Vox Populi with Matthew Kupfer: What needs to happen for the IT industry to continue growing in Kharkiv? Is local government doing enough?
Oleksandr director of Podolsky, Insoft Ukraine “IT in Kharkiv is developing very quickly. In the last few years we’ve had a bit of a leap forward because we have gained some more personnel. As a result of the events in the east, people came here from Donetsk and Luhansk. Some of them started working in Kharkiv. This gave us certain opportunities for growth. For now, it’s very nice that (the local authorities)aren’t doing anything to get in our way.”
companies are Oleg staff. director suffering “Many Mashkov, There of from are Verna a not hunger enough for people and project trained managers. for (this) It’s work: one developers of the big problems. Of course, we are hoping that there will be some changes in the educational sphere. And (some of) these changes are already happening, and more and more schools that train specialists are appearing. But we still need some support from the state for development. In many countries, the government implements programs for developing It…which allows for the creation of innovation clusters, with a special regime of (state) support and taxes, and the state recognizes IT as a very important development that helps the country. So far, there’s nothing like that in Ukraine, but we hope that these changes will come.”
Serhiy Skrynnyk, director of the A-level private IT school “Interest in the industry is getting greater and greater…to improve the IT sector in both Kharkiv and Ukraine, we need to establish a cooperation mechanism between educational institutions — both private and state — and IT companies.”
Max Samko, director of Art Lemon digital agency that Kharkiv “It does seems not to have me enough investment in IT locations, in developing offices… The market has a huge number of people, but in terms of how they should work, where they should work, how they can improve their lives so that they stay in the city, that’s the open question…coworking spaces, maybe some conferences, visits by major well-known entrepreneurs to teach by their example, maybe some workshops — because they carry out a lot of events in Kyiv, but much less reaches Kharkiv. And, in terms of investing in technology, it would be good for some major product-oriented companies to come here.”
Gennady Bukshevalov, director of Softserve’s Kharkiv branch “The educational system should change in tune with the world around it. Yes, it has a good base, a good foundation, but it should follow what is happening on the market, in business, and answer this call. One of the IT Cluster’s form and tasks prepare is to more help specialists universities and trans- raise their quality. More specifically, their skill set should match the demands of companies today. In the Ukrainian reality, it’s very good when the government doesn’t get involved. That’s already support.”
Sofia Belenkova, executive director of the Kharkiv IT Cluster better “I support think what’s or openness needed in is terms of education. We do have wonderful cooperation samples between students, universities, and businesses, but we need much more and we need them customized within in each stack, industrial focus, even markets and languages… and (we need more) ease of doing business, which includes infrastructure opportunities and some specific government program support, even (for) tourism. That would be nice as well because it would help us attract more wonderful, experienced, and mature IT experts from abroad. We are currently working with the Ministries of Economy and International Affairs on the export strategy for IT.”
Executive director Sofia Belenkova (center) leads a discussion at a breakfast meeting of information technology professionals organized by the Kharkiv IT Cluster. Founded in 2014 to protect the industry during Russian-backed unrest, the organization...