Scientists: do not drink & drive, drink & code! A case study on Eastern Europe.

Scientists: do not drink & drive, drink & code! A case study on Eastern Europe.

April 1, 2022
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Coauthor: Deyan Zhekov, with contribution from Emre Turkis

Scientists from the Silicon Valley Startup and Code University investigated why Eastern Europeans code so well and why companies outsource their IT to the region. The statistical model run in a sample of millions of local software engineers indicates that the more grape and anise content they have in their blood, the more elaborate their code becomes.


Bulgarian rakia is an alcoholic beverage so potent, it will give you superhuman analytical abilities. One drink, and it will make you knowledgeable in all aspects of science (and politics or any other topic you can think of). The Ballmer peak was discovered by Microsoft, but it is a finicky procedure. Rakia will make you supercode in no time and with a relatively small investment in bottles. The famous phrase “In vino veritas” was actually “In rakia veritas” but it was changed due to a trademark dispute.

If you don’t believe us, just try it yourself (business dinners always include it even if you don’t want it). You would be amazed by the results. You only need to accept our “not taking responsibility” clause and you are set to go on a unique journey. If there is an issue in production on the next day, like a headache, there are several quick fixes that can be applied – Shkembe (Iskembe in Turkey) soup (PS: don’t ask what it is made of), Ayran (Turkish drink with Bulgarian yogurt with salt and water) or a plain beer (fight fire with fire kind of attitude).

Languages and methodologies

The language developers from Byzantine, Cyril and Methodius, like true architects, decided that  a new language was needed. So they invented the Glagolitic script (later modified to Cyrillic script) – the script that a number of countries in Eastern Europe are still using today, including Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, etc. It was invented by carefully asking the shareholders questions regarding their needs and after that, ignoring them due to knowing better. Little did they know that those saints were the first known practitioners of the SCRUM methodology on the Balkan peninsula.

Team events

An essential part of making a strong software development team is to organise a good team event. Yeah, games are great, but what would make you closer with your colleagues than a drink of Bulgarian rakia, Polish vodka or Turkish raki? It unties the tongue, cleans up the operating memory, and creates a great atmosphere for spirited discussions on every topic possible (and as we already mentioned, rakia makes you an expert on every topic). Even the production issues the next morning are a good way to bond – imagine all of your team experiencing exactly the same emotion and working together to find which one of the potential fixes are going to work best. If that doesn’t bond your team, nothing will. Or as the Turkish say: no need to find the answer, just forget the question!

Proto QAs of Bulgaria and Romania

Picture Source: Zname Info

The QAs of Bulgaria and Romania are fearsome. Nothing goes past them – they spread fear in the hearts of feeble developers who dare not test their code or even worse – code sober. The long sticks are used to slap the hands of juniors who don’t format their code. The bells are rung when the unthinkable happens – the build is broken. The procession finds the dev responsible for the broken build and he is shamed by walking through the whole office and at the end of that – the ultimate punishment – being forced to drink diluted water (also known as American beer). The “Shame, Shame” scene in Game of Thrones was inspired by this tradition. True story.

Amazon kicked off in Eastern Europe

Bulgarians were among the first customers of Amazon. The college students, who were studying programming, sent a floppy disk, filled with cash, to Amazon. They did not want to send money directly because the customs inspectors would steal the money. So after a quick drink of rakia, the college students found an ingenious way.

Rakia and the first computer

John Vincent Atanasoff is credited with inventing the first electronic digital computer. His father was of Bulgarian origin, so the son inherited the knowledge of rakia. On a visit to the bar the young lad saw several shots of rakia – some empty and another full. After drinking some respectable number of rakia shots himself and seeing the truth, the young inventor realised – one and zero. The binary power was in the rakia shots all along.

Still not convinced?

Ask yourself this. Can you find any other explanation for the success of the Eastern European software development industry? 

P.S. Happy April’s Fools Day! Take this article as it is intended – a humoristic overview of interesting events not necessarily connected to each other. Some facts may be modified just to better complete the story and are not necessarily true.

Spas Tyurkedzhiev

Senior Software Engineer 1 at Dreamix

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