Vox Pop­uli with Matthew Kupfer: What needs to hap­pen for the IT in­dus­try to con­tinue grow­ing in Kharkiv? Is lo­cal gov­ern­ment do­ing enough?

Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - Opinion -

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...

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