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Keynote Speakers

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Birger Thorburn

Birger Thorburn leads the technology strategy and global development team for Experian Decision Analytics, which helps organisations unlock the power of data to make smarter decisions. Using Experian’s advanced software clients can analyse data and turn it into meaningful information they can act on. Decision Analytics’ solutions enable organisations in more than 50 countries to lend effectively, manage debt collection and fight fraud while delivering the customer experience that people expect.

 

In his role as chief technology officer Birger has overseen many new product initiatives and is driving change in the development organisation. Before joining Experian he held senior technology leadership roles at Cable and Wireless Communications and at Kenan Billing Group, where he worked on some of the world’s largest telecommunications transaction systems.

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Kevin Richardson

Kevin Richardson has been working in the area of user experience for almost 25 years. With an advanced degree in Cognitive Psychology, he has experience across business verticals and in the fields of research, evaluation, design and management of innovative, user-centered solutions. Kevin’s experience includes web sites, portals and dashboards, as well as enterprise software and custom business applications for medical, pharmaceutical, communications, entertainment, energy, transportation and government users.

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Laurent Bugnion

Laurent works as Senior Global Azure Advocate for Microsoft after almost 10 years spent working for IdentityMine and Valorem, two leading firms in Microsoft technologies. He is one of the foremost experts for XAML and C# based development. He codes in Windows, WPF, Xamarin (iOS and Android), Unity, ASP.NET. On his free time, Laurent writes for technical publications such as MSDN Magazine, and his blog is on blog.galasoft.ch. He is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Microsoft MIX, Build, TechEd, VSLive, TechDays and many other international events. Prior to joining Microsoft, Laurent was a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Windows development from 2007 to 2017, a Microsoft Regional Director from 2013 and a Xamarin Most Valuable Professional from 2015. He is also the author of the well-known open source framework MVVM Light for Windows, WPF, Xamarin, and of the popular Pluralsight reference course about MVVM Light.

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Steve Odart

Steve is coming to the end of a 34 year career in software quality as he plans to retire next year. In those 34 years he has worked for large companies and small. He started off in the telecommunications world working for Marconi Communications and Lucent Technologies where he started software testing and specialized in the testing of non-functional requirements of telephone exchanges – a hugely complex and rewarding task. After 19 years in telecommunications he started his own business providing IT Support to small and medium sized businesses. Steve says “If you want to be a great manager, run your own business! It’s the harshest classroom in the world”.

 

After this Steve moved to General Dynamics and ran test teams doing large scale integration of the British Army’s Bowman communications systems. You know you’re having fun testing when there’s a tank parked in the car park! From there Steve moved to education and worked for the University of Phoenix and then onto Axway.

 

Steve has lead test, integration, software and quality teams for over 20 years and the only thing he’s learned is that there’s always more to learn.

 

Steve is married with three cats. In the summer, he spends his spare time restoring houses and in the winter building sports cars (www.midlana.com).

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Svetozar Georgiev

Svetozar Georgiev is Co-Founder of Telerik Academy – a leading education organization that trains and grooms the digital builders of tomorrow. In this role, Svetozar is responsible for driving Telerik Academy’s strategy across all streams and establishing it as a partner to all companies. Today, he is also an active mentor to young entrepreneurs and an angel investor in promising Bulgarian startups.

Before taking over leadership of Telerik Academy, together with his other three co-founders Boyko Iaramov, Vassil Terziev and Hristo Kosev founded in 2002 the global software company – Telerik, acquired by Progress in 2014. Telerik Academy itself was established as an educational institution in 2009.

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Speakers

Alexander Kostadinov

Alexander Kostadinov currently holds a Senior Software Engineer position at Musala Soft’s team developing the smarthome platform for Deutsche Telekom – Qivicon. Being part of the sub-team that is responsible for integrating new devices into the platform, through the last years he gained significant experience in working with numerous and various smart devices coming from renowned manufacturers. As an IoT enthusiast, he enjoys spending his spare time playing with connected devices and applying smart solutions to his own home. Alexander graduated his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Faculty of German Engineering Education and Business Management at the Technical University of Sofia. In 2016 Alexander held a lecture considering writing high-quality code during Musala Soft’s MUFFIN conference. Being a strong defender of quality code, further during the year he also held several public MUFFIN seminars on the topic.

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Alexander Todorov

Alex is a senior quality engineer at Red Hat and has been testing open source software for more than 10 years. He was the installation test lead for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 during the entire lifecycle of the product and is responsible for finding more than 1600 bugs during that time!

In the last couple of years Alex has transitioned into a research engineer role experimenting with different testing tools and techniques and working more closely with upstream communities.

