Created for people who actually Build Stuff
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
“Build Stuff” is a Software Development Conference created for developers, academics, team leaders, software architects and technical project managers.
BUILD STUFF HISTORY
Software development is a worldwide industry, so it’s not surprising that there are many developer conferences around the world that are worth participating in and attending. However, in November 2012, when the conference was first held, there were no such dedicated conferences for developers in the Baltic States, let alone Lithuania. Now, Build Stuff has become the largest developer event in the region.
Following the success of Build Stuff in Lithuania, Build Stuff has branched out. The first edition of the Build Stuff Ukraine conference was launched three years ago—a great success, with over 450 attendees that first year following up too 700 attendees other years.
In 2017 there was Build Stuff Spain conference launched. Build Stuff Spain is a cozy, family-friendly, open-air and beach-side event with a limited number of seats.
Build Stuff was featured as one of only three European software conferences “to attend” in the 2016 Forrester’s Report. “Conferences Outside The United States [that] Add International Context,” the report said, “Build Stuff draws in developers with all types of creative projects. Developers gather in Lithuania and Ukraine to learn from each other’s trials and tribulations while ‘making’ adventurous projects and learning how they can make the projects themselves. Build Stuff is an independent conference and attracts experienced freelancers and independent contractors interested in learning new approaches and strategies to software development. Sessions featured more than 17 different programming languages last year, including one presentation led by an 8-year-old developer on building video games with F#.”
GROWING GLOBAL COMMUNITY
We however prefer to judge ourselves based upon the accolades that have come from our community. From the first one-day meetup’s with 250 attendees planned seven weeks in advance to our latest five-day event, which welcomed 1400, the conference continues to grow every year. The continued yearly growth of the conference has depended on attendees and participants spreading the word. Our popularity and community footprint have been built solely through social networks and word of mouth. More than 50% of Build Stuff attendees are not from Lithuania. With great software engineers coming to us from all over the world (as far as Brazil, Australia, and South Africa) it is a unique opportunity for everyone to network and broaden their audience, as well as an occasion for foreigners to discover the beauty and opportunity found in Lithuania
The conference’s overall goal is to add to, bolster the technical diversity of, and support the developer community here in Lithuania, where there was nothing like it previously. While developers are in an industry where continuous learning is required, no one can possibly learn it all. Events such as Build Stuff and user groups afford developers the opportunity to listen to sessions, discuss trends, try new things, and, most importantly, share personal experiences with a wide range of technologies with other developers.
CONFERENCE VALUE FOR THE REGION
The conference has had a significant though immeasurable economic impact on the IT field in Lithuania. As the conference’s success and international visibility has grown, the impact on local community innovators has grown with it. Previous year we had speakers including James Turnbull (CTO of Kickstarter), Tom Croucher (Lead of operations for Uber). Build Stuff has also had the privilege of featuring numerous other famous speakers from the United States, Melvin Edward Conway - A computer scientist, computer programmer, hacker, and the originator of what is now known as Conway’s Law.
We also know numerous anecdotal stories of attendees coming to Lithuania and after seeing the quality of engineers here opening an office.
We believe that we truely run an innovative event, to come into a European market saturated with other events and draw attendees from Western Europe to Lithuania is not an easy task. However it is the innovation, creativity, and togetherness that we foster that is our largest asset.
All of this has also been done at a third the cost of a comparable event ticket in the US or Western Europe, yet the conference has sustained itself. Build Stuff has even donated some of its proceeds to local charities and user groups, totaling €93,000 in donations to date and tries to break-even.
SUPPORTING DIVERSITY IN TECH
Build Stuff conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of their gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnically, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. The code of conduct is our core value and clarifies an organization’s principles.
Build Stuff conference and its organizers feel inspired by the diverse audience. Diversity on our stage is a key priority for us, and something we think hard about when we're selecting speakers — and we're working to increase diversity in our audience as well.
However, diversity and inclusion aren’t just about speakers or organizers. Even if we attract more and more diverse audience every year, there should be more actions done to speed up the process.
Build Stuff conference is open and welcoming to everyone. As improving the diversity should be one of the core values within the tech industry, we’ve decided to drive diversity and inclusion in Build Stuff conference, too.
With this in mind, in 2018 we gave away 100 tickets to people from underrepresented groups in the technology and/or open source communities who may not have the opportunity to attend Build Stuff for various reasons.
These groups include, but are not limited to, women, people of color, individuals with a disability, minority ethnic people, LGBTQIA people, and others.