DR. BISERKA YOVCHEVA: "EJOI IS A DREAM BECOMING TRUE!"
- Why eJOI is important for Bulgaria? And why is it Junior?
Bulgaria is an initiator and founder of the very first International Olympiad in Informatics. Our competitors in informatics are on the 5th place in the unofficial all time worldwide ranking list. There are 4 Bulgarians in the top 20: Hristo Venev (he’s on second place!), Roumen Hristov, Encho Mishinev and Rostislav Roumenov. Our successes are due to the very good preparation of our competitors and the established system for detection and preparation of young talents in the field of programming. All this shows quite well why we initiated eJOI. Moreover, this idea again puts Bulgaria in the elite of the countries preparing excellent proffessionalists in the IT field.
Over the years it became clear that in order to prepare a good competitor (and in particular - a good programmer) are needed about 4-5 years of hard work, both of the student, and his teachers and coaches. This requires a great devotion, the preparation is difficult, and the child's psyche is such that if you it doesn’t see real results, he very soonbecomes disinterested. Although there are many international competitions for students in higher classes, besides the International autumn tournament in Shumen, and the Junior Balkan Olympiad in Informatics, there are no other international competitions for "small" students (up to 15 years). This Olympiad will motivate them and help with their better preparation.
- What do you hope to achieve with the establishment of the Olympiad?
We will provide the smaller students a new platform to show up, thus increasing their motivation. We will also elevate the prestige of Bulgaria among the European and global IT community.
- What’s the secret behind Bulgaria’s achievements in informatics?
Above all - the excellent work of the people who are involved in the preparation of our national teams. These are enthusiastic people who, together with their knowledge and abilities, could otherwise find realization in many prestigious and highly paid positions in various IT companies, but they have taken as their mission working with young people - future programmers and ambassadors of our country around the world.
If you look at the rankings of the Bulgarian national competitions, you will see that there are several training centres in the country - Varna, Shumen, Yambol, Sofia, Plovdiv, Pleven, etc. Only here, in Bulgaria, there is a program for preparation of young students (10-11 years old) in programming, although it is not included in the curriculum of the local schools. It’s used a unique methodology known as "Spiral model of software development and enhancement”, which was presented in my dissertation back in 2008. Everything listed, as well as the support of IT business and Ministry of education, are a prerequisite for our excellent performance. However, let’s not forget our excellent, tireless, smart and ambitious children who are actually making all this possible.
- How are the prapartion and organization going?
Stucking to the plan for now :) We are preparing an awesome competition for the participants. We have received such a powerful support from the business and from numerous public institutions. I do not want to enumerate, so as not to miss anyone, but we are grateful to everyone, especially our Golden sponsors - America for Bulgaria Foundation, Abrites and Telelink, as well as the Ministry of Education, for standing behind the idea and taking it as its own. All ministers in the period of organization, starting from Meglena Kuneva, who made the launch of the Olympiad possible, through Prof. Nikolay Denkov, and to the current Minister Krasimir Valchev, they all have supported our endeavor and have cooperated as fully as possible for its realization.
- What’s infornt of you - in private and academic plan?
EJOI is one of the big projects in my life. I'm so happy to see its realization already! But I have other goals infront of me, so right after this one, I take up the realization of my other projects. Right now I do not want to share them because they are at a very early stage. In general, I remain true to what I have devoted my life to, the children and their training in informatics. Of course we will continue the work to work together at School A & B together with my colleagues, with whom we are together in eJOi as well.