What to expect from Progress DevReach 2023

Not in Las Vegas, not in Barcelona, not in San Francisco, Paris, London or Munich, this year the Computer Weekly Developer Network team is headed to Sofia, Bulgaria for Progress DevReach 2023.

Although Progress often holds its developer conventions in the Boston area to share proximity with its US headquarters, the company has a solid base of software application development engineering and data science professionals located in the Bulgarian capital – so logically, it makes equitable good sense to spread the convention location around.

This two-day event will be at (where else?) the Sofia Event Centre (SEC), which is just next to the Vitosha metro station if you need to update the Bulgarian travel planner app on your smartphone.

Pointing to the compelling attractiveness of this location, Progress actually starts its venue pages with links to TripAdvisor with its notes that remind us that, “With a history that stretches over seven millennia, ruin-rich Sofia is one of Europe’s oldest cities.”

The event itself will feature more than 30 in-person speaker sessions and will start from the fundamental proposition that Progress now calls itself an ‘infrastructure software company’ – having been through more than one iteration of itself (which is arguably fair enough in the iterative world of software application development) to get to where the organisation is today.

Featuring speakers from Progress (obviously), the event will also showcase industry expert presentations from Cisco, VMware, Microsoft and others.

Diversity-first, speaker-selection

There are a good number of featured speakers at this years event, all of whom are recognised as specialists in their field.

Speakers this year include Alyssa Nicoll, senior developer advocate at Progress – Gift Egwuenu, developer advocate at Cloudflare and GitHub Star – Layla Porter, Live Coder & Microsoft MVP and GitHub Star – Laura Kalbag, developer and designer advocate at Stately – Kathryn Grayson Nanz, UI designer, front-end developer & developer advocate at Progress – Jennifer Wadella, founder, Kansas City Women in Technology & director of angular consulting at Bitovi – and some males as well.

DevReach23 also features an interactive live streaming studio hosted by Microsoft principal product manager and Twitch star Jeff Fritz, where attendees can get technical deep dives into frameworks like .NET MAUI, Blazor, React and Angular; and learn ‘actionable ways’ to improve accessibility, testing, UI/UX and more.

According to the event organisers, “The team at Progress is invested in creating an engaging and unique experience for you at DevReach. You get to set your own pace for the event, and how you spend your time is your call. With comfortable nooks to have conversations and grab a coffee, to a theatre-style forum space, to the main hall with a wraparound 360 projector for an incredibly immersive experience — the SEC venue has it all.”


DevReach topics and subtopics under .NET include MAUI, SignalR, gRPC, ASP.NET and Blazor. Under JavaScript, we find TypeScript, Angular, performance, architecture and testing.

In the ’all developers’ section, we find analysis areas including responsive web, usability testing, modeling, mutation testing and authentication. In the beyond the <code> sessions and section, we find content related to neurotypical [people who have brains that function in a similar way to most of their peers and are therefore generally not thought to be on the autistic spectrum or have ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, or any other condition that would be considered neurodivergent], ethics in software, AI & ChatGPT (it had to be there!) and accessibility.

Under the web section we find Blazor, JavaScript, UI/UX Skills and WAI ARIA, WCAG – and finally in a beyond productivity focus we find website optimisation, API management, account authentication and application migration.

As the boys haven’t had a look in so far (although the opening keynote does also feature Scott Hunter, VP and director of program management for Azure at Microsoft), let’s make mention of the closing keynote presented by Richard Campbell, host of .NET Rocks & RunAs Radio. Campbell’s session is entitled The Next Decade of Software Development.

“How will software development evolve in the 2020s? Join Richard Campbell as he explores the landscape of technology that will have a huge impact on development over the next ten years. What new devices are coming? Will Artificial Intelligence take over everything? How will people connect to the web in the next ten years? And what about Quantum Computing? All these topics and more will shape our future,” notes the promotional info.

Not the usual venue for sure, let’s hope it’s not the usual conference (we know data is the lifeblood of business and that developers need automation services in order to do their jobs better guys, skip over those parts please) so the CWDN team is ready to go.

Modern Sofia, Bulgaria today – free image use: Wikipedia.

Data Center
Data Management