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HackConf, Sofia 2019, Recap and DevriX Roundup

HackConf, Sofia 2019, Recap and DevriX Roundup

As a prominent WordPress development company, DevriX actively supports and cares about local geek-related events. Every year, our team attends various events where they not only learn about new trends and improve their own skills, but they also share their experiences and ideas.

From October 11th to the 13th, 2019, part of our team attended the 5th edition of Sofia HackConf. It is an annual event put on by one of the largest software and design companies in Bulgaria, HackSoft.  But do not be misled by the name – hacking could be a good thing. Think of tech-savvy enthusiasts and highly experienced engineers tackling code challenges. HackConf stands for effectiveness and thinking outside the box. As the organization team states, the conference is designed “by developers, for developers”. 

The idea of HackConf started more than five years ago. The HackSoft team decided it wanted to bring more value to the developers and tech community in Bulgaria and the Balkans and so they created a yearly event where people of different tech experience and developing levels could meet up and exchange ideas. 

The main goal of the 5th HackConf is to look at and share real-world problems, solutions and important insights in the software development industry. 

Even though the conference is focused on development and software, it is not a developer-only event. Part of DevriX’s project management team also attended the conference where they were able to improve on their leadership, stress management and time/management skills.

We got lucky with the weather, so we had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful views on top of the National Palace of Culture where the event was held.

view on top of the National Palace of Culture

The first day of HackConf, we got lucky with the weather and had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful views from the top of the National Palace of Culture where the event was held.

In this article, we will cover the HackConf presentations and do a quick round-up with our teammates who attended the conference and shared their experience.

Talks & Speakers

Euan Finlay

Euan Finlay’s talk was about building effective teams when you are in different locations. He shared his advice on how to work with different people across different time zones – in his case from New York to Manila.

As DevriX team is distributed in five countries, for us it was extremely useful to hear from other companies who also work remotely.

Anthony Dang

Anthony is the Technical Director at Radley Yeldar, London. He talked about different caching methodologies and architectures such as Donut cache and Memory cache, and compared them.

Our team learned a lot from his demos especially when he shared some useful real world implementations.

Anthony Dang is active on Twitter. So if you didn’t have the chance to attend the conference you can check out his tweets to see how awesome the conference was.

Ayelet Sachto

Ayelet has 15 years of experience in solving problems that arise in different companies. She has worked with small enterprises and startups. She inspired the audience with her talk on how architecting a solution can be as natural as driving a car.

If you missed her talks, here is a small preview of what she shared before the event. Her catchy motto is “If you can drive a car you can architect the solution to your system”.


Radoslav Stankov

Radoslav is a web developer with more than 15 years of experience. He is currently the head of engineering at Product Hunt. 

His talk was specially designed for developers where he shared various tips on productivity and what to do when a problem has us stumped.

Radoslav taught us how to divide up and define our tasks better so we can be more productive.

DevriX Crew Experience

Eight DevriXians attended this year’s HackConf. They learned tips on how to increase their productivity, tips on working remotely, how to improve their time-management and more. 

Here is what our colleagues have to say about their experience at HackConf, based on the following three questions:

  1. What did the event teach you?

  2. What did you like the most?

Bojidar Valchovski, Back-End Developer

  1. I learned a lot, but the most memorable tips were about leadership, team management, how to work towards boosting other team members levels and balancing life and work.
  2. What I liked the most were, honestly, the workshops I attended. Props to the folks responsible for coming up with such enlightening workshop ideas. Of course, the speakers did a very solid job as well.

Elina Victorova, Project Manager

  1. HackConf taught me tips & tricks useful for excelling in the IT world.
  2. I liked the spirit, the atmosphere, the discipline of the organizing committee. 🙂
DevriXian Elina Victorova at HackConf 2019

Source: HackConf Facebook page

Emil Docev, Back-End Developer

  1. I learned a bunch of important soft skills – like how to improve productivity and my communication skills. I also attended some very interesting talks about Internet of Things (IoT)!
  2. The whole experience was awesome! The lecturers, the sponsors booths and the games they had. I also managed to collect some very cool gadgets at the event.

Konstantin Dankov, Application Development Manager

  1. I learned about the future of blockchain as a technology.
  2. I liked Lucas Fernandes da Costa’s lecture “A Thousand Words: How I’m still not using GUIs in 2019”. I used to be active in the scene, talking at conferences and meeting people. I enjoyed the event because it was my first conference in a while and I spend most of it talking to people.

group photo at HackConf 2019

Martin Mitrev, QA

  1. The main things that I learned from the conf (that would actually benefit my work) – Are how to improve my productivity and how to debug people (which is geared more towards mental health). From the workshops, I saw what it takes to be a freelancer plus a couple of new things for Git.
  2. The fact that there was something for everyone – workshops, talks, activities.

Stanko Metodiev, WordPress Engineer and Technical Manager

  1. I saw a few new approaches related to working with remote teams and improving on personal planning and organization.
  2. The location and its amazing balcony – we got really lucky with the nice weather. I also enjoyed  the event in general, all the sessions I attended were very interesting, and I loved meeting new and old friends. 🙂

Vasil Dimchev, Project Manager

  1. The conference was really interesting and useful for me. I have learned:
    • how to improve my productivity
    • understand a few guidelines on how to lead people
    • how to speak and understand people better
    • how to plan better
    • how the minds of IT people work
    • how to automate some processes
  2. The fact that it was not just for developers and it was in an understandable language. The workshops were really interesting as well.

Vasilen Aleksandrov, Back-End Developer

  1. Mostly that progressive web apps exist and that my nerd-iness about using text based interfaces instead of graphical ones is shared. The first one is going to come in really handy in some part of my work. I also got to know my way around the OpenAI gym environment.
  2. The inspiration I got from all the talks I attended. Even though I’ve been a professional developer only for a short time I feel inspired seeing solutions to my day-to-day struggles and new ways to tackle new ones.

HackConf in One Word

Here is how our teammates described their HackConf experience in one word:

HackConf in one word

We had a great time and will definitely consider its next edition. Stay tuned for the next event we are headed to – WordCamp Sofia 2019.