As this branch is rapidly developing in Ukraine and our country for the last years became one of the leaders of international outsourcing market, it`s interesting to explore what is really Ukrainian IT industry consists of.
It is known that for a number of objective reasons one of the most promising and available industries at the labor market of Ukraine is the sphere of Informational Technology. Ukrainian IT industry has an advantage over others because it is weakly bound to the geographical location of employees. Technologies reduced this previously critical factor to doable. Manufacturing software requires personnel` professionalism in their specialty and their ability to perceive the product requirements and adequately communicate with the customer. Quite tolerable requirements for Ukrainian labor market, taking into account significantly lower wages than at the West (Russian, Ukrainians, Belorusians are predominantly contrapose themslves to Western World with our special Russian World. It`s historically uncorrect and I think we need to be much closer. But it the object for another article). Of course, it's only the technical side of the issue, if we consider the cause of the spread of IT in Ukraine. Undeniably important to have a tolerable law as for conducting such an activity with an acceptable taxation procedure. Having some preconceived notions about the Ukrainian legislation and about Ukraine as a whole, one would think that the conduct of business by foreign companies in Ukraine is initially a failing idea. But it settled down (and in other CIS countries, too). Companies adapted to draw IT-staff in convenient way for them. Execution and management of tax affairs became something like a of thumb track, with its known obstacles, deadlines, costs. The most popular method at the moment is the hiring of employee as a private entrepreneur, who is providing specific technical services to company, based on a simplified system of taxation. Typically, in this case, the entire salary employee passes through the tax and the employee pays 5% of profits to the treasury plus a flat tax. Companies with adequate accounting are executing all tax affairs instead of the employee, he should only to put a signature on documents every quarter. Very convenient considering that the majority of IT-specialists do not introspect and do not want to delve into the intricacies of interaction with the Internal Revenue Service. Some companies hiring by the Labor Code through the employment`s history, paying some part of a salary, which is under taxation, by schedule and another certain amount informally. Slipping out as they can, as far as talent and connections. Often succeed.
Structure of Ukrainian IT industry
Which companies are operating on the territory of Ukraine? In Ukraine, there are branches of European or American companies or companies based at us: the results of successful start-ups and initial investment. It is understood that the customer usually is not in Ukraine, Western one is richer than our customer. A considerable part of Ukrainian IT industry consists of outsourcing companies (Ciklum, Globallogic), i.e. with its workforce (professionals and management) for the benefit of the customer. From the customer side, in this case, there are developers too and they communicate with our ones and give commands. Customers are very different. But whatever are, they still prefer to give more time-consuming and tedious work for outsource. Becuase Ukrainian brainy monkeys will fulfill all the terms and quality. Other companies are product-type (Magento, Gameloft etc.). They have their product they develop and maintain, but foreigner pays for this product anyway. Because for our people is unnecessary and unusual to use paid software, and to spend time for searching of crecked is a matter of honor for some individuals. And pick up the heap of viruses in bundle to it (but that's another story). There are also state-owned companies. God knows who works there, but according to legend they are harsh bearded men who only programming chips and microcontrollers, accept only assembler, C and Pascal language and despise modern gimmicks for teenagers like Java, C #, etc. Outsourcing IT-companies typically have bigger number of employees and implemented technologies than product-typed ones. Often there is a change of projects, change of customers. Herewith, these companies are very good prospect for professionals. Because competent management insulates workers from interaction with customers, allowing performers quietly doing their job. If a customer suddenly appeared, and collecting of squad required for the project in a short time, it lets new expert to raise to demand extra-money, because with the right person will not be traded if terms are acceptable. But sometimes outsource project ends, the person from the project is no longer needed and drove to look for new work. Product-typed companies in this attitude are generally more stable. Their projects often consist only of supporting legacy code that is not of interest for those young IT-people who looking for brain creativity. Summarizing, there are no two same situiations so total generalization is not appropriate.
Here is another interesting information. The common level of knowledge of English language in Ukraine is very poor, especially in comparison with Europe or even India and China. In CIA countries there is still unserious attitude to English. Yes, we learn English at school but this material fits more for acquaintance and for some phrases like "Hello, I`m Dmitri, I`m from Kiev-city and I like drink vodka". This tendention changing and shifting a lot last time. People understand for their own that English is internationally speaking so it can broaden the horizons of activity or just trivially let you to emigrate from your country. We have a very high-developed and clever nation but our standarts of living are… creating terms for rapid emigration of most educated and competitive people. That`s why English quickly becomes a trend among creative post-Soviet youth of our country. But it will take heaps of time I think to significantly increase the overall English proficiency in common. These numbers that you can see on the diagram are very approximate and potentially could be disproved. This estimation of English-speaking level of Ukrainian IT industry is very estimative and should be considered just for overview.
What areas of knowledge are demanded in Ukraine? I think these areas have no fundamental different from the same abroad. Open vacancies, look. New technologies prevail over the old in popularity. You can look at the statistics and see that for the work with the new technology are paying more. This is the result of new technologies are increasingly used for new projects. And the creation of a new is more urgent and expensive than the old support. Moreover, it does not mean that outdated technologies are not relevant in Ukraine, and it is impossible to find the same high-paying jobs. It is possible, but more difficult.