How SHIFT Developer Conference in Split Grew into One of the Largest Regional IT Events

Daniela Rogulj

The SHIFT conference will be held in Split on May 31 and June 1, 2018. 

When the conference started seven years ago, the SHIFT organizers never believed that they would be responsible for the largest regional gathering of developers in the region, that would ultimately place Split on the European IT map.

“The idea for the first SHIFT conference came spontaneously. Namely, conferences such as SHIFT are not uncommon abroad, and we visited them regularly and realized that something is lacking in Croatia,” said Ivan Burazin, the founder of the Croatian conference which gathered 1,200 participants from all over the world last year in Split, reports on May 25, 2018. 

The SHIFT Conference was initially conceived as a startup conference combined with an information technology theme, and over time, it focused primarily on developers. The market has shown a greater need and interest for developers, forcing the organizers to adapt to market demands and redesign the concept of the meeting entirely. For this reason, the conference changed its name from Startup Live Split to the SHIFT conference. 

“After the first three releases, which were more focused on startup issues, we decided to move into a new direction and focus on creating a regional network geared towards developers,” added Burazin. The SHIFT conference today tackles various topics in the area of product design, software development, and digital product management, and is best suited to digital product designers and developers.

The number of visitors attending the conference has steadily increased over the years, and while the first conference saw 250 participants, the second saw 500, the third 900, and all conferences following more than 1,000 participants.

This year, over the two conference days which take place on May 31 and June 1, more than 1,300 participants are expected to attend, including leading speakers and panelists, many journalists, workshop leaders, and students, all of whom will have an opportunity to participate in over a dozen targeted workshops, panel discussions, and roundtables to work on the most essential developer trends and present exciting technology solutions.

“There are more and more reasons to come to the SHIFT conference every year,” said Ivan Burazin. “Every year, we try to be innovative and original. I would particularly like to highlight the workshops where participants will be able to acquire practical knowledge.”

For seven consecutive years, speakers from leading IT companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon come together in the Dalmatian capital to present the latest on the fast-paced market and give examples of applying the technology solutions in local frameworks. Over the years, the Split conference has hosted an impressive number of outstanding speakers, and this year, some of the world’s largest experts from Netflix, GitHub, RedHat, Mozilla, Shopify, Google, and Microsoft have confirmed their arrival.

The specialty of the SHIFT conference, as compared to other similar meetings, is also that participants have the opportunity to talk to the speakers and potential partners in informal and relaxed settings. 

“Apart from the fact that the conference is an ideal opportunity to reach young talents and deliver solutions to targeted business partners which increases every year, the established contacts at SHIFT open many doors and the ability to network is reason enough for the great interest of visitors,” said Ivan Burazin.

As expected, the conference also has a bit of fun – and afterparties. 

“We try to make the visitors relax and have fun, apart from the educative nature of the conference. It is also a great opportunity to form new contacts and gain valuable acquaintances. Of course, we also devote a great effort to this segment, which can be confirmed by the many of those who enjoyed our parties in the previous years,” Burazin added.

“The biggest challenge for us is to remain interesting and relevant. Concerning interests and applications, I think we have succeeded in doing so,” concludes Burazin. 

The organizers are pleased to announce that there are still very few tickets available, and anyone interesting in attending the conference at the end of this month should hurry to secure their place! 


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