DEVit 2016 is over!

Oh what a blast DEVit 2016 was! No matter how exhausted we were we could not stop the rush of endorphins that flooded our bodies for days after. You see, we, and by ‘we’ I’m referring to everyone that was at DEVit, managed to make a difference, we participated in making history for our community, for our country. We have successfully positioned Greece in the global landscape of international conferences, helped make DEVit a sustainable yearly conference and had such an amazing time!

We know we messed a few things up, I’ll get to them one by one in a bit, but what prevailed in the end was our amazing attitude, passion and determination to have a good time. Your amazing vibes gave us all the motivation we needed to continue with DEVit, scale it up and bring you an even more amazing experience.

Your feedback

As I said before we did mess a few things up… At registration we definitely dropped the ball, at our retrospective meeting we dived deep into all the various reasons why this happened, they were a lot and we had to deal with multiple failures even on some of our contingency plans. Be rest assured that we didn’t take this lightly, we have already devised a new game plan and will work hard towards making the registration process as fast and seamless as possible.

We also know that most of you didn’t get too excited with the talks we had… We hear you loud and clear and we’ll make sure to have an even more strict vetting process for next year’s speakers. We will leverage our, now even bigger, network of communities throughout Greece, speakers from the two previous DEVits and pick up every stone we can turn so we can book and verify the best and most challenging speakers for DEVit 2017.

Other than those 2 major fails we have made over 50 bullet points on things that we should be improving, tweaking and fixing. You see, DEVit is a community organized event and everything that you see about DEVit comes out of our free time. However this community is not comprised by hobbyists, we are professionals with decades of experience in project management, web development, design, marketing and all the arts, crafts and sciences that can make this work. Combine that with our excess amounts of OCD and perfectionism and you can be rest assured that you are up for a big treat for 2017.

The good parts

Enough with the ugly, let’s dive into the good parts! First of all, we got bigger, this year we had more attendees, in total 420 people were at the conference compared to 350 for DEVit 2015! We managed to get top notch sponsors as well that honored us with their support and made such a demanding conference possible. Effectively bringing awareness to the fact that there is a tech community out there, active, strong, united.

The networking was immense as well, having the most educated, passionate and curious developers in one place in big quantities gives ground for new friendships, partnerships and deals. Our speakers were extremely satisfied with the organization and will actively help us spread the word for DEVit and connecting us with even more world class speakers.

You got really excited with our workshops, we tried them as an experiment but didn’t expect the kind of participation and interest you would show! This gave us a lot of ideas for what to prepare for you next year, but more on that in a little bit…

Finally, I’d like to close by thanking all the volunteers that made this year’s DEVit a reality, the amazing SHESHARP team was integral to making things happen to the point were they are now co-organizers of the event! The awesome folks from SKGTech and everyone else that helped us this year, credits page coming soon, promise!

Looking ahead, 2017 here we come!

One of the problems of DEVit 2016 was that we started planning too late, we practically got started mid January 2016, barely 4 months before the event. That amount of time was ridiculously small considering everything that happens for DEVit happens at our free time… That will no longer be the case…

We have decided on the dates of DEVit for the next three years and have started planning for all of them from now, right the next day when DEVit 2016 finished.

DEVit 2015 was an experiment, we didn’t have any historical data, there was no other technological event of that scale organized anywhere in Greece, we had never organized such a big scale event before… We came through…

DEVit 2016 was verification. We made sure that the numbers observed in 2015 were not a fluk and we could reliably verify them, attendees, sponsors, ticket price, venue, catering, all the major and minor parts that comprise a conference of that scale.

DEVit 2017 will be all about scaling! Oh boy what do we have in store for you…

Two day conference

Oh yes, we’re becoming a two day conference, holding the main event with 2 tracks on Saturday 20th of May and a full day of workshops on Sunday the 21st. We were amazed by your interest in workshops, challenging workshops, and how much you valued them. So we’re dedicating a full day for workshops in a multi-stage environment, hosting everything from full-day workshops down to 3, 2, or 1 hour sessions; whatever and as much time the presenter will need to convey their experience to you.

A two day conference will require a conference dedicated hotel as well, so we have already started making the arrangements to fully book a hotel for the days of the conference so all of you coming from out of town can stay along with your peers and speakers where the DEVit’s heart will beat.

The DEVit Week

DEVit has grown big, it’s so big it needs it’s own whole week of events, festivities and rock’n’roll! DEVit 2017 will start from the previous week with unique events organized by local communities, accompanied by our international speakers who will stay with us all week so they can imprint and share their experiences in the more intimate environment of small local meetups.

We will also make sure there are enough parties, drinks and fun so you can all claim that you lived through the DEVit experience and “proudly survived”! It won’t be easy, beware!

Opening up

Open source is strong within us, as such, that’s how we want DEVit to be. We want to share our knowledge, experience, know-how and most importantly numbers so you can pick it up and create an international conference of your own! It definitely won’t be easy but if you know the average cost of an attendee or how much catering will cost you, we’re confident you’ll be one step ahead.

So in the following weeks and months, we’ll be releasing all our financial numbers, profit (thankfully we didn’t lose any money) and how we plan on using it for next year’s DEVit conferences… So aspired community leaders and conference organizers stay tuned as we’ll open up everything…

New administration

One of the shocks we had to endure for DEVit 2016 was the fact that one of the two co-organizers of the conference could no longer participate and help, thus leaving me (Hi! I’m Thanasis by the way!) as the sole organizer for DEVit 2016. That’s no job for one man, especially when you do it on your free time. So things had to change moving forward…

I’m proud and excited to announce the two organizers for DEVit 2017 and onwards:

Amalia Vrady is a core member of SHESHARP, a local community group organizing tech events and promoting the participation of women in the tech world. She is a student at the University of Macedonia at Applied Informatics and is at her last year before graduation. Amalia will run all operations of the conference making sure everything ticks at the right moment and everyone has what they need to do their jobs.

Konstantinos Margaritis is a core member of SKGTech and co-organizer of our local Node.js group. He is the head of engineering at goodvidio taming AWS instances, automation and microservices. Kostas will lead the Speakers committee and be the head of Spirit and awesomeness departments, to ensure we-keep-it-real boom!

The teams behind the people are SKGTech and SHESHARP who have wholeheartedly made DEVit a reality with all their hands on! One of the things we’re proud of is exactly that, how many people, from different walks of life, with so diverse experiences and agendas, have all come together, united, to achieve a single goal, educate, empower and unite the Greek tech community.

How you can help

Like we said, DEVit is a community organized event, you, me, everyone is the community! We do not have any entry procedures, the only thing you have to do is raise your hand and say “I want to help”. You can then pick your working group based on your experience, passion or were you’d want to be trained on, operations, web design & development, corporate, sponsors, speakers, administration… We are looking for any kind of experience, from students up to established professionals to take the lead (hello marketing!). DEVit has so many departments that you’ll definitely find a fit.

So don’t think this twice, hop in our slack channel, shoot us an email or just wave at us on twitter and let’s make history together.

Written on May 30, 2016, by Thanasis