Bogomil Shopov

Human. Artist. Hacker. I care about free and open-source software(F/LOSS), cybersecurity, ethical design, privacy, and technology. 20+ experience in technology. 40+ in being human. I encourage people to become better humans with heavy metal and technologies. I also promote technologies to be considerate of humans. Let's see how it goes!

Technologies · September 20, 2023

Halfstack Vienna 2023

I see some cornfields outside and hear the rattling of the beer bottles. I am on a train. The train goes “Hells Bells, Hells Bells“. I am going to Vienna for the HalfStack conference to give my heavy metal talk about IT fun.

I arrived. Vienna was sunny. That surprised me. It could be global warming, or it could be just my luck this time. Some people even smiled at me in the D tram. I am not in the Czech Republic anymore.


Even though I had very detailed instructions from the organizer, I needed help finding the venue. I needed to go through a yard and take the stairwell to heaven.

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Here, I am at the venue one hour before the event starts. I wanted to check my setup quickly, but the stage was busy with many speakers doing the same.

I decided to go “Commando” and check my setup before my talk.

The people started arriving. I had a coffee and decided not to have a beer at 9:30. I am not in Prague. “This might be inappropriate,” I said to myself.

I saw a lot of people smiling. I saw a bunch of people hugging. I heard a ton of cheerful conversations taking place. It’s so different from most of the events I’ve attended.

The host, Dylan, went to the stage and said this event was unusual. There is no schedule, no rules, except the code of conduct.

I felt good.

I only spent a little bit of time listening to the speakers. I had some technical difficulties with my Fedora I needed to fix before my talk. I also needed to talk to the violin player, who was a significant part of my talk.


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I loved the talk of Timea Turdean. She described a handy use case on how we, as consumers, should permit other services to use our data. The problem with the Privacy Policies right now is that they are terrifying, and we give our rights and data to random creepy websites without even reading them.

Point taken. I agree with her.

She spent most of the time discussing the open-source tools available to make this happen. There was a demo as well. She was on the stage for the first time and did well. Timea, if you read this, job well done.

Niels Leenheer‘s talk was boring to me in the first 5 minutes. He talked about how to create a cash register only with web technologies. My dear reader, If you think that’s easy, you are mistaken. He explained all the challenges that they had making a printer talk web. I just found out there are so many printers and interfaces to them. Ultimately, I listened with my mouth open and took mental notes that I needed to check out all the code he presented.

I also listened to @codepo8 talk about UX for AI services. He spoke too fast for me, but his talk was great. Full of information and examples on what is currently wrong with the AI ecosystem and how to improve it.

I had a perfect time also looking at Leo Rivera and Ramon Huidobro on the stage.

I’ll stop here. Soon, there will be recordings. You could open a beer and watch them.


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My heart was “Du hast, Du hast, Du hast, Du hast” before the talk, but after that, it was like, “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train.

Based on the feedback I received, my talk went well. I also got a lot of input on how to improve it. Thanks!

Your talk was the best today,” one Austrian programmer said and shook my hand. I was thrilled. It could be a polite thing to say.

Who knows.


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I loved the way we closed the event. There was a JS PubQuiz. My team landed in 3rd place (out of 5). I learned a lot about JS, and then I forgot it immediately. I only remember the best ES version so far.

_It was ES WTF. _

I recommend doing something like this for your event or team building. It energizes you, and you gather new data for your brain engine.

After that there was a karaoke. I have never been to a karaoke like this. Wow! Some people were good, some were bad. The support they got from us was equal. I felt alive.

I would go again, and you should too!