The success story of business sociality in Kaunas: from youthful enthusiasm to an expert club
The best ideas can be turned into success stories by people who believe in them. This is what happened five years ago. The young people who worked together in one company in Kaunas realized what they and their colleagues lacked a community dedicated to sharing knowledge, good practice, and learning from each other. This is how the success story of KIT Club (Kaunas IT Club) – IT sector community’s meetings – began.
Giedrius Kaleckas, Chief Business Analytics Engineer at TransUnion Lithuania and one of the club’s founders and ideological leaders remembers the day the first KIT Club meeting was held – November 25, 2015.
“It all started with the idea of organizing meetings dedicated to topics that we missed in other specialized gatherings of IT enthusiasts taking place in Kaunas. At first, we thought about focusing on databases and SQL language, but after a discussion, we decided to expand the range of topics. We contacted other IT companies operating in Kaunas and offered to participate in the first KIT Club event.
Photo: Giedrius Kaleckas, Chief Business Analytics Engineer at TransUnion Lithuania.
That’s how, in 2015, in the kitchen of the Callcredit’s office at the time, the very first event of the club took place, which was attended by about thirty IT specialists,” Giedrius recalls.
The first successful meeting of the club reaffirmed the feeling that the need to create such a community was huge, which only inspired the founders to move forward confidently. Interest in the activities of the KIT Club community began to grow rapidly: the number of participants increased, more and more people who liked their work and wanted to share their knowledge became involved in organizing events, and a wider range of topics was discussed at the meetings.
Like all communities, the KIT Club has changed dramatically over time. Today’s club has already gained the necessary maturity and experience, but most importantly, it has not lost its essential purpose: the club unites the community, invites and allows people to share knowledge, provides a platform to inspire young people to take an interest in working in the IT sector and in the charm and opportunities that lie there.
First and foremost, KIT Club is an open community uniting the IT professionals, where participants, members, speakers, and listeners are and will always be welcome. Anyone interested in information technology today or just dreaming of linking their life to this field in the future can become a member of the club.
Rimantas Benetis, Director of Technology at Devbridge and one of the co-authors of the KIT Club idea, remembers that although this community was created and started by one company, it perfectly responded to the lack of sociality in the market at the time. That is why the club soon grew from the gathering of one company’s specialists into an idea uniting the entire IT community of the city.
Many organizations and professionals representing different areas of the information sector – from information technology companies, the city’s academic community, to those who dream of moving up the career ladder in the future – expressed a desire to join the club. By the way, Kaunas City Economic Development Agency Kaunas IN has joined the club a year ago, in 2019.
“We didn’t want KIT Club to become only a platform for business to advertise itself or engage in headhunting – a good presentation at a club meeting is in itself good publicity for the company. Therefore, it was decided to establish a board consisting of representatives from several companies to organize the activities of the club, and certain requirements were set for those wishing to contribute to the management of the KIT Club. Under the current rules, the chairman of the board changes after each event, and all members of the club, in one way or another, contribute to the publicity and organization of activities: offer topics for meetings, help find the most inspiring speakers for events or often become speakers themselves,” R. Benetis tells us about the organizational structure of the club.
Both old-timers and newcomers to the IT sector in the city are welcome to get involved and contribute to the activities of the KIT Club. Companies can offer speakers for events and become part of the club’s council.
Regular club meetings are not only a platform for sharing good practices but also a great opportunity to meet and get to know colleagues working in different Kaunas companies, to hear how and what they are working on at that time.
Photo: Rimantas Benetis, Director of Technology at Devbridge.
“Our main audience consists of curious IT specialists who want to learn more and give a sense to their experiences. And this is beneficial for both business and the city – people learn, grow, improve and bring that knowledge and apply it in the companies that they work at,” R. Benetis notes.
The next club meeting will take place on Thursday, October 22, and will focus on the topic of cloud computing.
“Cloud computing is one more buzzword in the modern IT world. When discussing it we will touch upon topics such as Azure, Kubernetes, scalability,” G. Kaleckas promises.
Currently, due to the pandemic, the club’s meetings have been temporarily moved to the virtual space, but this format also has indisputable advantages. Meeting in this way allowed the club to expand the number of presenters and participants. Everyone interested in cloud computing and the issues or challenges it poses as well as solutions applied by companies operating here in Kaunas are welcome to join the next club meeting.
You can follow KIT Club’s activities and join seminars on the club’s Facebook page.