Annual BASCOM meeting hosted by AUBG

April 22, 2023
Annual BASCOM meeting hosted by AUBG

The Bulgarian Association of Software Companies held its traditional annual meeting on the AUBG campus which allowed AUBGers to learn more about the prospects and the challenges of the IT sphere in Bulgaria. We republish the post-event press release by BASCOM to learn more about their work and goals for development.

“If only six months ago we formulated BASCOM’s mission to lead Bulgaria and its economy through the revolution of digital transformation, now we are in a radically different situation – there is the fifth industrial revolution of artificial intelligence. We are literally six months away from a cardinal change at all economic, social and societal levels. Software companies will play a key role in the business transformation brought about by artificial intelligence, but the state also needs to wake up urgently.”

This message was delivered by Dobroslav Dimitrov, Chairman of BASCOM, during the traditional spring meeting of software companies – members of the Association. This time the meeting was held in Blagoevgrad. “The Bulgarian economy is young and this often puts us at a disadvantage compared to economies with long-standing traditions, but now, because of the artificial intelligence revolution, we have the chance to be all equal at the starting line. But if we don’t make cardinal changes, both at the business and government level, we will become redundant.”

Software companies have expressed concerns about the ongoing political instability in the country, about the compromising of the budgetary framework, about possible new encroachments on the tax system, and about moving away from the eurozone. Taking over the presidency of the Bulgarian Employers Association for Innovative Technologies (BRAIT), BASCOM will continue its insistent efforts to involve BRAIT in the national dialogue for tripartite cooperation. The exponential development of artificial intelligence will confront all areas of the Bulgarian economy with a number of completely new challenges that will require an adequate technological response and lightning-fast adaptability if we are to remain competitive.

BASCOM reported progress on the Association’s key priorities related to access to talent. Thanks to the combined efforts of related associations in the ICT industry, the streamlined procedure for issuing blue cards, which attract highly skilled professionals from third countries outside the EU, is now a reality. Along this line, BASCOM’s ITogether.BG initiative to maintain active communication with Bulgarian IT communities abroad in order to promote Bulgaria as a good destination for life and IT careers continues.

BASCOM’s parallel efforts to develop IT education continue. The Association’s initiative to explore successful models of existing IT schools such as TUES and schools in Burgas, Varna, Stara Zagora, etc. is gaining momentum with the aim of multiplying them in more regions of the country to a minimum of 10 new IT schools.

Regarding another priority of the Association – business development through experience sharing and improving the environment – BASCOM’s Business Tree initiative was successfully launched. In the dynamically changing business environment due to the invasion of artificial intelligence, the Business Tree discussion format will be the platform for sharing up-to-date professional experiences at all levels.

In terms of another priority of the Association – business development through sharing experience and improving the environment – the initiative of BASSCOM – Business Tree was successfully launched. In the dynamically changing business environment due to the invasion of artificial intelligence, the Business Tree discussion format will be the platform for sharing up-to-date professional experience at all levels in the software industry, as well as a platform for communication with other sectors of the Bulgarian economy.

The BASCOM software companies also held a meeting with students from Blagoevgrad, presenting the different roles in the sector, sharing experiences from business everyday life and the inspiring path of the speakers, the overall attitude and the important competencies and skills that are sought by employers. “Start early, be consistent, spend at least 8 hours a day on programming. In IT you don’t work, you are creators. Learning in this sector is for life. Artificial intelligence is used as an opportunity multiplier and to save time. It requires the programmer to develop a big picture view and not just focus on the code, but on the end product and the specific customer needs that are being addressed.” These were just some of the messages that the software sector sent to young talent.

When and at which stage of education to start working and how to successfully combine the two, how to choose the right role and company for you, what kind of people will be in demand and how companies will develop their strengths, what skills are needed, what are the types of jobs in the IT industry, will artificial intelligence replace programmers – these were some of the questions in the discussion. The meeting was held at the American University in Blagoevgrad and was attended by both students and students with specialized IT training, as well as their teachers.

The Bulgarian Association of Software Companies was established in 2001. The Association is a collective representative of more than 150 software companies – full members and organizations – associate members, including universities, foundations, venture capital funds, innovative start-up companies, etc. The software industry is among the few in Bulgaria with global competitiveness, providing exceptional opportunities for the professional realization and development of people working in it. The main objectives of BASCOM are to promote the Bulgarian software industry, to work for the improvement of the education system, for the introduction of e-government and to position the country as a high-tech destination where software companies develop their own products and services with high added-value.