He likes everything open source and is heavily involved in many communities in Bulgaria. He is the author of several and contributor to many more open source projects. A few more popular are Cosmic Ray (mutation testing tool for Python), pylint and Kiwi (a test case management system).

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Denitsa Evtimova

Denitsa has 16 years of experience as front end, backend and tools developer, trainer and consultant as well as integration engineer and development support. She believes in "quality on each step" of the processes and delivery cycle, from design to support. As QA Architect at Paysafe she is leading the process of defining the testing strategies, processes and conventions, coordinating efforts across all campuses over the globe.

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Dimitar Ivanov

Dimitar Ivanov is currently holding a Team Leader position at Musala Soft for the Bulgarian team of the smarthome platform of Deutche Telekom - Qivicon. His previous experience in the Applied Research and Development Center at Musala Soft has been built up from his participation in several applied research projects, concerning static code analysis, software visualization, context-oriented techniques for information representation, user interaction, mobile testing. As a young scientist, Dimitar has around 10 publications and presented lectures on international conferences and journals. Dimitar finished his bachelor’s and master's  degree in  the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics in Sofia University and at  the current moment he studies his PhD on “Automated Systems for Information Processing and Management” in Technical University of Sofia. 

In 2013 Dimitar received John Atanasoff Certificate for the Application of Scientific Advances and for the Development of Projects with Significant Positive Social Impact from the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. 

Dimitar's experience as a lecturer consist of the presentations of his works on the international conference of "Automatics and Informatics" in 2011 and 2012, ISTA conference 2013, MUFFIN conference in 2014, 2015, 2016, EclipseCon Europe 2017.

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Dimiter Shalvardjiev

Dimiter has an Informatics degree and an MBA, currently pursuing a PhD in Data Analytics.
His experience includes a career in IT, information security and management consulting.

Since 2012 with his company, CodeRunners, Dimiter has been providing insights derived from big data analysis for C-level executives of MNCs like Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Philips, Pfizer, ThermoFisher, Stryker.
Dimiter’s core industry focus remains Healthcare Informatics with a secondary specialization in Information Security.

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Dimiter Simov

I am Dimiter Simov (Jimmy). The field of information technology is my playground since 1997. I have stepped in the roles of usability analyst, usability consultant, interaction and UI designer, QA, and user documentation writer. As a UX practitioner, I work in the performance business – I help teams and companies improve the performance of their products.

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Emanuil Slavov

Emanuil Slavov is passionate about constantly improving software quality and helping engineers enjoy their life. He does this for more than 14 years in industries such as secure file transfers, email security, network security, online money transactions, social media as well as various legacy and backend applications. Guides engineering teams in applying the current best practices related to automated testing, static code analysis, unit testing, continuous delivery pipelines, development tooling, working with legacy applications.

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Ethan Ram

Ethan Ram is the head of the gaming department of SBTech, developing one of the most advanced gaming platforms in the market. Among his roles, he is leading the transformation the company from a monolith/proprietary-technologies era to the agile/open-source age. Ethan has extensive experience as an R&D Manager and a software architect in leading corporations, as well as a startup entrepreneur.

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Hristina Nedkova

Hristina Nedkova is a professional with 9 years of IT experience, ranging from quality assurance, scrum mastering to managing software engineering teams. She is currently a part of the SiteGround's team taking a role as Technical Project Manager and is very passionate about software development, technologies, managing engineers and servant leadership. 
As a strong believer in giving back to the communities, Hristina is an active member of the Bulgarian Agile Community, former chief coordinator of the biggest FOSS event in Bulgaria - OpenFest, supporter and volunteer on various conferences and meetups.

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Hristo Gergov

Hristo Gergov is a Test Manager at Musala Soft with 6 years of experience at Software Testing and Quality Assurance for innovative products of IBM, VMware and Deutsche Telekom. Working with the latest cutting-edge technologies, Hristo maintains and expands his expertise in Quality Assurance, Virtualization, Cloud Computing and Internet of Things. This allows him to implement and introduce creative testing approaches and stay tuned with the latest QA trends.

Currently, Hristo Gergov coordinates a team of 20 people in Bulgaria and Macedonia at a leading European SmartHome platform - Qivicon (www.qivicon.com). Qivicon is a Gateway-centric platform that controls, combines and automates multiple devices and functions from different brands.

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Iancho Dimitrov

I have been in the software engineering industry for 20 years now – and consider myself an IT professional with business affinity (or the other way around). I have gone through many operational roles – software engineer, business analyst, software architect, project and program manager, CTO & COO, Business-IT Consultant. At Musala Soft I am currently responsible for assuring the business and operational success of the company’s key clients – including personally managing the projects for companies like Deutsche Telekom, T-Systems, Commerzbank, Visa Europe.

