The First Change Conference Held

On Saturday, KING ICT opened the door to its first Change Conference dedicated exclusively to topics concerning enterprise software solution development. 330 experts from Croatia and the region gathered in Kraš's conference areas and discussed, through interesting lectures, various technological trends relevant to software solution development, but also the numerous challenges faced by modern businesses.

The Change Conference was opened by Plamenko Barišić, KING ICT's CEO: “We wanted to organize such a conference for several years. We recognize the value of all local conferences in their efforts to transfer the knowledge of specific topics, however, what makes the Change different than other conferences is its focus on topics relating to enterprise software development in the IT community and discussion of challenges we encounter on a daily basis. Over 500 people expressed their interest in participating in the conference, but we were unable to accommodate all of them. Our organizers find this a true challenge for next year – raise this event to an even higher level in terms of organization and topics”.

The conference program started with an opening speech by Nenad Bakić, a well-known investor and entrepreneur. Although his lecture was mostly about social changes, he also addressed the way technology can reduce the gap between the world and Croatia: “If we only look at the tourism opportunities and our infrastructural position, we will realize Croatia has a future and it is the technological community I see as a community able to create sudden positive growth. Although the mental gap between the world and Croatia is becoming deeper and deeper, it takes absurdly little to cross it, especially using access to information as offered by modern technology. Technology is actually in the hands of all of us. If we are able to reduce the gap in consumer technologies that have been increasingly available to us, we can also close the gap in educational technology by providing schools with technology. This happens to be the main objective of the Croatian Makers League that now includes 8000 children from across Croatia and 320 schools and other educational organizations that have been provided with 1800 robots. We aim to demonstrate to primary school students how they can design successful projects themselves and we see STEM as the essence of a modern curriculum”.

This year, the Change Conference featured some twenty lectures about microservices, , continuous delivery experiences and practices, novelties in Java 9 to be launched in March next year, SQL database adjustment and monitoring, GIS services, the Xamarin project, agile methodologies, the JET toolkit, and many other topics that brought the daily challenges faced in enterprise solution development closer to the engineering community, regardless of the technology, and announced novelties to be expected in the upcoming months.

The conference was officially closed by a panel discussion on the subject of Software and Society. The panelists Nenad Bakić, Aleksander Radovan, KING ICT’s .Net Manager, Geertjan Wielenga, Oracle’s Product Development Manager, and Ivan Brezak Brkan, Editor-in-Chief of the Netokracija portal, addressed topics concerning the major changes occurring in the software industry in the past few years.

“The changes in the word of technology are eliminating the way the media normally operate. The development of social networks will not completely eradicate the media, but new media will emerge under this pressure, more prepared for the current demand for information”, said Ivan Brezak Brkan.

An intensive discussion was also launched about the omnipresent lack of women in the IT sector both in Croatia and the rest of the world, which Geertjan Wielenga commented on as follows: “I believe the world of programming is hostile toward women, so we need to change the society to achieve a balance”. The situation at Croatian faculties was detailed by the teacher Aleksander Radovan: “As a teacher at colleges, I have noticed that the number of girls enrolling in technical studies has been decreasing, so I believe we should start with positive discrimination as soon as possible”. Radovan’s words were followed by Nenad Bakić’s comment: “Thanks to the STEM Auto project, we had an opportunity to see equal interest in STEM among boys and girls, but our educational system clearly encourages them to take up humanities. It is highly important to note who we are losing in the lowest grades and this is where we would take action”.

Learn more about the conference at the official website available through the following link: