Google-supported Riga Dev Days to offer glimpse into future of technologies

  • 2017-04-05

As Riga looks forward to hosting Riga Dev Days, the biggest tech conference in the Baltic States organized by three user groups in Latvia

- Java User Group Latvia, Google Developer Group Riga and Oracle User Group Lat-via- on May 15-17, 2017, the line-up of celebrity speakers are excited at the possibility to offer the attendees a glimpse into the future of cutting edge word technologies.

The Baltic Times sat down with Dmitry Buzdin, director of the event, to find out more about the buzz-creating event.

In the 21st century, one of the world’s greatest values is a dynamic and fast-moving environment. People can’t live without technologies, so entrepreneurs seize every opportunity to invent and introduce the world to new technologies.  Can you please give a brief summary of Riga Dev Days – tech conference?

Riga Dev Days are the biggest information technology conferences in the Baltic States. 60+ confirmed sessions on the schedule, 6 hands-on workshops, 5 parallel tracks for Java, Web, Mobile, Oracle, DevOps and Cloud technologies. It is a three-day event, a joint project of development communities: Google Developer Group Riga, Java User Group Latvia and Oracle User Group Latvia. The conference is a successor of Java Day Riga, which was further expanded with new topics due to a popularity of the previous events. Riga Dev Days are the only conference supported by Google in the Baltic States, which is the result of hard work over the past years.

The goal of the conference is to popularize software development best practices and latest technologies and to make a memorable event, where software engineers can meet each other, get important updates relevant to their field of working, and of course, meet fellow industry experts from around the world.

What is the target audience for this conference?
The target audience for this event is software developers, IT specialists and project managers, who are interested in learning about the latest technologies and advances from recognized international speakers and community peers. Participants can be experienced professionals as well as computer science students. We are actually distributing a number of free tickets at local universities for students who are interested in becoming IT professionals in the nearest future.

Conferences can’t exist without educated people in the field. Who is participating as speakers?
Riga Dev Days is an international event, speakers are coming not only from the Baltic States but also from other countries. In 2017, we have speakers who are based in Germany, UK, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Israel, Brazil, the US, and Japan. In total, there are 27 countries on the list. We think that the geography of this event will expand even more over time. This year, the conference will have more than 50 speakers.
Riga Dev Days cooperate with neighboring user groups and communities. At the conference, you will find developer community leaders from Kaunas Java User Group,, Google Developer Group Vilnius, Java User Group Vilnius, Java User Group Ukraine and more. Riga Dev Days are not just an IT conference with technical talks, it is an event where IT communities meet together, share their ideas, network, and plan for the future.

Why is it important to participate in Riga Dev Day 2017?
A conference is a source of increasing your professional awareness. Software development experts should be up to date with the latest tools and technologies available on the market. This is the only way to deliver quality in your daily job and improve your own productivity and value on the market.
Great events should be the source of motivation, inspiration and new knowledge. Being organizers of Riga Dev Days, we aim to provide such an experience for every delegate, speaker, and supporter. It is a valuable thing that you can get in exchange for your time. That is why we are trying to create high-quality and up-to-date content, and in 2017, it is looking very promising.

What is interesting for foreign IT companies in Riga Dev Days? And what makes Riga different from other countries?
Riga Dev Days are recognized and supported by local and foreign companies. Among the general sponsors, you will see industry giants like “Google”, “Oracle” and “Evolution Gaming”. Actually, we are the first conference in the Baltics, which is supported by Google, and we think it is a huge step forward. The conference is supported as well by “C.T.Co”, “Idea Port Riga”, “Attido”, “OpusCapita”, and “SAP”. Businesses benefit from a well-developed IT community, which is the main reason they apply for sponsorship.
During the last decade, we have seen the IT sector in Latvia, especially Riga, expand rapidly and continue its growth. Actually, all Baltic countries are attractive for international investors. However, Latvia has one big advantage. We are in the very middle. That is why there are more possibilities to hire specialists not only from Latvia but from our neighbors as well. We do have really strong IT specialists.

There is a huge demand for professionals in the global IT market. The more efficient a software developer is, the more expensive he or she becomes. Latvian professionals are highly competitive and skilled, however, if we compare with other large cities - hiring a professional in Riga is easier and less expensive, because of lower competition among IT companies. This is the reason why foreign companies decide to open their branches in Riga. If we are looking to the IT market, we also can see that in Baltic countries big companies can get higher quality results for less expense. One of the reasons is that Latvia is not an expensive country compared to other European capitals, and office infrastructure costs are low as well. IT infrastructure is well-developed, high-speed Internet connection is a norm. And everything is close in Riga, which means time-saving.

One of the world’s most in-demand professions is IT specialists. But does Latvia prepare well-educated and competent professionals in the IT sphere?
Yes, definitely! IT industry history in Latvia is quite short, however, it is well-developed in Riga. Companies invest their money in education; host internal training and schools to raise and recruit young professionals. We have strong IT communities which organize monthly events. We have good universities and professional courses, where everyone can start their own way in the IT industry. Latvia is well represented at the International Olympiad in Informatics, with gold medals in 2016 and 2015. Businesses understand their demand for strong IT specialists, and one of their strategies is to grow the specialists for themselves.
Riga Dev Days in numbers:
- In 2015 - 300+ visitors
- In 2016 - 500+ visitors
- In 2017 - 600+ is the number of visitors we expect
- In 2015 - 28 speakers
- In 2016 - 50 speakers
- In 2017 - 54 international speakers will present at the conference


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