The story behind Latvia DevOps community

We have just published a new event for the Latvia DevOps community, and this is a perfect opportunity to tell the story, of how it came to be, how the community formed, and who is behind it.

The first two DevOpsDays Riga conferences were community-organized events, but, as time went on, the DevOps community in Latvia started to dilute. From multiple organizations that took part in organizing the first conference, only a few remained – far less than needed to meet DevOpsDays standards. This is one of the reasons why DevOpsDays Riga became the DevOps Unicorns.

During the first DevOps Unicorns conference, when meeting someone in person was still a thing, there emerged a little discussion about the DevOps community in Latvia. Sadly, it was not the most popular open space that year, but it sowed an important seed. It gave new insights into what we want to achieve and how to make the DevOps community in Latvia less dependent on one particular company.

Then something unexpected happened – an almost analog disaster to extinction, which wiped as much of human contact as possible. “Zoom” stocks sky-rocketed, fuel prices plummeted, and everyone embraced working from home. Everyone started to adapt to the new normal. Thanks to Jeļena, DevOps meetups continued, but like any other conference or face-to-face meeting, they were stripped of a crucial aspect – being amongst your peers. Being able to meet long-lost co-workers or friends, and discuss ideas with people with different backgrounds was no longer possible. For many, joining a presentation at a preset time was not worth it, especially if you can watch it later. Some discussions continued in our Slack, where Mārcis is regularly sharing some useful things, even when no one is responding to that. As a community, it was close to being dead.

That is, it was dead up until Mārcis, once again, started asking everyone about meetups. And he was not alone – many of the people who previously participated in DevOpsDays Riga felt the same way. The seed began to germinate. Not a long time after, a cross-company core team of DevOps enthusiasts has been finally gathered. With a representative from Evolution GamingVisma LabsEmergn, Eleving Consumer Finance, and of course, Accenture Latvia., there finally is a potential for a proper Latvia DevOps community. And if you know that your company is not yet represented or you just want to help out, feel free to join us in Slack, #latvia-devops-community channel.

Fast forward to June 2021 – we are finally seeing a drop in new Covid cases, as more people are meeting outside and vaccinations against covid are ramping up. Many of us see this as an opportunity to meet and talk with people and to revive the community part in Latvia DevOps Community. It does not mean that it is safe, so we want to start small with an online call. With a format that might sound like a secret club, yet accessible to all, who want it. Everyone can join, everyone can listen, and everyone can speak. This format is deliberate, and we hope that it will allow us to start regaining some sort of normalcy in our lives, and the community. You are always welcome to join us.

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