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  • Writer's pictureMartina Dodić

Let’sGrow! gathers IT companies, experts, students and scientist

Let`sGrow! conference keeps growing, with its second edition held on May 25 in Pula's Park Plaza Histria hotel. Among 800 participants were leading IT companies of Istria, as well as developers, technology experts, students, scientists and lecturers. This time in a new location, the conference brought together the energetic minds that participate in the global digital industry. As the founding member of ICT Istria Association, Consonna participated as exhibitor.

That information technologies are a wide field in which many people can find a satisfying job was a recurring message heard in the speeches of Ervin Jagatić (Infobip), Tanja Salopek Evertsson (Sprend), Vedran Rimanić (Intersoft), Martina Milec (CMG) and Miško Macolić Tomičić (Marketing). There was no shortage of inspiring stories about the transition to ICT from humanities, social sciences, medicine and other professions.

If you know that you are interested in IT and that’s what you want to do, you are likely in a good place, with no reason to worry, said Korado Korlević, professor, astronomer and founder of renowned summer science schools for gifted children and youth. Expectedly, his fireside chat with the investor and entrepreneur Božidar Pavlovic had the auditorium crowded.

Istrian high school students assembled a panel led by Valentin Savić-Seifert from the Rovinj High School Zvane Črnje. In 20 years from now, their generation will be heading trends and new developments in technology. How do they see high tech? Unlike the previous generations, they grew up knowing that the global tech giant Infobip, the first unicorn in this part of Europe, was born in their neighborhood. Will that fact influence their plans and aspirations? David Trstenjak and Lara Kukec (Secondary School Zvane Šrnja High School)) Frančeska Licul (Mate Blažina High School, Labin) and Daniel Lukšić (Pula Grammar School) participated.

Does entering ICT mean working behind a screen all my life? What about hobbies and rest? Is it about working seven days a week? Nicole Vukmir (Mijena), Maja Vrh (Lloyds Digital) and Marko Gabrovec (Cenosco) discussed common industry myths. Lloyds Digital founder and CEO Domagoj Ostović was moderator.

Monika Ivanović (Infobip) led the conversation of six inspiring women from Istrian IT. We heard about the balance between work and family, role models and how to get more women into this sector. Nikolina Ljubičić went from frontend development to project management at Lloyds Digital. Programmer Mirta Štefanac spent a long time traveling the world and working remotely, from Latin America, while employed at the Poreč-based Infosit. She said you can get this kind of flexibility from technology companies. Iva Horvat, a designer at the Mijena agency in Pula, studied at the Art Academy in Venice. She balances her professional path in multimedia design with being a mother and having a family.

Zorana Matić, an engineer at Cenosco, highlighted the importance of mentorship and support. Dolores Koverlica, partner and chief engineer at Infosit, spoke about culture and values ​​in companies. If they are directed towards the support and inclusion, it is more likely that the potential of all employees will shine. A graduate of political science, Ana Tolić has been at the helm of CMG for years, managing this international digital agency with a large office in Pula and major clients in the USA. She pointed out early family role models and examples of integrating a demanding managerial job with private life, for which the support of the employer is also important.

Workshops and exhibition points were hosted by notable Croatian tech companies Mindsmiths, Orqa and Smart Lumies, esports agency Good Game Global and Lektirella, a group of high school girls from Labin with a mobile application that facilitates the borrowing of books. Their idea was supported by the Croatian Ministry of Education.


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