Date Published: 16 October 2008
I spent most of the last week speaking at DevReach in Sofia, Bulgaria. This was DevReach’s third year, but was my first time speaking there, as well as my first time visiting Bulgaria. The conference is sponsored primarily by Telerik and Martin Kulov of Kulov.net. The organizers did a great job, I thought, and the sold out conference went very well by all accounts, with I think a little over 450 in attendance.
I was originally scheduled to give two presentations but due to one speaker not being able to make it, I ended up giving three. The first two were Pragmatic ASP.NET Tips, Tricks, and Tools (Parts 1 and 2) and the last one was ASP.NET Performance and Scalability. You can download the presentations and demos for all of these here:
My wife Michelle joined me for this trip and we both had a very enjoyable time. We got to go to several different restaurants, to visit downtown Sofia and see several churches and a museum of archaeology, as well as a monastery and a winery in southern Bulgaria.
We found that most of the younger people in Bulgaria speak very good English, which is good since our Bulgarian consisted of yes, no, thank you and a handful of other phrases. Bulgarian is similar to Russian, which I know slightly better than I know Bulgarian, and like Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet. We’ve been to Russia and found Sofia to be similar in many ways, but more western and perhaps a bit more modernized, and with less of a disparity between the haves and have-nots, it seemed.
I’m looking forward to returning to Bulgaria next year for DevReach 2009. I hope those who attended the show this year found it to be useful and enjoyable and I look forward to seeing some of you again next year.
Oh, and one more thing. We flew via Alitalia through Rome on the way to Sofia and via Lufthansa through Munich on the way back to Ohio. I was very disappointed by Rome’s airport. The restrooms were nasty, and getting on and off planes required buses out in the middle of the tarmac as opposed to jet-bridges attached to the concourse. The Alitalia planes and crews were ok but not exceptional, and I had difficulty getting comfortable enough to sleep on the flights (in coach). The Lufthansa flights were very comfortable even in coach, the staff was very pleasant, Munich’s airport was clean and bright and very enjoyable. The meals included cocktails, wine, beer, etc at no additional charge (Alitalia served wine with dinner, too) throughout the flight. Long story short – I intend to fly through Germany rather than Rome in the future if given the choice.
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.