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For the past quarter SAP Labs Bulgaria executed a total number of 11 initiatives with focus on education. Altogether we had a direct impact on more than 500 university and high school students, and hope to reach even greater numbers at high schools with our “Knowledge for Success” program and support for IT teachers in school to increase their professional qualification. In Q3 72% of Early talents were recruited from SAP University Alliance members. We are happy to see that SAP brings new technology and makes a difference in the future of young people in Bulgaria.

High School Students Visit the Lab

About 25 students from Sofia Vocational High School of Electronics “John Atanasov” visited our office to learn more about the real process of software development. During the walk around the office they were able to experience our work atmosphere and see our exciting gadgets in SAP d-shop, as well as test software accessibility.

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Summer Practice for High School Students, 1-13 July

SAP Labs Bulgaria held a summer practice for students from the Professional High School of Electrical Engineering and Automation in Sofia. The participants were 11 young boys and 1 girl studying System Programming. They spent several hours a day in our office working and programming Zumo robots under the mentorship of devoted colleagues by SAP Labs in Sofia. The final exam was in the form of robot fights where students demonstrated their programming skills by the robots’ performance. Here are a few personal impressions by students:

“I learned a lot about programming and I am keen on Arduino.”

“This practice was an exciting experience. It was very useful. Please, organize it each year.”

“I really liked the practice, everything in the agenda was  very interesting and useful. Thanks to SAP Labs Bulgaria for your time.”

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ITYM 2015 Participants Visit SAP Office in Bulgaria, 5-12 July 2015

Bulgaria was the proud host of the International Tournament for Young Mathematicians (ITYM) 2015. The purpose of the tournament is to prepare young people for real research. The race is different from all others, because the tasks are very difficult and are published in advance on the website of the tournament in early March. The teams have a few months to work on the problems. In this year edition, there were almost 100 students between the 8th and 12th grade in school from Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Iran, Romania and Russia.

We are glad we managed to include in the event program a visit at the SAP Labs Bulgaria office. Rado Nikolov, the MD of the Lab, welcomed the competitors, who then had the opportunity to learn about SAP technologies and Internet of Things. We are proud with the achievement of the Bulgarian team which won the bronze medal at ITYM 2015. The team is composed of students from the Sofia Mathematics High School with Velina Ivanova, who is a first year student at Sofia University, majoring in Applied Mathematics.

Bulgaria has a significant record in the tournament winning a first place in 2013 and taking 3 times the bronze in 2009, 2014, 2015. International Tournament for Young Mathematicians is a very renowned international completion The results of solved problems ITYM usually are on a global level and comparable to the work of professionals in the field of mathematics.

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Summer Practices 2015, 13-24 July

We are proud that we kept the tradition and once again held Summer Practice for a total of 84 students from Sofia University (SU) and Technical University Sofia (TU). The Summer Practices took place in the period July 13 to 24. During the first week we had interesting lectures on topics such as Design Thinking, Software Lifecycle, Architecture, Mobile, Cloud and others. In the second week, students were divided into 16 teams and with the valuable help of our colleagues developed innovative projects that were later presented in front of their mentors, colleagues and jury. Among the five teams from FMI the jury awarded the project ChildBook – a social network for children with specially selected content and based mainly on education. Winner of the competition among the TU teams was SIMID team with its application for the protection of credit cards. As a conclusion, we can say that students left motivated and willing to participate in subsequent events and initiatives with colleagues and mentors from SAP Labs Bulgaria.

Summer Research Camp, 2-18 August

The Summer Research Camp is organized by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and already has a 15 year long tradition. We are proud to be the first company to participate so actively in this initiative. The Camp was attended by 41 of the most talented high-school talents of computer science and mathematics in the country. The Camp lasts 3 weeks during which the students have lectures on different topics and work on scientific and applied projects in the field of mathematics, informatics and IT. SAP Labs Bulgaria participated with lectures on Cloud, HANA and Big Data, Design Thinking and the Future of IT industry. We also had five colleagues who mentored some of the students and helped them with their projects

All participants in the camp demonstrated inexhaustible desire to learn and develop. They worked on their projects until dawn which did not interfere with the friendly atmosphere on the campus. Thanks to the devoted mentors!

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Start of SAP GeekyCamp, 1 September

We are happy to announce the start of SAP GeekyCamp – our programming course for high school students with a competitive element. The first two weeks we went through an intensive program covering Java web development (Java, OOP, data structures & algorithms, Servlet / JSP, HTML / CSS / JavaScript, tools, etc.). The best youngsters continue working in teams after September 15. Their task in the next few months is to develop a project with the help of SAP Labs Bulgaria professionals who act as their mentors. At the end the projects will be reviewed by a jury and the best projects will win awards. During the months of hard work we also remember to have some fun with students  – we go to the movies, on excursions, play games, etc.

