Ukrainian IT industry says it’s still open for business

shutterstock 2108082854 ukraine flag Alexey Federenko / Shutterstock

The IT Ukraine Association represents about 100 leading companies with 75,000 professional IT members between them in the country, which has become a near-shore haven for Western companies seeking skilled personnel, particularly relating to software development and engineering.

Ukraine’s Office of Foreign Affairs says that more than 100 of the Fortune 500 outsource to the country, with IT export volume increasing 36% to US$6.8 billion in 2021, up from US$5 billion in 2020 and US$4.2 billion in 2019, according to the IT Ukraine Association. Separate studies have found that the IT industry  grew from 0.06% of GDP in 2013 to 3.3% in 2018, with talented IT professionals emerging through universities and government schemes, such as the IT Creative Fund.

Despite such progress, the IT Ukraine Association’s executive director, Konstantin Vasyuk, is speaking to journalists online in a dimly-lit home from an undisclosed location, with air raid sirens audible in the background.

As Russian military forces advance from the south and east of the country, and with the port town of Mariupol under a constant siege, he’s worried about his safety, but seemingly not as much as his broadband connection. He spoke to Computerworld while his children were doing schoolwork online.