Competences developed in Kaunas are spreading to Europe


When the Dutch IT company Centric came to Kaunas almost two years ago, one of its main strategic goals was to build a Lithuanian talent team that would become a significant center of excellence for this international giant in DevOps and Cloud Solutions. With nearly thirty professionals today, DevOps and Cloud Solutions department at Centric IT Solutions Lithuania is taking the lead in cultivating the maturity of DevOps culture across the organization by taking the first steps in an international conference organized in the Netherlands.

"Let's remember what DevOps stands for: it is culture and processes that help unite the developers (Dev) and platform operators (Ops). So basically, DevOps emphasizes team communication at all levels," Tomas Stankevičius says. He is one of the first DevOps specialists at the Kaunas-based Centric unit, already known by his colleagues as the ambassador of DevOps culture. So, it's no wonder that the first step to smooth communication, not just between departments, but also between the big company's international units, was to become a DevOps specialists' gathering at a unifying event. This is how the conference idea was born - organized by Lithuanians it received great support from colleagues in the Netherlands, therefore the location at the company headquarters in the Dutch city of Gouda was not chosen at random.

"The main goal of our conference is to develop the DevOps culture across the organization. We will share knowledge, experience and much more. Centric is a large company with a number of DevOps teams in different countries that do not know each other well enough, which in itself goes against the DevOps philosophy. That's why we decided to bring all our colleagues together and talk about who is doing what, to present our strengths and projects, tell each other about the processes involved, and discuss how to standardize them," Mantas Lukoševičius, Group Leader, says.

Although the conference is internal, it is not private, so up to 100 participants, including 16 from Kaunas - four of them will be presenting and conducting workshops - are expected to attend. As it is common in DevOps conferences, there will be a time for the so-called open space where attendees share the most sensitive and interesting topics of their work and, after spreading out to different spaces, discuss, learn and share experiences.

"Who needs such knowledge sharing? I will explain it with a simple comparison: one person can't read the entire Internet, but a large crowd can read a great deal and share with each other the findings. And that is what the DevOps culture emphasizes - knowledge sharing is a necessary part of our progress, not only within the company but also among other companies, in the market," Mantas concludes.

The content of the conference is versatile: from the introduction of specific tools, implementation of successful DevOps practices, to IT security issues.

"Here in Kaunas, we work a lot with such IT tools like Terraform and Ansible. We know them quite well and use them to build infrastructure. So, a few presentations will focus on these tools: what they can do, their perks and benefits, and why they are superior to other tools. During the workshop sessions, our best specialists will introduce these tools to our colleagues and then we will all build and configure new test infrastructures," Tomas says.

Attention will also be paid to the currently very important topic of security. Constantly emphasizing the speed and fluidity of product development, the security aspect is often unduly neglected, therefore, one of the Dutch team leaders, responsible for infrastructure security, has been invited to speak on this subject.

According to Mantas, even though this is the first event of this kind, people are already thinking about its continuity, "We hope that this conference will become the first step and a kind of backbone that will allow us to move forward in the future by involving other business units and integrating more topics that are important to the success of the organization."

Centric DevOps Conference will be held at the company's headquarters in Gouda, The Netherlands on February 24-26.