank account statement, we saw 200€ staring back at us. The remaining 50€ were put out of our own pockets. I can never give a correct answer to the question of "how important the community is,” but I can look back and proudly say it has always been a part of us.

A lot more followed. We started organizing several meetups (Braga.rb, Braga.js, Braga.Design, Braga.Product, Braga BEAM), helped others by hosting them in our office, eventually went around to organize Ruby Conf Portugal from 2014 to 2016. From 2016 to 2018, we also had Mirror Conf, a conference that aimed to become a conversation between designers and front-end developers. Doing this for years on end took its toll, of course, and we needed a break.

We have evolved from working mainly as a Ruby on Rails consultancy firm to a venture studio during the past few years, where we help create new startups. With this transition, we found Elixir to be a valuable alternative that we should invest in, and we’ve been working with it for more than four years. Many of us have been speakers at conferences, written blog posts, talked in podcasts and screencasts, etc. We still look to inspire those around us, and we can sense a real vibrancy in the booming Elixir community in Portugal. It feels like 2014 again, with the Ruby community. It’s contagious, inspiring, and it urges us to jump into action. That’s why we’re back organizing conferences. Big time.

What it is

Alchemy Conf will be a two-day Elixir conference held in the lovely city of Braga, Portugal. Braga is Portugal’s third-largest city. It’s beautiful, history-rich, with a fantastic university, filled with young potential. We have a booming tech ecosystem here, encompassing fully fledged international companies and promising startups.

The conference will take place on the 14th and 15th of May 2021. It will be a single-track conference, with a mixture of guest speakers and CFP selections. The first speaker announcements are just right around the corner, and the CFPs will open soon.

The early birds are on sale now. We are looking into student discounts, so if you are a student, send us an email to

Like the previous conferences we organized, Alchemy Conf is community-driven. This means it is a non-profit. Our focus is and always has been to inspire the community. To create an opportunity for developers and enthusiasts to get together, to share and learn, experience, and network. From the attendees to the speakers, we want everybody to feel like Alchemy Conf is a little bit of their own. This is why we want to fully commit to transparency. We will be making a transparency report containing the expenses and earnings of the conference. Should any profit come of this, it will be given back to the community: we will be splitting it amongst the speakers and charitable organizations.

The Road to Alchemy Conf

Even though we’re almost seven months away from the start of the conference, we want everyone to feel like they are a part of it. We want the road to Alchemy Conf to be a journey. And we want to bring the community closer during times of hardship, even though we can’t all be physically together yet.

We will be setting up three online workshops in the months leading up to the conference, all of them around Elixir development, to be given by leading developers in the community. Each workshop will have a cost of 50€. Taking part in all three will earn you a free ticket to the conference. We’re aiming to encourage and reward taking part in community events. That’s why the total cost of the lot, 150€, is the same as an early bird ticket - there won't be any difference in terms of total cost for the participants.

The Road to Alchemy will be filled with surprises and will culminate with a Braga BEAM meetup + welcome drinks on the 13th of May 2021. This meetup will be free to attend and open to everyone, even if you’re not taking part in the conference.


We are currently open to sponsorships. We’re working on making a prospectus with attractive options, but in the meantime feel free to reach out to


We know these are times of uncertainty and insecurity, especially when deciding how and if we should attend an event. Hopefully, things will be picking up come May. Either way, we will be working with the health authorities to make sure every precaution is taken before and during the event. Your safety is of upmost importance. The conference is for the attendees and if we cannot ensure their safety, we will contact in a timely manner and trade the ticket for a postponed event or refund it fully.

Meanwhile, follow the conference Twitter account and the website. There are a few surprises lined up, you don’t want to miss!

We’ll be waiting to see you in Braga!