A Developer Running For Parliament

That won’t be a typical publication you’d see on a developer’s blog. But yes, I’m running for parliament (in my country, Bulgaria, an EU member). And judging by the current polls for the party I’m with, I’ll make it.

But why? Well, I’ll refer to four previous posts in this blog to illustrate my decision.

First, I used to be a government advisor 4 years ago. So the “ship of public service” has sailed. What I didn’t realize back then was that in order to drive sustainable change in the digital realm of the public sector, you need to have a political debate about the importance and goals of those changes, not merely “ghost-writing” them.

A great strategy and a great law and even a great IT system is useless without the mental uptake by a sufficient amount of people. So, that’s the reason one has to be on the forefront of political debate in order to make sure digital transformation is done right. And this forefront is parliament. I’m happy to have supported my party as an expert for the past four years and that expertise is valued. That’s the biggest argument here – you need people like me, with deep technical knowledge and experience in many IT projects, to get things done right on every level. That’s certainly not a one-man task, though.

Second, it’s a challenge. I once wrong “What is challenging for developers” and the last point is “open ended problems”. Digitally transforming an entire country is certainly a challenge in the last category – “open ended problems”. There is no recipe, no manual for that.

Third, lawmaking is quite like programming (except it doesn’t regulate computer behavior, it regulates public life, which is far more complex and important). I already have a decent lawmaking experience and writing better, more precise and more “digital-friendly” laws is something that I like doing and something that I see as important.

Fourth, ethics has been important for me as a developer and it’s much more important for a politician.

For this blog it means I will be writing a bit more high-level stuff than day-to-day tips and advice. I hope I’ll still be able to (and sometimes have to) write some code in order to solve problems, but that won’t be enough material for blogposts. But I’ll surely share thoughts on cybersecurity, quality of public sector projects and system integration.

Software engineering and politics require very different skills. I think I am a good engineer (and I hope to remain so), and I have been a manager and a founder in the last couple of years as well. I’ve slowly, over time, developed my communication skills. National politics, even in a small country, is a tough feat, though. But as engineers we are constantly expanding our knowledge and skills, so I’ll try to transfer that mindset into a new realm.

1 thought on “A Developer Running For Parliament”

  1. Wow. Really excited to see someone from a programming background run for office. Good luck on the polls – and hope you have even greater luck in bringing about your policy changes and impact people in a positive way.

    But keep in mind that compromises are part of politics. Keeping people and focusing on people – both near and dear ones, and those who are opposed to you – is key in the long run.

    Also make coding a core part of your school system.

    Hope you make it, dude

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