The program committee of OpenFest 2015 and the making of the program

On 15.10.2015 the program committee of OpenFest 2015 gathered to discuss the propositions for lectures and workshops and to make the program. The committee had a diverse membership:

  • Alexander Velin
  • Boyan Krosnov
  • Vasil Kolev
  • Krasimir Tsonev (online, through an audio conference call)
  • Leon Anavi
  • Marian Marinov
  • Petko Bordjukov
  • Peter Sabev (in person until 23:30, through an audio conference call after that)
  • Stefan Vartolomeev
  • Stefan Lekov
  • Todor Kolev
  • Hristina Nedkova
  • Yana Petrova

The committee was chosen to contain people from the OpenFest team and known and prominent people from the IT/Open-source community in Bulgaria.

The propositions were gathered through our system (, the sources are available at github), and before that there was an informative vote from the Bulgarian hackerspaces (the source for which is again available at github), so we would have an idea what is interesting for the public at large. We had to put the talks in slots for two days, in three halls:

  • “Bulgaria” hall – about 850 seats
  • Chamber hall – about 200 seats
  • "Music" studio – about 60 seats

The gathering started at 20:00.

First in the program we put the speakers which were invited especially for OpenFest or were pre-approved. These speakers were chosen through the year by the OpenFest team as valued and beneficial for the event and the free/open-source community.

After that all other talk submissions were read once, to choose which ones were acceptable and which not, and the indication that a talk would go into the program or directly be dropped was that everyone was unanimous in their decision. The process took about hour and a half, which ended with the arrival of the pizzas, so the committee could replenish their strength.

This was followed by putting the lectures in the program slots, and the ideas were as follows:

  • there must be a talk in English at all times;
  • there should be no two talks from the same track (if it’s possible) at time;
  • there should be something interesting for everyone through the whole time;
  • there should be place to sit for everyone interested in a talk, e.g. the talks with the most interest need to be in the biggest hall.

Even though this year we’re in a lot bigger venue, our smallest hall is still pretty small (around 60 seats), so we still plan an overflow for it. Because we had two times more submissions than slots, there’s still the chance to overflow a hall and we need to be prepared 🙂

Through the second pass we marked more talks as accepted or rejected, and put them in the program.

A part of the program committee left at 23:30, the rest stayed to check the remaining talks and fill the final slots. It was all done by 01:00, after which everyone left very tired, but with a job well done 🙂 There were a lot of heated discussions on some of the talks, but as a whole we think that the program contains the best from the submissions we got and would be interesting for all of our visitors.

7th and 8th of November, 2015
"Bulgaria" hall, Sofia, Bulgaria



Venue: "Bulgaria" hall, Sofia, Bulgaria

By metro

The “Bulgaria” hall is next to the Sofia’s City Garden, between the Sofia hotel and the Ministry of Defense. It’s close to the “Serdika” station of the metro.
Map of the metro | Schedule