CodeWeek Vratsa - Volunteering Time and Knowledge

Melon is very happy that our front-end developer Ivan Shulev volunteered to be a mentor at CodeWeek Vratsa (14-15 Oct). The event is a variety of two-day free workshops and lectures organized by Vratsa Software. For four years in a row, they have been introducing students and adults from the region to the latest technologies and motivating them to pursue jobs in the IT sector. All the mentors are seasoned developers.

It’s both a challenge and a mission – building an IT community in the poorest region in the EU as labeled by Eurostat statistics. It’s no surprise that it has the lowest employment rate in Bulgaria - 59.1%. That’s why Vratsa Software’s efforts are so important and we are glad that our bright front-end developer Shulev aided them.

The event’s topics vary from mobile development and quality assurance to web design. As a graduation project, each team showcases their accomplishments.

At CodeWeek Vratsa, Shulev lectured on Web Design and User Experience. He says that the two-day courses are insufficient, but they are a good beginning laying down the fundamentals of the UX design. He says his approach was unconventional – replacing the laptops with the old-school white paper and pen.  His aim was to show the students that creating the ultimate user experience is a process where the technologies step in only after creativity, logic, and knowledge have played their fair roles. His students were from 12 to 26 years old.

For Shulev, CodeWeek Vratsa was an opportunity to train his soft skills and to work with kids.

After the event, Vratsa software community got 40 applications for their 9-month free software development courses. According to Shulev and the organizers, the event was a success and each and every year they are getting closer to their goal.

Shulev is not standing alone when it comes to volunteering and making technologies more accessible and a desired field of opportunities to young men, women, and kids. Melon is very proud that our developers have been devoted mentors to events like Django Girls, Coding Pirates, and Rails Girls. Also, the company strongly supports students’ education. A lot of our current colleagues joined the company as interns while they were still studying. Shulev is one of those examples. And we do offer summer internship programs to high-school students.