Secretary for Science and Healthcare Policies of the President visits d-shop, 15 September

SAP d-shop in Sofia had a VIP visitor – Anna-Marie Vilamovska, Secretary for Science and Healthcare Policies of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Anna-Marie visited our room with gadgets and met with Rado Nikolov, MD of the Lab, and Stamen Kochkov, Vice president, as they shared our idea of ​​d-shop, as well as our various initiatives utilizing the d-shop. Mrs Vilamovska was intrigued by our gadgets and expressed her joy and acknowledgment of the company’s efforts to assist innovation development in Bulgaria.

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Imagine. Learn. Hack. Explore. HackConf 2015, 19-20 September

HackConf is a free two-day conference dedicated to IT education, organized by Hack Bulgaria and supported by SAP Labs Bulgaria as general partner and 14 other software companies. The first edition of the conference gathered the whopping 1300+ students, beginner programmers, IT specialists, amateurs and enthusiasts from all parts of Bulgaria and additional 300 followed the online broadcast. Opened with a keynote by Telerik’s co-founders, the conference had 22 sessions and a bunch of lightning talks and workshops covering a variety of technical, educational and motivational topics. Our booth attracted crowds of visitors throughout the two conference days. Besides having a chat with our colleagues, everyone could play around with the d-shop gadgets we had brought: the pocket beamer, the 3D pen, a bunch of samples created by our 3D printer and the Oculus Rift and LeapMotion sensor giving a notion of the software interfaces of the future.

187 people challenged their creativity in the #WinWithSAP sentence game, 15 of them grabbing one of our cool prizes:) The big winner – Ekaterina Stamatova – won a Garmin Vivofit with her creative “motivational poem”:

If programming to you is not a language native,

Close your eyes and be creative –

With the right kind of motivation

Starts a hurricane of innovation!

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Third Edition of the Program “Knowledge for Success” 

The program “Knowledge for Success” organized by “Workshop for Civic Initiatives” and in cooperation SAP Labs Bulgaria approved 8 projects. The projects were implemented by the boards of public schools in the towns of  Belene, Kardzhali, Karnobat, Kazanlak, Krivodol, Rakitovo, Svishtov and Vidin. Thanks to the program, schools were able to renovate and purchase new books for their libraries and in this way improve the educational environment. As a result, more than 4500 high school students, of which nearly 1300 from vulnerable social groups were given equal access to information resources, participated in various initiatives and increased performance in school. The majority of students gained new knowledge and skills for preparing for a job interview with potential employers and job seek. “Knowledge for Success” 2014-2015 is implemented for a third consecutive year by “Workshop for Civic Initiatives” foundation with financial support of SAP Labs Bulgaria. So far, the program supported 24 school boards whose projects have reached nearly 15,000 students aged between 14 and 18 years across the country. Due to the achieved high results and interest, the program will continue in 2015-2016 school year.

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SAP Labs Bulgaria Supports Informatics and IT School Teachers

The company supports Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” in organizing one-year course for acquiring additional professional qualification “Teacher specialized training in informatics and IT”. The training course includes latest trends and requirements towards teaching of informatics and IT in Bulgarian highschools. The company provides funding for tuition fees after selection of applying teachers. We are looking for motivated teachers who have the desire and motivation after completion of additional professional qualification course to apply the acquired knowledge at their respective schools in order to improve the preparation of students in informatics and IT. This is a pilot initiative with which the company hopes to address local issues of knowledge gaps and high requirement for high school graduates.

SAP “Study iT First” Scholarship Launched

“Study iT First” is a scholarship program of our company in partnership with the “Workshop for Civic Initiatives “(WCIF) and is part of a new educational initiative that SAP Labs Bulgaria implemented by the Foundation this year. “Study iT First” is aimed at 1st year IT students enrolled in Bulgarian universities with the purpose  to support their career development at an early stage. Students participating in the program will receive a stipend of 400 BGN per month within two academic years. We aim to support young people who are targeting IT, helping them to focus on their education. Moreover, each participant will have a personal mentor from our company, a specialist in the field of software development, who will help him/her to acquire key IT knowledge, IT skills and will share successful working practices. Approved candidates for the scholarship program will also be able to gain experience participating in our internship program during the summer period. This will give them an opportunity to apply their knowledge and see how a software is developed.

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