Must Visit: Top IT Events This Fall/Winter 2017

We at Diatom Enterprises strongly believe that one of the best ways to learn more about innovations and changes in your industry (in our case, software development and everything related to information technology) is to attend events such as exhibitions, seminars and conferences.

In a small city like Riga, developing yourself in this manner used to be extremely difficult without travelling outside the country. However, over the last two to five years everything has changed. Now, there are many conferences in Riga that can compete with foreign events.

This is what will be discussed in this article. We would like to share with you our experience and opinion about the events that Diatom has visited and told you about the upcoming conferences in which we are planning to participate.

Below you can see the schedule of upcoming events followed by our reviews.

DevOpsDays
Sept 18 (Mon) – Sept 19 (Tue)
The DevOpsDays Riga program consists of multiple talks, ignite sessions, workshops and open space events. Learn more here.

Riga Comm
Nov 09 (Thu) – Nov 10 (Fri)
Riga Comm aims to promote the modernization of companies, organizations and state and municipality institutions, to make their work more efficient. Learn more here.

DevFest Baltics 2017
Nov 17 (Fri)
This is the first conference in the Baltics packed with topics about mobile development, Android and iOS, Mobile Crossplatform tools, UI/UX and prototyping, Internet of Things, VR and AR, bots, AI etc. Learn more here.

Digital Freedom Festival
Nov 27 (Mon) – Nov 28 (Tue)
Around a thousand participants will discuss the latest trends and discoveries in digital technologies, as well as their impact on startups and corporations, policymaking and modern lifestyles. Learn more here.

DevTernity
Dec 01 (Fri) – Dec 02 (Sat)
DevTernity does not specialize in a particular framework, technology or language because those come and go. It focuses on the fundamental building blocks and practices necessary for building better modern software systems. It is a place where forward-thinking developers, pragmatic architects and engineering leaders grow. Learn more here.

DevOpsDays: worldwide IT conference from Belgium

DevOpsDays is a world-renowned event for people who dedicate their work to the IT industry. Usually, it is a two-day event and covers topics such as software development, IT infrastructure operations and the intersection between them. Topics often include automation, testing, security and organizational culture.

Looking into the past, the first DevOpsDays was held eight years ago in Ghent, Belgium. Since then, DevOpsDays events have multiplied, and the DevOpsDays global core team has allowed initiators to host their own DevOpsDays events wherever they want. This year was special because it was the first time of this event happened in Riga. This means that, if you missed the event this year, probably, you can try to visit it next time in our city.

DevOpsDays: worldwide IT conference from Belgium

Last year, DevOpsDays events were held in 42 countries. For example, the event in London was specifically dedicated to the financial services industry. Event topics focused on legacy management, regulatory compliance and DevOps, tactical thinking and others.

In addition, last year’s Oslo event brought together leaders in software development and IT operations to collaborate and learn from each other. It was both a technical conference and a conference focusing on culture, processes and structure within organizations.

This year, visitors of Riga’s DevOpsDays event attended multiple talks, ignite sessions, workshops and open space events.

Riga Comm: traditional meet-ups for various businesses in different industries

One of the most visited Latvian conferences in Riga, visited by thousands of people each year, is, of course, Riga Comm. Held for the past five years, this annual event gathers a number of startups and large IT companies, as well as people working or interested in IT.

Some facts about Riga Comm: it is a two-day event, held at the Kipsala International Exhibition Centre in Riga, Latvia. Mainly, this event showcases opportunities for technical experts, potential customers, industry leaders, government officials and professionals to gather useful and relevant information from the IT field. In attendance are various companies from industries such as computer hardware and software, electronics and electrical goods, sporting goods, toys and games, telecom products and equipment, media and advertising, and education and training.

Last year, there were three elements of the conference: Open Stage, Business Innovation conference and Internet of Things conference.

Each year, the themes of the conference change; they are usually about topical things that have happened in the world. In 2016, the Open Stage was dedicated to useful discussions and presentations on success stories and practical tips on preparing a proposal, e-commerce and online marketing.

The 2016 Business Innovation conference hosted world-class speakers, gathering valuable content and inspiring new ideas. The conference’s speakers generally spoke about their business expertise and demonstrated a creative approach to business processes. The 2016 Internet of Things conference was aimed at an application-based vision of smart things and discussed topics ranging from smart homes to the industrial IoT. This conference was about the opportunities and benefits related to increasing personal and organizational productivity.

This fall, the exhibition will consist of four platforms, adding the Maker + Gadget Show, which is new this year. It will present various devices and gadgets, including smart and innovative objects made by Latvian companies, engineers and enthusiasts. The standard conference segments – the Open Stage (dedicated to business opportunities in Latvia) and IoT conference – will be there as usual. And last but not least is Horizon 2020, which is the European Commission’s research and innovation program. It brings together European entrepreneurs and innovative scientists to find new ideas and cooperation partners. Last year, there were 130 participants at Riga Comm Matchmaking, half of which were foreign representatives.

Diatom Enterprises took part in Riga Comm as exhibitors in 2014 and 2015. The first time we attended, our mission was to see Riga Comm from the inside and find new talent. The second time we attended, our goal was fully directed to finding people who were potentially interested in our services. In both cases, our goals were achieved. Last year, the representatives from Diatom Enterprises attended the event as visitors, not exhibitors. This turned out to be just as useful and productive because we met many new acquaintances.

Riga Comm: traditional meet-ups for various businesses in different industries

Darja Krizska-Popova, Business Development Director at Diatom Enterprises, visited all the Riga Comm exhibitions. We decided to ask her about Riga Comm and provide a brief review.
– Darja, what did you like at Riga Comm last year?

