On September 19-20, 2021 MRPL IT Weekend event took place in Mariupol. It was the first large-scale IT event in the city since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought together IT specialists, companies and educational institutions from Mariupol region as well as other regions of Ukraine. MRPL IT Weekend was a 2-day event in Mariupol on the Azov seaside. IT specialists of product and service companies got together to discuss the industry key trends, share professional experience of individual companies and personalities, discuss stereotypes and perspectives of the IT East.

300 participants were present at the event, and the same number joined online. 14 discussions and motivational speeches took place on stage. Active networking and interaction at the expo areas of companies and IT academies was offstage. But the main aim was to have a discussion about future trends and find new tools for the development of the technological sector of the East. The content of the conference was divided into three main parts: innovations, technologies, IT products and investment. These three points are crucial for the sustainable development of the tech region.

The first insight is that borders do not matter any more for the IT market. If you are a true professional, you can work anywhere and sell your services to anyone the way you like. Relocation is losing sense, as even large corporations have gained experience of remote work during the pandemic, and they liked it.

The second insight is that the east of Ukraine shows sustainable development, but the stereotype of a complicated industrial region with an unpredictable border situation is too persistent. For example, one of the participants has company branches in a number of cities in Ukraine, and business communication with potential partners is more active when it comes to Mykolaiv rather than Mariupol.

The third insight is that the pandemic has resulted in increased demand for digital products. People take bigger care of their safety and choose online services, which is a great opportunity for IT companies scaling. At the same time, this process led to theincreased demand for a larger number of IT specialists, and the process of searching for new personnel is already in progress.