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Iliyan Nenov


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Lyubomir Ivanov

I am Lyubomir Ivanov and I recently joined Paysafe Bulgaria as a Java Developer. I have a master’s degree of Computer Science from Denmark’s Technical University with specialization in Computer Security and a bachelor of Business Informatics from the University of National and World Economy. I am interested in both the technical processes and the business processes and this is one of the reasons I would like to talk about the Enterprise Orchestration for Continuous Delivery. I have been working for 5 years with the Microsoft stack technologies and for 2 years now I am working with Java. I find it of utmost importance that technical and business processes are what makes applications stable, viable and progressive.

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Lyudmila Labova

Lucy - as everyone calls her - is very passionate about everything connected to quality. She has experience in the software testing field which include both the good and the bad, the all-manual as well as the all-automation, the practical testing and the theories on the strategy side. She is currently a Quality Architect at Paysafe, focused on the quality side of continuous delivery. Lucy is keen on knowledge management, strategic thinking and photography.

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Maxim Naidenov

Being a passionate software engineer, I have contributed to a vast range of software topics. Over the time I did business software development,
I gained experience with build and delivery tools and processes for large software projects and I did development support.
Over this broad range of roles, I witnessed first-hand how development processes and software quality influence the success of a product.
Recently I am involved in the development of testing tools and technologies for SAP UI5 toolkit. Being able to contribute to state-of-the-art tools that
redefine some of the basic limitations of quality engineering is a real driver for me. When not in office, I enjoy hacking IoT gadgets.

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Mladen Savov

Quality Engineer experienced in Object Oriented Programming, Application Testing, Automation and Support. Participated in various successful international projects that involved large multicultural teams. Eager to share his experience with Production Monitoring gained in large-scale challenging projects.  

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Monika Kovachka-Dimitrova

Monika Kovachka-Dimitrova has 18 years of diverse experience in IT industry, more specifically R&D at SAP Labs Bulgaria.


Starting as developer, quality engineer, through becoming team lead, manager, project manager and promoted to VP of an organization. Currently as part of the leadership team, Monika is working on large scale cross-organizational projects in the company.


In her Design thinking coaching role, she consults internal projects to innovate the next generation products for SAP. She takes every opportunity to share and help people be more efficient and innovative and is keen on supporting entrepreneurs in early stage.

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Nasko Georgiev

Automation Quality Engineer with broad grasp of all aspects of quality assurance including API, functional, regression, exploratory and performance testing. Proven owner of Continuous Integration in the software development life cycle. Experienced with various tools and technologies, he is well known as the scripting savvy.

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Nikola Bogdanov

As an Agile enthusiast having deep interests in people, project and organizational facilitation, I works as Agile coach, Scrum master and Agile leader in the last few years and I like it a lot!

 I have been in the IT & Software Area for more than 10 years, working as software engineer, team leader, technical and process trainer, Product owner, Scrum master and Agile coach. You can see me often presenting different aspects of the Agile, Lean and System thinking at many conferences, trainings and public lectures. I try to combine in the best way strong technical background, an academic knowledge and many Agile lessons learned. My intent is to share my knowledge and experience helping, coaching and lecturing modern methodologies, implementing and examining Agile and Lean in dynamic environments.

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Nikolay Stanoev

Nikolay is the first QA Technical Lead at ISOBAR COMMERCE, having been with the company for more than 4 years. With a solid technical acumen, acquired over his hefty 10 years’ working experience in the QA domain, his expertise goes beyond the field of e-commerce, providing useful insight in the areas of automated testing, non-functional testing, CI. Niki is a result-oriented person with a lot of energy and enthusiasm for out-of-the-box solutions, being inspired by the constant urge for technical evolution.

 

Hobbies: having fun with friends, unless CSKA is playing!

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Nikolay Stoitsev

Nikolay Stoitsev is a software engineer at Uber where he builds scalable and fault-tolerant backend distributed systems. The projects he is working on allow 2 million people around to world to earn money on their own schedule. They serve a community spread over more than 600 cities across 77 countries. He loves hard problems and is always ready to do everything with or without a computational device to solve them.

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Petyo Dimitrov

Petyo Dimitrov is working as an Associate Software Architect at Musala Soft. He has 7+ years of experience working in various projects for international clients. His professional focus is in Java, Enterprise Application and Integration technologies, RESTful and XML Web Services and Service Oriented Architectures.

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Radu Vunvulea

Radu Vunvulea is a Technical Lead at iQuest Technologies and Microsoft Azure MVP, working on LoB application using Microsoft Technologies. In the last two years he dedicated his time to IoT, developing a platform for life-science industry.