– What was the difference between Riga Comm 2016 and Riga Comm 2015/Riga Comm 2014?

  • I am personally very glad to see that every year the conference gathers even more visitors from abroad. It is a wonderful opportunity to expand your business contact network and in our case actually resulted in getting new business partners.

Which is better – participating in the conference as an exhibitor or as a visitor?

  • We have participated in the exhibition both as visitors and exhibitors. I’d say that a lot depends on the preparation and planning. After preparing hard to participate as exhibitors in 2015, we got a lot of new business contacts. Here you can read some tips about how to prepare. However, being a visitor could also be an option, especially if you simply do research before and explore who is participating this year.

– Will you go with your colleagues to Riga Comm this year? Why?

  • Sure! As an IT company, we must stay tuned in and participate in the local IT life as well!

DevFest Baltics: a clear focus on developing for the mobile sector

DevFest – the first conference of its kind, that will happen on the territory of the Baltic States. It is organized by Google Developer Groups and is dedicated to the issues related to mobile development and the Internet of Things.

The conference lasts only for a day, that is why the program is very intense. It is divided into two tracks: for beginners and for intermediates. There will be speakers from Google, SoundCloud, AREA 17, Microsoft, New York Times, Firebase, Stanfy, and others.

In addition, there is still an opportunity to participate not just as a visitor, but also as a speaker as the call for speakers is still open. That is why, if you have an interesting topic, contact the organizers and learn more about this amazing opportunity!

DevTernity: the incomparable conference that is gaining momentum

The slogan of DevTernity sounds like: “The only software development conference you can’t miss”, and we really suggest you not to miss it. This is the third year of the event, and each time it is positioned as the premium-quality international software development conference in Riga, Latvia.

The organizers of DevTernity emphasize: “our intention is not to connect the content of the event to any particular framework, technology or language; instead, we are trying to focus on the fundamental building blocks and practices necessary for building better modern software systems”. They say that the conference is a place for forward-thinking developers, pragmatic architects and engineering leaders.

DevTernity: the incomparable conference that is gaining momentum

DevTernity usually consists of two days. Day 1 is usually dedicated to talks, and Day 2 focuses on workshops. Last year, the talks featured a lot of invited speakers from countries such as England, Sweden, Austria, Israel, Ukraine, Poland, the United States and others. Mostly they talked about software development secrets, findings and software architecture skills. The workshops covered topics such as the following:
– Building secure applications with Vault;
– Building cloud-native microservices with Spring Cloud and Netflix OSS;
– Full-text search demystified and awesome logging infrastructure using the elastic stack;
– The art of visualizing software architecture;
– Architecture with agility; and
– AWS: From the ground up.

One of our senior .NET developers, Dmitry Smirnov, who attended DevTernity last year, says: “It was a very informative, well-organized event with a high level of organization, qualified speakers and program. I will definitely find time to come to DevTernity next year.”

This fall, visitors to DevTernity can expect 20 inspirational talks, 3 parallel tracks and a full day of instructor-led workshops. The prestige of this event rises every year, and the quality of the material only gets better and more inquisitive. Organizers personally invite every speaker and check the contents of the presentation material.
This year, the talks will be related to topics about personal growth and improving professional skills and knowledge by sharing practical experience from technical guests.

This year’s workshops will be dedicated to:
Agile architecture;
– Practical machine learning with functional programming;
– Resilient software design in theory and practice;
– Crafting code;
– Building event-sourcing and CQRS applications with Spring; and
– Modern infrastructure with the HashiStack.

If you are interested, you can explore the speakers’ profiles and Day 1 and Day 2 agendas on their website.

Digital Freedom Festival: the home for the digital revolution

This is only the second year of the Digital Freedom Festival. It’s not a common conference; it’s a creative multi-event meeting platform to discuss the benefits of the digital revolution in the areas of startups, policy, lifestyle and corporate. Attendees discuss discoveries and the latest trends in the world of technology. The organizers of the event call it “boutique” and an “influential signature event.” They encourage visitors to debate how technologies can truly “make the world a better place,” creating greater digital dividends for everyone.

The festival offers masterclasses, speeches, networking opportunities and discussions for everyone from investors, policymakers and engineers to students and teachers.

Last year, there were guest speakers such as Raimons Vējonis, the president of Latvia; Marvin Liao from the United States, who is a partner at 500 Startups; Stephanie Alys from England, who is the co-founder of MysteryVibe; and many others.

Digital Freedom Festival: the home for the digital revolution
This year, the Digital Freedom Festival (DFF) is supposed to host more than 100 inspirational speakers from all over the world on 6 stages, while the total number of participants is expected to be close to 1,300. The main topics of the festival will be smart cities and cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, green technologies, FinTech and digital detox. During the festival, several startup pitch competitions will take place in cooperation with the world’s number-one accelerator, 500 Startups; the international union of entrepreneurs, investors and mentors, Rockstart; and the Latvian Business Angels Network (LatBAN). In addition, DFF offers the possibility to perform your personal presentation on one of the stages; DFF will accept applications up to September 30.

This was our review of some of the upcoming events happening in Riga this autumn. Of course, there are many more IT events in Riga featuring different topics for a variety of audiences. If you visit Riga, make sure you attend at least one of these events. You will personally benefit and gain business advantages as well.

If you cannot attend any of the events, you can still follow along on our website. We will be reporting on the IT events we visit and preview the IT events in Riga coming this spring.