OpenFest, burnout and picking locks...

OpenFest has been running since 2003.

It's the most anticipated annual gathering of fans, creators and supporters of the open source and free art in Bulgaria. This year’s OpenFest in Sofia took place, as always, on the first weekend in November and Despark’s own Senior Backend Developer Yanko Simeonov reported back on what he saw and enjoyed. 

Image of Sofia by Wengen from Pixabay

There are so many lectures, workshops and breakout discussions, it’s impossible to attend everything, but this event is an important community builder and knowledge sharing hub.

Here’s Yanko’s roundup:

I attended great presentations ranging from Open Source as a Business, Software Resiliency in the Cloud and how to deliver Best Practice Build and Deployment Pipelines

A welcome comedic interval came in the form of the entertaining and ironic ‘Job Security’ presentation on how NOT to write code. 


For me, the standout lecture of the event was from Peter Sabev on the theme of burnout. It it, we learned about the stages of burnout, how to recognise it in ourselves or in colleagues and steps we can take to avoid having to call in professional help. This is a theme that needs talking about, so it’s great that this discussion took place this year.

Burnout lecture at OpenFestIt was fascinating to hear about how more Accessible AI is progressing, and it’s encouraging to think that it’s fast becoming unnecessary to have a large stable of AI machines in order to train.

What else was new? 

  • A dedicated discussion room for breakout conversations
  • A weaving workshop for small and large participants alike to learn to operate a hand loom
  • Open Source gaming: think Open arena, Xonotic, 0 A.D, OpenRA, Dune 2000 - The Battle for Wesnoth…

An assembled TinusaurAnd finally…

  • The return of the traditional lockpicking sessions (which was absent last year, and we missed it!)
  • A hardware challenge in the form of assembling a Tinusaur all by yourself: not an easy task, whatever your age!

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Written by

Yanko Simeonov

Backend Developer at Despark