Also, Radu has a vast experience on different platforms from mobile and web to backend solution deployed on on-premise and in the cloud. He worked on different fields such as e-commerce, banking systems, life-science, automoto, logistics, home automation and transportation.

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Stanimir Dochev

Stanimir Dochev has more than 15 years of experience in IT industry. His focus is on leading and consulting projects in the area of User Assistance. He has experience in both classical and agile project management.

He is the lead of the Design Thinking community in SAP Labs Bulgaria. In this role he is organizing workshops, trainings and delivers inspiring sessions to engage people into learning how to apply Design Thinking methodology in their own projects. He is very enthusiastic for working with young entrepreneurs as they can learn from the beginning how to approach complex problems in structured way.

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Stanislav Botev

Stanislav (Stako for short) is Team Leader with more than 10 years of professional experience.
His interests are strongly Oracle oriented including full Java and Database stacks.


For the last couple of years he is also evolving his knowledge within SOA based software solutions and IoT in the field of Smart Home platforms.


On this year's ISTA Conference he will demonstrate his Smart Home approach and if you have played with such geek stuff he will be more than happy to hear your point of view.

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Tania Vladimirova

Tanya is currently part of CrossCore QA Automation team in Experian Ltd. She has spent the last 6 years in the exciting Test Automation area. She hold a degree in Computer Graphics and Mathematics from Sofia University 'St. Kliment Ohridski'. Tanya enjoys tackling challenging problems, traveling, skiing and her family.

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Vassil Popovski

Vassil is an individual with more than 18 years of professional experience in software development. 


His journey in IT started more than 25 years ago, when Vassil was competing in national and international olympiads in Informatics. He has many medals from national olympiads and competitions and also a bronze medal from Balkan Olympiad in Informatics, Drama, Greece, 1997, as well - a bronze medal from International Olympiad in Informatics, Setubal, Portugal 1998. 


His early career started in SAP, where he was leading the implementation of a distributed transactional data store, used by SAP J2EE Server. 


Vassil was a technical director and partner at Sciant, where he helped grow the company from 55 to 180 people. Sciant became one of the largest and most successful consulting companies in Bulgaria. Vassil was one of the leadership team that closed the acquisition of Sciant by VMware in 2007. 


At VMware, Vassil grew to a Sr. Director and was part of the Sr. leadership team, leading many teams and activities. He led one of the largest teams - VC UI + Backend team, a team of 160+ individuals on 3 locations (Sofia, Mumbai, Bangalore). This team delivered a significant part of the VMware vSphere - a product that generated $2B annual revenue. At VMware Vassil also created (and led) a new organization from scratch - PS CoE, a development organization that partnered with PSO to deliver customized integration solutions to VMware customers. He grew the organization from 2 to 70 people in 1.5 years and the organization was bringing in $15M in revenue. Vassil was a part of the Sr. Leadership team at VMware Bulgaria and directly contributed to the growth of VMware Bulgaria from 180 to 600 people and to its becoming employer of choice in Bulgaria. At VMware Vassil was mentored by some of the brightest IT leaders of our time, including Thuan Pham (now CTO of Uber; Vassil reported directly to him for several years) and Ben Fathi (now CTO of CloudFlare, ex-Microsoft CVP - responsible for Windows 7, one of the most successful Windows versions; Vassil reported directly to him for more than an year).


He is one of the founders of ISTA and his session "Testing Multithreaded Java Applications for Synchronization Problems " that he delivered on the first ISTA (2011) was voted as the best session for the conference.


Vassil is now CEO and co-founder of Connecto.ai - an AI-powered chat bot startup the he founded in the beginning of 2017

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Vladik Khononov

Having over 15 years of experience in the software industry, Vladik Khononov worked across multiple business domains, including advertisement, healthcare, telecommunications, and customer acquisition.

Currently Vladik serves as the Chief Architect for Internovus, where he is in charge of large scale projects, and an international developers team. As a long-time Domain-Driven Design practitioner, he believes that designing simple models is the only way to produce maintainable solutions for complex business domains. His other areas of focus are Distributed Systems Design, Cloud Computing, and building effective teams.

When he's not geeking out, Vladik reads lots of books on various topics, photographs nature, and repairs his r/c aircrafts.

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Vladimir Savchenko

Vladimir has been working for SAP since 2000 and assumed various development and management positions. In the last years he has been driving various activities in the Security area. He has been always inspired by new and game-changing technologies, like Mobile, IoT and lately Blockchain. In his session, he will give an overview about why Blockchain-based technology is compared to the rise of internet 20 years ago, what is expected once it matures, and how to take advantage of this (perhaps) once-in a lifetime opportunity.

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Yavor Papazov


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