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Community in times of need: DevFest for Ukraine

Each year, Google Developer Groups (GDGs) come together for DevFest conferences around the world – not only to exchange knowledge and share experiences, but also to get inspired, celebrate the community and simply be together. It’s a cheerful gathering, focused both on technology and the people behind it.

GDGs in Ukraine organized the first DevFest in 2012. After 10 years of building a thriving community, 2022 turned out to be different for thousands of Ukrainian developers. Ever since the anti-aircraft sirens woke them up for the first time on February 24, many in the tech industry have been working non-stop for the sake of their country – helping refugees, providing medical assistance to those in need, and trying to work from bomb shelters. Luckily, they’re not alone.

Help from all sides

The developer community in Ukraine and abroad decided to use the DevFest conference to raise awareness and funds for those in need. "This time, because of the war in my country, DevFest Ukraine is happening for Ukraine," says Vitaliy Zasadnyy, co-founder of GDG Lviv. "It's a brilliant way to celebrate the future of technology, learn new things, connect with other tech experts and raise funds for a good cause."

Three people sitting at a table, speaking at a conference.

Fireside chat with Android team members in the London studio.

On July 14-15, DevFest for Ukraine gathered more than 20 industry-leading speakers over two days, featuring live streams from London and Lviv. From tech sessions and inspirational keynotes to networking and overviews of the latest developer tools, the event brought together people who shape the future of Android, Web and AI technologies.

Funds were raised for those in need by participants donating a sum of their choice to access the live stream and recordings after the event. Topics ranged from API design based on AndroidX libraries, to applied ML for Healthcare, to next-generation apps powered by machine learning with TensorFlow.js, and more. Check out the highlights video.

A woman at a laptop, sitting in a studio next to a large microphone.

Preparing the AI Stream livestream from the studio in Lviv, Ukraine.

Support the cause

All the funds raised during DevFest for Ukraine go to three NGOs that are supporting the country at this turbulent time. The goal was to provide humanitarian aid and direct assistance to affected families. The GDG Ukraine team carefully selected them to ensure efficient use of funds and transparent reporting.

And here’s the best part: DevFest for Ukraine raised over $130k for the cause so far, and counting! You can still access the recorded sessions to learn about the future of tech.

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