One year has passed since the Ukrainian Parliament dismissed previous president Viktor Janukovitj, whom escaped to Russia. This was the outcome after several days of fighting in the streets of Kiev, where several demonstrators were shot by snipers, who were lying in wait on the roofs of the buildings.
Those days in February was the beginning of a year, where the headlines were all about war and unrest. Especially the eastern part of the country is still struggling, as shootings and explosions are a part of the everyday life. One year ago, while the unrest was in the early stage, I wrote a blog where I stated that is was still safe to outsource to Ukraine and to run a business in the country. Many of my readers disagreed, as they found these statements unrealistic, as the country was on the verge of war. And if you recall all the breaking news headlines about Ukraine from the past year, it does seem unreasonable to claim that Ukraine is a safe place
20% of the country is still struggling
When you are a part of the everyday life in Ukraine, you get a different perspective. True, there is still unrest in Ukraine, 20% of Ukraine is daily fighting against pro-Russian separatists, who are fighting for independence in the Eastern part of Ukraine. I am sure that it must be terrible to live in a city like Donetsk right now. However, in the remaining 80% of the country, the everyday life is more or less, as it was before the war. In my company, it is also business as usual, and our number of employees has actually increased during the war. Naturally, our employees are concerned. However, their main concern is whether they or their family members will be mobilised and sent to Eastern Ukraine, and not about the war spreading to the rest of Ukraine.
Growth in IT industry in 2014
According to an article from Kyiv Post, 2014 was a good year for the IT industry in Ukraine, despite the political and economic unrest, and it predicts that the growth will continue in 2015. The biggest threat to the IT industry is the media coverage of the situation in Ukraine, which can scare off foreign investors. That is very unfortunate, as I believe the IT industry in Ukraine has a huge potential.
Political support to the IT industry
The most important development of the IT industry in Ukraine comes from within, due to a change on the political scene. Never before has the parliament had so many members with IT backgrounds, and that effects the visions and choices concerning investments and educations. In cooperation with private supporters such as business angels and venture investors, the goal is to educate more than 100,000 IT specialists before 2020, and they are off to a good start. In December, they started the training, which included more than 1,000 refugees from eastern Ukraine. As I see it, there are high hopes for the future of Ukraine. Ukraine has forces that fight for establishing Ukraine as a country with a future – along with developing their strength in the IT industry.