SoftUni Conf 2014 – Borovetz

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SoftUniย is unique Bulgarian creation made by Svetlin Nakov and his friends.

Bulgaria have one of lowest taxes in European Union – we pay just 10% profit tax and 10% income tax, which makes us attractive destination for foreign investments.

Many big and small companies opened offices here like HP, SAP, vmWare, Johnson Controls, Liebher, etc., on top of them we have some very successful local companies like Telerik, Datecs, Daisy Technology and many others who employ thousands of developers, even some companies from Russia moved their SMT assembly lines in Bulgaria due to the good business conditions.

This of course made great demand for qualified developers and last several years the salaries in IT sector went to the sky ๐Ÿ™‚

The state owned Universities are not very flexible they work with obsolete programs and everything is hard to change there, so they couldn’t respond to this new demand sucessfully.

Svetlin saw business opportunity to educate young and motivated people, who want to work in the attractive IT sector and created his private education unit it was first aquired by Telerik and named Telerik academy then he separated himself in new structure named as Software University.

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How it works: for many years Svetlin and his lectors accepted about 1000-1500 young people every year, then started extensive education and lot of tests works every week, these who fail on the test go out, so out of these 1500 people about 100-150 left at the end, but these who graduate become really good with programming skills.

How much this cost them? – Almost nothing to these who want to learn, the companies were waiting for developers and paying to Svetlin for every graduated student thousands of Euros for the education.

So it was win-win for both students and SoftUni – they learn almost for free and then get well paid job, he get paid from the companies for providing qualified developers!

Another thing I like about Svetlin is that he put all lectures of SoftUni online and everyone could watch the videos and learn from distance even without going to the SoftUni lectures.

Svetlin himself is quite colorful person, it’s never boring when he is around ๐Ÿ™‚

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His lectures are quite a show, but what he really can best is to motivate people to move forward and learn.

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He know how to promote himself also, no wonder the president of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev came to SoftUni new year opening!

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His competitors from the state Universities say that he do not produce well educated students, as in his University the emphasis is just on the practical skills, they teach students to PROGRAM and nothing else.

I still do remember my years in the University – out of 5 years education first 2 years we learned anything but what we entered the University for: Mathematics, Drawing with pencils, Chemistry, Resistance of Materials (yes we had to calculate bridges, now I wonder why) and tons of knowledge which now I surely forgot and have just basic remembering about them. This is totally excluded in the Software University. They do not even learn Math there (well learn just the essential stuff like vectors etc which have application in the graphics etc.). Is this good or bad the time will say, but it’s fact that people who finish Software University can start working in Software companies immediately. While these who graduate from normal Universities lack lot of practical knowledge.

In October SoftUni had conference in Borovetz and I was invited to present OLinuXino.

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More than 300 young people were attending the conference.

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I knew that the people there have mostly interest in Software so I was surprised by the interest which OLinuXino provoked among the students there.

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A big crowd surrounded me after the lecture finish.

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All pictures from the conference are at https://plus.google.com/photos/+SoftuniBg/albums/6069388286026368673

The complete program is here.

PlovDev conference is tomorrow

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Do not forget tomorrow starts PlovDev conference!

Here is the program:

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Looking forward to see you there ๐Ÿ™‚

Embedded World 2014

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Embedded World is biggest exhibition for development boards and tools.

This year we had small booth on it, and if you do wonder why your technical support questions got no answers last week, we were on Embedded World.

Here above are George and Lub on 25/02 in the early morning ready for the crowd which cames when the Exhibition is opened for visitors.

The show was really exhausting, thousands of people passed by our booth and for our surprise most of them (>95%) already knew for Olimex or used our boards, but just came to say “hi” or chat a bit about our new boards.

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As expected the most of the interest was around the OLinuXino OSHW Linux computers:

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We also show there the early prototypes of:

  • AM3352-SOM and EVB with two Ethernets, CAN, 4 USB hosts
  • A20-SOM + EVB with Gigabit Ethernet
  • A13-SOM + WiFi shield low cost IoT solution

Our plans were to return on 27/02 and to have the Friday Free Board Quiz and the Weekend Programming Challenge, but we fall in a bit of Adventure (damn Lufthansa! and returned back in Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚ so I apologize we had to skip last week games.

FOSDEM 2014 – one great event for all who like Free/Open Source Technologies

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This year it was our second visit to FOSDEM and I think this year there were even more people than last year.
At least on FOSDEM 2013 Friday beer event at Delirium cafe we managed somehow to get to the bar and drink a beer, this year there was no way, Delirium was so loaded that we couldn’t get near on the streets in Friday evening. So we went to a pub near (fortunately there are plenty of bars in this area).

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Some people say FOSDEM 2014 had 6000 other say 8000 visitors, the WIFI statistics say that about 3000 people were connected at same time in the peak hours, great job done by the organizers as the internet was good, and there were plenty of spots where you can get quickly something to drink and eat!
You can feel the crowd mostly when you decide to leave at the evening and can’t get on few buses full of people, but at least you are surrounded by good company and can chat meantime while next bus arrives.

FOSDEM is primary Free Open Software event. As we already blogged we made this cute Arduino Tiny85 kit for FOSDEM Hackathon:

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It was cool to see how many people were attracted to try their first board soldering. We were surprised as in the first day out of about 100 kits soldered just one didn’t work, on the second day there were few more, but still less than 1% of all soldered kits were damaged, great achievment for beginners ๐Ÿ™‚

For us the best reward was to see the big smiles on the people who see their boards working ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Hackathon was noticed and featured in the popular German c’t Hardware Hacks Magazine

Olimex also got approved this year for 15 minutes Lighting Talk about OSHW andย OLinuXino

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For these who missed this event, my slides are at SlideShare ย and here you can see my video and hear my funny accent ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall the feeling from FOSDEM is that FOSS people still don’t know what Open Source Harware is and how it slowly changes the world we know like FOSS software does.

People keep confusing and think that once some project have PDF schematics this make it open source hardware ๐Ÿ™‚ you can hear this on Leon’s lecture for Tizen or Oliver lecture for Allwinner SOCs.

Also what we saw is that the people willing to solder were more than our one table with 4 soldering irons could handle ๐Ÿ™‚

We apologize to all who didn’t manage to get seat, for next event we may prepare more soldering seats so more people to give it a try.
What we saw for sure is that among FOSDEM visitors there are lot of people who love to learn new stuff and to build thing by themself!

 

EDIT: we got from G+ picture of another 8 years old Hacker who built FOSDEM-85:ย http://flic.kr/p/jSUGrY